Commander’s Baton

Commander’s Baton
Length of stick 48.3 cm; Momoyama period, late 16th century; Gift of the Ii Family

Warrior leaders began using batons (saihai) to command their troops during the sixteenth century. This one was initially owned by first daimyo Ii Naomasa, who passed it on to his son Naotaka. At the Winter Siege of Osaka Castle (1614), Naotaka temporarily gave the baton to his general Miura Yasuhisa to lead the withdrawal of Ii troops. Later the Miura family returned it to the Ii family.

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