Battle of Awazu

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Battle of Awazu
Part of the Genpei War
Yōshū Chikanobu Tomoe Gozen.jpg
Tomoe Gozen defeats Uchida Ieyoshi and Hatakeyama Shigetada.
Date February 21, 1184
Location Awazu, Ōmi Province
Result Minamoto no Yoshitsune et al. victory; Minamoto no Yoshinaka killed
Minamoto clan loyalists Minamoto clan rebels
Commanders and leaders
Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Minamoto no Noriyori Minamoto no Yoshinaka, Imai Kanehira, Tomoe Gozen
Woodblock print of the battle of Awazu, by Utagawa Toyoharu, ca. 1760s. Yoshinaka and Kanehira's deaths are depicted in the left middle distance.

Minamoto no Yoshinaka made his final stand at Awazu, after fleeing from his cousins' armies, which confronted him after he attacked Kyoto, burning the Hōjūjiden, and kidnapping Emperor Go-Shirakawa. During the pursuit he had joined up with his companion and milk brother Imai Kanehira at Seta; Kanehira became joint commander along with Yoshinaka.

During the battle, they fought valiantly, holding off Noriyori's large force of thousands of men for a time. However, in the end, they both died: Yoshinaka was struck dead by an arrow when his horse became mired in a paddy field, and after Kanehira heard that Yoshinaka had been killed, he committed suicide by leaping off his horse while holding his sword in his mouth.


  • Sansom, George (1958). A History of Japan to 1334. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
  • Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co.