Battle of Kumegawa
|Battle of Kumegawa|
|Part of the Kamakura period|
Kumegawa Battlefield in 2008. Now in a suburb in Tokyo, Nitta Yoshisada had this vantage point during the battle some 675 years prior.
|Forces loyal to the Kamakura Shogunate||Forces loyal to the Emperor Go-Daigo|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Sakurada Sadakuni||Nitta Yoshisada|
The Battle of Kumegawa (久米川の戦い Kumegawa no tatakai?) was part of the decisive Kōzuke-Musashi Campaign during the Genkō War in Japan that ultimately ended the Kamakura Shogunate. Fought in present day Higashimurayama at the foot of the Hachikokuyama ridge on May 12, 1333, it pitted the anti-shogunate imperial forces led by Nitta Yoshisada against the forces of the Hōjō Shogun. The battle was an immediate follow on from the previous day's nearby Battle of Kotesashi.
At dawn on May 12, the Imperial forces advanced upon the Shogunate forces' position at the Kume River (久米川 Kumegawa?) via the Kamakura Kaido highway. Since the previous day's battle at Kotesashi was indecisive, both sides had expected the battle to continue. The chosen battlefield was a plain crisscrossed by small rivers and bordered by low-lying ridges. The geography gave the mounted warriors room to maneuver with their commanders overlooking the battle from the surrounding ridges such as where Nitta raised his banner at Hachikokuyama.
The Taiheiki chronicles what happened. The Shogunate forces formed a large mass with intention of encompassing the Imperial forces. The Imperial forces formed a wedge to protect its center. With neither side gaining immediate advantage, the battle continued until losses forced the Shogun's forces to retreat. Losses were reported as relatively light for the Imperial forces but heavy for the Shogun's.
The result was a victory for the Imperial forces; having grown weary from two days of heavy fighting, they rested at the battlefield. The Shogunate forces retreated south to Bubaigawara to await reinforcements.
The two armies fought again three days later at Bubaigawara and Sekido. In less than one week, Nitta led the Imperial forces 50 kilometers south and finally eliminated the Shogun's forces during the Siege of Kamakura.
- McCullough, Helen Craig (1959). "The Taiheiki. A Chronicle of Medieval Japan." 1959. Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo, ISBN 978-0-8048-3538-1.
- Sansom, George (1963). "A history of Japan 1334-1615." Eight Printing (1993). Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo, ISBN 4-8053-0375-1
- Papinot, E. (1910). "Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan. 1972 Printing. Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo, ISBN 0-8048-0996-8.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (July 2010)|
- Painot, E (1910) p. 314 and McCullough, Helen Craig (1959) p. 280
- The exact location of the Kume River is not known as it does not appear on modern maps. Rather, there is an area on the border of Saitama and Tokyo named Kume River (久米川 Kumegawa?) where the battle was fought. There is more than one river that runs through this area.
- McCullough, Helen Craig (1959): pp. 274-285.
- Sansom, Geroge (1963): pp. 18-21