Aug 17 2015
It was June 1560. Japan was in a state of disarray. The country had an emperor, but he had no real authority. The daimyo’s (lower-ranking lords) were fighting for power. One, in particular, Imagawa Yoshimoto, launched a campaign to take over the country. Marching with 25,000 men, Imagawa came to the Owari prefecture and completely destroyed its border fortresses. His domination seemed to be written in stone.
But Imagawa underestimated the daimyo (lord) of this region. His name was Oda Nobunaga.
Oda rallied as many men as he could. The final tally came to 3,000 men.
Oda’s generals predictably advised him against attacking. His force of 3,000 men could never take Iwagama’s force of 25,000. They recommended surrender.
Oda rejected their counsel.
Oda agreed that a frontal assault would result in defeat. But he had another plan. His men created fake soldiers from straw and left all his royal banners at an encampment to trick Iwagama’s scouts into thinking they were still preparing for battle.
But Oda snuck his men toward a forest around the left flank of Imagawa. As fate would have it, a heavy thunderstorm rose up just as Oda was nearing Imagawa’s camp, allowing his men to go completely undetected.
As the rain let up, Oda attacked. So surprised was Imagawa that he emerged from his tent, shouting at his men to stop their drunken carousing. He thought his troops were partying and had gotten into a fight with each other. Barely had the words left Imagawa’s mouth than he realized the situation and was decapitated by two of Oda’s men.
Imagawa’s troops panicked and scattered. Oda routed Imagawa’s army and became a national celebrity – having defeated Imagawa’s 25,000 men with a mere 3,000.
In your life, you may feel outmanned and outgunned. Know that numbers don’t guarantee health. In the human body, cancer cells can multiply by the millions, causing damage and death.
Time is needed to see the fruit of numbers. If the numbers have no fruit, they’re just numbers. Define health and pursue it. Only then will numbers have real meaning.