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Station #9:  Odawara was the first castle town after travelers left Edo.  We can see it in the distance, across the Sakawa River and nestled in the Hakone mountains.  Control of the castle was key to controling this major rice growing area.  The Japanese have a term, Odawara hyojo (hyogi), literally "Odawara conferene."  It's based on an historical event and refers to a long and fruitless discussion.  Toyotomi Hideyoshi (who helped unify Japan after years of civil war) sent to the Lord of Odawara castle a summons to surrender.  The Lord called together all of his lieutenants to confer with them concerning whether they should surrender or fight to the last.  For many days they discussed the matter but arrived at no decision.   Finally Hideyoshi, tired of waiting, attacked the castle and utterly destroyed it and its occupants.  Thus the term "Odawara conference" came to mean "an endless discussion resulting in nothing."\n\nImage Copyright: Minneapolis Institute of Art
Copyright © 2007, Helen and Steve Rindsberg

Station #9: Odawara was the first castle town after travelers left Edo. We can see it in the distance, across the Sakawa River and nestled in the Hakone mountains. Control of the castle was key to controling this major rice growing area. The Japanese have a term, Odawara hyojo (hyogi), literally "Odawara conferene." It's based on an historical event and refers to a long and fruitless discussion. Toyotomi Hideyoshi (who helped unify Japan after years of civil war) sent to the Lord of Odawara castle a summons to surrender. The Lord called together all of his lieutenants to confer with them concerning whether they should surrender or fight to the last. For many days they discussed the matter but arrived at no decision. Finally Hideyoshi, tired of waiting, attacked the castle and utterly destroyed it and its occupants. Thus the term "Odawara conference" came to mean "an endless discussion resulting in nothing."

Image Copyright: Minneapolis Institute of Art