The monks dug ditches in the roads, and build many forms of improvised defenses. They fought primarily with bow & arrow, and naginata, while the Taira were on horseback, giving them a great advantage. Despite the monks' superior numbers, and their strategic defenses, their enemy succeeded in destroying nearly every temple in the city, including the Kōfuku-ji and Tōdai-ji.
The 'Heike Monogatari' laments the destruction the Tōdai-ji's Daibutsu (Great Buddha statue):
The colossal statue of Vairocana Buddha of copper and gold, whose domed head towered up into the :clouds, from which gleamed the sacred jewel of his lofty forehead, fused with the heat, so that its :full moon features fell to the pavement below, while its body melted into a shapeless mass.