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Battle of Okehazama

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Battle of Okehazama
Battle of Okehazama
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Battle Information
Date May-June, 1560
Location Dengaku-hazama, Owari Province
Result Oda army victorious, Death of Yoshimoto Imagawa
Forces
Oda Clan Imagawa Clan
Commanders
Nobunaga Oda Yoshimoto Imagawa
Notable Officers
Nobunaga Oda
Tsuneoki Ikeda
Hidetaka Kawajiri

Toshiie Maeda
Katsuie Shibata
Masatsugi Sassa
Kyousuke Hasegawa
Hidesada Hayashi
Narimasa Sassa
Nagachika Kanamori
Yoshinari Mori
Yoshiyuki Sawaki
Hideyori Mouri
Shigeyasu Iwamuro
Masatsuna Yanada
Hideyoshi Toyotomi
Morishige Sakuma
Hidetoshi Oda
Sadamune Inou
Hisakiyo Inou
Nobumori Sakuma
Nobutoki Sakuma
Kazuhide Kajikawa

Munenobu Matsui
Motomasa Ihara
Masatada Matsudaira
Naomori Ii
Tadamori Ihara
Tadayoshi Matsudaira
Ujinori Kanbara
Motoshige Kunou
Tadaharu Ihara
Chikanaga Sekiguchi
Yoshinari Miura
Ujitada Kunou
Ujiaki Fujieda
Masanobu Yui
Ujiyoshi Yoshida
Munekore Ichinomiya
Masatoshi Azai
Nagasada Okabe
Chikayoshi Ejiri
Ujitoshi Sena
Ieyasu Tokugawa
Ienari Ishikawa
Tadatsugu Sakai
Yasutomo Asahina
Tadakatsu Honda
Tadazane Honda
Motonobu Okabe
Noritsugu Yamaguchi
Nagateru Udono
Kageharu Kondou

The Battle of Okehazama took place in June 1560. In this battle, Nobunaga Oda defeated Yoshimoto Imagawa and established himself as one of the front-running warlords in the Sengoku period.

Before the battleEdit

In June 1560, Yoshimoto Imagawa assembled an army of possibly 25,000 men for an advance on Kyoto. Nobunaga Oda, whose territory was first to invade, sent scouts to get an up to date picture of the situation. They reported that his border fortresses of Washizu and Marune were destroyed and that the vast bulk of the Imagawa army, including the commander-in-chief himself, had chosen to rest at a place called Dengaku - hazama, a wooden gorge where they were celebrating their victories in some style. It was territory that Nobunaga knew well and provided the perfect opportunity for a surprise attack.[1]

BattleEdit

Nobunaga Oda took up position at Zenshoji, quite near the Imagawa's fort of Narumi, and directly in line with Dengaku - hazama. Here Nobunaga rigged up a dummy army dummy army and led 3,000 men on a circular route through the wooded hills to drop down beside Dengaku - hazama from the north.[2] As the opening stage of a march on the capital, Yoshimoto Imagawa invaded Owari and brought down two of Nobunaga Oda's forts, Wazashi and Marune.[3] The Imagawa army grew complacent and took a break to perform the traditional Head-viewing ceremony in a small wooden revine called Okehazama.[4] As Nobunaga's men drew silently near, a terific thunderstorm began which cloaked Nobunaga's final movements as the Imagawa troops huddled under trees from the torrential rain. As the clouds blew away, the Oda troops poured into the gorge of Dengaku - hazama. The Imagawa troops were so unprepared for an attack that they fled in all directions leaving Yoshimoto's certained field headquarters quite unprotected. Yoshimoto Imagawa had so little knowledge of what was going on that he drew the conclusion that a drunken fight had broken out among the men, and seeing a angry looking samurai running towards him, barked out an order for the man to return to his post. He realised that it was one of Nounaga's men when the samurai aimed a spear - thrust at him but by then it was too late. Yoshimoto himslef drew a sword and cut through the shaft of the spear, but before he could any more a second samurai grabbed him and lopped off his head. All but two senior officers of the Imagawa were killed.[5] Koehita Hattori, one of Nobunaga’s men, pierced Yoshimoto with a spear, and Shinsuke Mouri, also one of Nobunaga’s men, killed Yoshimoto. It took Nobunaga only two hours to get the victory.[6]

AftermathEdit

The Imagawa’s dreams for taking Kyoto were shattered and from this point, the Oda began their rise to power. A concrete number for Yoshimoto's strength is difficult to come by, and figures range from 10,000 to 25,000.[7] With this dramatic victory Nobunaga Oda was raised to the front rank of military commanders.[8] In the battle more than 2,500 of Imagawa soldiers were killed. They were buried in Senninkuza by a local Buddhist priest Ryuki Kaioh II of Sogenji Temple.[9]

GalleryEdit

SourcesEdit

  1. Samurai Source book, Stephen Turnbull pg 215
  2. The Samurai Source book, Stephen Turnbull pg. 215,216
  3. Samurai Archives, Battle of Okehazama
  4. Samurai Commanders 1 940-1576, Stephen Turnbull
  5. The Samurai Source book, Stephen Turnbull pg. 215,216
  6. www.city.toyoake.aichi.jp (Battle of Okehazama)
  7. Samurai Archives, Battle of Okehazama
  8. Samurai Source book, Stephen Turnbull. pg 216
  9. www.city.toyoake.aichi.jp (Battle of Okehazama)

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