He was part-time soldier. Originally, maybe he was just common farmer.
On 1575, he was in Nagashino castle for fighting against to Takeda army. They were invading to the home land of Suneemon.
The military power of the castle was only 500.
On the other hand, the military power of the Takeda army was more than 15,000.
Nagashino castle was exhausted for defense and they were losing the defense power by the attack from Takeda army.
OKUDAIRA Sadamasa, the lord of Nagashino castle decided to send messenger to the allied forces of TOKUGAWA Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga. He already knew that the army is just approaching to near the castle.
But, Nagashino castle was surrounded severely by Takeda army. It seems impossible to escape from the castle and break through the enemy force line. All of the samurai in the castle could not accept the order of the lord because of extreme fear to such a impossible mission.
"I would like to be volunteer for the messenger, sir"
TORII Suneemon who was part-time soldier applied to the lord.
He was not even at the lowest samurai.
But, the lord didn't have any choice, so the lord soon wrote the letter which requested it for the relief of the castle to TOKUGAWA army. Of course, usually, such an important duty must be performed by the high rank samurai. But the lord didn't mind because it was so extreme urgent emergency situation.
Suneemon and his friend successfully escaped from the river which was by castle at night.
《He escaped from this place. As you see the picture, the width of the river is very narrow. It seems even arrow can across easily.》
He ran more than 50 km. Then, he finally arrived at the camp of TOKUGAWA army. They were so surprised about the messengers. Especially, TOKUGAWA Ieyasu greatly admired and praised their courage very much. TOKUGAWA surely promised to Suneemon that the TOKUGAWA army will arrive at the castle in a few days. And TOKUGAWA recommended Suneemon for taking rest for a while. But Suneemon refused his recommendation and he determined to return to the castle quickly because he wished to tell the response to his lord and friends. He came back to the castle without his friend. His friend stayed for the guide to the castle.
Unfortunately, Suneemon was captured by Takeda army because he was extremely exhausted.
To tell the truth, The lord TAKEDA Katsuyori was so upset because TOKUGAWA and ODA were approaching to Nagashino castle. TAKEDA wanted to get the castle before TOKUGAWA and ODA arrived.
Lord TAKEDA gently asked Suneemon that I wish to employ you as high rank samurai if you tell that the reinforcements will not come for the castle. Of course, we would like to save your friends in the castle. We don't want to kill them.
Suneemon accepted this request.
Next day, he was faced to the castle as crucified on the pole.
TAKEDA army and the Nagashino defense force stopped the fire. Both of them paid attention to his action.
Suneemon screamed "The reinforcements will come in a few days! Wait! Please protect the castle!", he left the message in exchange for his life.
Lord TAKEDA got angry with him very much. TAKEDA crucified him and stabbed it to death with spears.
But the defense force could get the information that reinforcements is coming soon by his death. The castle endured the attack from TAKEDA army for few days.
《Suneemon was crucified on the pole and killed at the place. This is the monument of Suneemon.》
Then, finally, TAKEDA army gave up the attacking to the castle and they had to remove from the castle for intercepting TOKUGAWA and ODA.
The one of the famous battle called "the battle of Nagashino" was caused by only one of obscure farmer. After the battle, famous TAKEDA army was destroyed by TOKUGAWA and ODA army.
《The resting place of Suneemon and his wife. It is built in the Zen temple where located in the deep mountain.》
The son of Suneemon became real samurai. Some of his descendant became high rank as model and noble samurai. His blood is still continuing until today.
I believe that Suneemon didn't think about the view of enemy or friends. I think his pure mind just only wanted to protect the important thing for human being.
《The wood statue of Suneemon. This statue is in the temple where in the home town of Suneemon's wife.》
If we try to protect the important things for human being, I believe war is easy to solve and peace is easy to come. The hero made by war is not necessity. We just need human like Suneemon for the peace.