All About History


It was the height of the Sengoku Jidai (1467-1603), the terrible age when Japan’s imperial system nearly collapsed among feuding warlords. As powerful samurai families vied for supremacy one particular rivalry echoed through the centuries to be hailed as an indelible part of Japan’s national heritage. At the time of the Sengoku, two great houses, one led by a relentless military strategist and the other by a pious warrior, sought to expand their territory. The bitter struggle would drag on for 11 years.

In the province of Shinano there was an empty plain called Kawanakajima where the Sai and Chikuma rivers met. It was over this terrain that the armies belonging to Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin faced each other on numerous occasions. The reason for their enmity was direct control of Shinano; the Takeda clan wanted it added to their domain while the Uesugi deemed it a useful buffer to protect their own province, Echigo. In 1555, the two armies even camped on opposite ends of Kawanakajima waiting several months for the perfect opportunity to conclude a siege. Despite the fact that the Takeda were on the defensive and had the advantage of possessing firearms, no decisive chance

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