Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Battle of Anegawa

Here is the Battle of Anegawa from the Shincho-Ko ki.  The Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga (Elisonas/Lamers, pp. 147-148).

"Meanwhile Asakura Magosaburo [Kagetake] had set out with some eight thousand men to attack Nobunaga's rear.  To the east of Otani there was a long mountain ridge called Oyori that stretched from east to west, and Magosaburo pitched camp there.  Azai Bizen's force of some five thousand men joined this army, making a total of thirteen thousand.  On the 27th of the Sixth Month, the broke camp at daybreak and appeared to withdraw, but before dawn on the 28th they advanced about thirty cho [three and a quarter kilometers].  With the river Anegawa in front of them, they moved to the villages of Nomura and Mitamura and lined up in two divisons.

Lord Ieyasu opened the encounter by moving on the enemy positioned at the approach to Mitamura on the west.  Nobunaga's horse guards moved out against the division deployed on the east at Nomura, as did the Mino Triumvirs farther to the east.  All at once, the battle had begun.  On the 28th of the Sixth Month, at the Hour of the Rabbit [about 6 a.m.], Nobunaga attacked toward the northeast.  As the enemy moved toward Anegawa, a terrible, confused man-to-man battle ensued.  They crossed swords and slashed away amidst black clouds of dust.  Blades splintered, sword guards were cleft in two; on all sides everyone fought for all he was worth.  Finally ours crushed the enemy.  The list of the heads taken in battle said:

Magara Jurozaemon, his head taken by Aoki Shoemon [Kazushige]; Maeba Shinpachi, Maeba Shintaro, Kobayashi Hashuken, Uozumi Ryomonji, Kurosaka Bitchu, Yuge Rokurozaemon, Imamura Kamon no Suke; Endo Kiemon, his head taken by Takenaka Kyusaku [Shigenori], who had boasted beforehand that he would take this head; Azai Uta no Suke, Azai Itsuki, Kano Jirozaemon, Kano Saburobyoe, Hosoe Sama no Suke, and Hayazaki Kichibyoe.

In addition to these, ours killed more than elven hundred warriors of standing.  Nobunaga ordered pursuit over the stretch of fifty cho [five and a half kilometers] to Mount Otani and set fire to its foot.  Otani Castle, however, was on high and inaccessible ground, and Nobunaga realized it would be difficult to storm it right then and there.  So he marched his men back to Yokohama.  Of course the garrison of that castle surrendered, pleading for mercy, and withdrew."

Here is a link in Japanese on the Battle of Anegawa: http://www.asahi.com/travel/kosenjo/TKY200907080193.html

I made a visit to the Anegawa battlefield back in 2001 and it quite far from JR Nagahama Station.  Also  I suggest one to visit the Odani Castle ruins.  There you can find the landmark where Azai Nagamasa committed seppuku.  Some key points about the battle.  Asakura Yoshikage did not participate in the battle.  One of his relatives led the Asakura army.  The Azai gave Nobunaga a run for his money.  Nagamasa and his army put a lot of pressure on the Oda army until it ran out of gas.  Only 500 guns used by Nobunaga and his army?  Quite small, but more research needs to done on Anegawa in my opinion since it is often overlooked.

Tenka no tame!

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