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1577 : THE MIST OVER THE RIVER TEDORI

 

Echigo map

Tedorigawa in 2004, scene of the 1577 battle (Oda vs Uesugi clan)

Click here for a detailed and complete map of Japan.
Click here for big photographs of the actual location of Tedorigawa battle.
Click here for more details of this war, plus biography & pictures of Uesugi Kenshin.

 

It was late autumn, November 1577, when the lord of Noto woke up finding the legendary warlord of Echigo, Uesugi Kenshin, had crossed his borders. Not only Uesugi, of course; behind him there were around 30,000 men. That's a really scary daymare.

He wouldn't mind fighting like mad to defend his domain. But there's the ultimate upside in having an overlord -- he could send a teenage messenger to gallop a.s.a.p to Oda Nobunaga's castle and reported the invasion. This he did.

Oda Nobunaga went there himself with the strongest General of his army, Shibata Katsuie, plus his most faithful General, Maeda Toshiie, to bail his small-time ally out of the precarious territorial position. The three's combined, there were 45,000 soldiers behind them.

They arrived too late; the stronghold of Nanao, where the S.O.S came from, had fallen. Shibata and Maeda turned back and was on their way home when they got into Uesugi Kenshin's net by the Tedori river. Oda Nobunaga fell into such a bait sometimes -- and this time was such an occasion; he did what Uesugi wanted him to, i.e. sending his men to cross the river. Around a thousand died in this useless venture.

 

Uesugi Kenshin

Lord Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo (1530-1578), the Uesugi clan's crest,
and Kenshin's personal banner in battles.

 

Regretting his own latecoming into the forays for Japanwide supremacy, Uesugi -- who wasn't Oda Nobunaga's enemy before, apparently tried his luck just in case it worked.

 

Tedori is no tame river at all

 

Among the senior warlords of 1570's, maybe Uesugi Kenshin was the only one who never underestimated Oda Nobunaga, dismissed him as a mere 'foolish greenhorn' of the biz, or misread his intentions.

That's why Oda respected this veteran samurai, too. So he declined Uesugi's old-fashioned challenge to face him man-to-man in a single combat of swords to decide the future of Japan. "Kenshin is so un-hip," Oda said to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, showing him Uesugi's formal letter containing the invite to a duel.

 

 

NEXT : THE BATTLE OF IGA MOUNTAINS VERSUS IGA NINJA CLAN NEXT

 

THE ODA ARMY & NAVY

ODA NOBUNAGA'S WARS

 

BIOGRAPHIES & PICTURES OF ODA NOBUNAGA'S ENEMIES
Takeda Shingen   Uesugi Kenshin   Asai Nagamasa   Imagawa Yoshimoto   Warrior-Monks

 

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