Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fight of Kenshin Uesugi, Battle of Tedori Gawa (River) -2

Despite of all advantages which Nobunaga Army had, number of soldiers, fire arms, and half of all Japan in his side, Nobunaga Army lined up positioning Tedori Gawa (River) behind of their front line. It was to show Kenshin's army that Nobunaga Army did not have any intention to go back.

Kenshin's army arriving about 2-3 miles apart from Nobunaga's front line, stayed there and did not move, kept army mobile but took holding pattern. Nobunaga's generals started to be puzzled. But, more puzzled was Kenshin's generals. His step sons, Kagetora and Kagekatsu and strategist Kakizaki etc.. getting frustrated, one night asked Kenshin why he did not order to move ahead to attack Nobunaga Army. They all said it is the time for first strike for taking initiative of the battle.

Image is not for Tedori Gawa's Battle
For reference of Japanese old time battle
Public Domain

Kenshin had never had his own son. He had 3 adopted sons all were from his own enemies including his own brother. All 3 adopted sons were loyal to Kenshin and loved him. This is one episode how merciful person he was.

Kenshin asked them back "Do you guys know what will decide win or lose in wars? Do you think number of soldiers? No. Do you think training? No. Do you think number of guns? No. I am waiting for My Lord tells me time for attack." All generals are puzzled again.

One more day passed by and on the 3rd day of holding, the rain started late in the afternoon changed to pouring rain by midnight. Kenshin stood up and ordered immediate and swift attack. Despite of late night, all of his army moved ahead smoothly.

You might have figured that Kenshin was waiting for rain. Rifles that time had igniting system outside and needed to fire the rope to fire it. Because of the rain, Nobunaga Army could not use their guns at all and well trained Kenshin's army defeated Nobunaga Army.
Nagashino's battle
Nobunaga defeated Shingen's Son's army by using rifles.
Image in Public Domain

Now, Nobunaga's army found themselves to have made major mistake to lie front line in front of river. There were no place for them to escape and many soldiers tried to escape across the river wearing heavy armor drowned to death.

It was simple after knowing what he did. This story remind me "Columbus' egg". This war was significant that taught people how to fight against fire arms and told them fire arms is not almighty. Especially so after Nobunaga Army defeated Shingen's son's army by using rifles in their maximum effect. Kenshin was suggested to move ahead to Kyoto to give final damage to Nobunaga's ruling. But he did not do that. He said he did enough that time. Despite of this remarkable victory, his health was not in good shape any more, thinking from the fact he died a year later.

Kenshin's sudden death gave full advantage to Nobunaga. Nobunaga could continue to unify Japan until he himself was killed by his subordinate.

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. it's interesting how we can learn from these encounters .. and how great leaders think beyond the possibilities .. looking at all angles ..

It's good to see that Kenshin's adopted sons all loved and supported him ..

Interesting post - Hilary: Be Positive Be Happy

Shaw said...

Hello Hilary, Thank you for your comment as always. Your comment made me think about how these leaders could think beyond possibilities. They continued learning, experiencing, trying, and trying again. It may be only way they could think of great ideas.

I would be rather loved than afraid, wouldn't you? Kenshin was loved. Amazing that he is still loved by these local people.

Thanks again for your comment.

Shaw Funami