Actually, Shingen is so much superior in tactics and strategy that I refuse to believe he got bluffed. It simply was out of the way for him to attack Tokugawa. His goal is Kyoto, there is no reason to waste time on Ieyasu. His strategic goal accomplished. Ieyasu's forces were beaten, disgraced, and there are bigger prey and reward in the other direction. If you can take it for free, maybe Shingen might [but since he is such a great commander, he know exactly what he wants and what he does not need, and capturing Hamamatsu simply isn't worth it, given Shingen knew his time is very short.
But after all that, I doubt it actually happened. It sounds like a very 'imagined' scenario.
For example, when you are bluffing an opponent, it only work if your opponent DOES NOT know what you have. For example, POKER, when you go all in every single round and you are not the chip lead, you will be called. Zhuge Liang MIGHT of done it due to the fact that he has a sizable army, but Tokugawa has 2 provinces, perhaps 600,000 shiku, his ability to field only so many troops and they are mostly dispersed from the previous crushing defeat.
Also, diverting river is an ancient and classic strategy from before the time of Three Kingdom. I think Japanese read shiji more than they do Three Kingdom at that time. The spread of Shiji simply have way too much head start while RoTK was only first printed in the early 1500s.
In Shiji, you can read much more interesting stories about battle, one of which is during the time of Chu-Han contention, which mesmerizes Japanese poets and authors (if you read any classic Japanese novels, you would see how it fascinate them。）
Shingen may have been a great commander, but after Mikatagahara he stopped his advance. Was he stymied? Actually yes he kind of was. He needed to stop and regroup before he could continue onto Kyoto. Also it would not be correct to say that Shingen fell for the empty fort strategy, since in fact it was two of his generals and not him himself that feel for it (Baba Nobuharu and Yamagata Masakage)
It might sound like an imagined scenario, but we are not talking about events from almost 2000yrs ago but events less than 500 yrs ago. The history records of this time are more accurate than that. Part of the strategy might be imagined, but it did occurred. Sakai Tadatsugu supposedly beat the drum during the empty fort strategy. That might not be fact, but the ruse was done, and it did work.
The fact that the novel was so new is exactly the point of why only some of the generals would have read it and many of the strategies would not be well known. I am not sure if the flooding of Xiapi is in the Records or if it only appears in the Romance, so I don't know for sure where the inspiration might have come from.
The empty fort stratagem is one of the 36 stratagems, and therefore would have been around for 500 yrs before the Three Kingdoms era. But I can find no evidence of it being used before Zhao Yun and later Zhuge Liang. The use of it by Zhuge is almost certainly fiction, and I think that Zhao Yun using it may also have been fiction. If so then the first time it appears in action in literature would be in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Edited by jamjoh, 30 June 2011 - 02:13 PM.