Battle of Koromo River

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Battle of Koromo River
DateJune 15, 1189 [1]
LocationHiraizumi, Mutsu Province
Result Fujiwara no Yasuhira victory
Minamoto no Yoshitsune killed
Fujiwara no Yasuhira Minamoto no Yoshitsune
Commanders and leaders
Fujiwara no Yasuhira Minamoto no Yoshitsune
500 20-90
Casualties and losses
Unknown, ~300 Unknown, all forces presumed lost.

The Battle of Koromo River took place during the opening years of the Kamakura period (12th century) of Japan.

After the destruction of the Heike, Minamoto no Yoshitsune conflicted with his brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, and fled into Hiraizumi, Mutsu Province. He was sheltered by Northern Fujiwara's 3rd ruler Fujiwara no Hidehira. Hidehira appointed Yoshitsune as general to be opposed to Yoritomo, but he died of illness on October 29, 1187.

Yoritomo strongly pressured Fujiwara no Yasuhira, the 2nd son and successor of Hidehira, through the Imperial Court to arrest Yoshitsune. Against the will of his father, Yasuhira succumbed to the repeated pressure of Yoritomo. On June 15, 1189,[2] he led 500 soldiers to attack Yoshitsune and an entourage of servants in the Koromogawa no tachi residence. Yasuhira defeated Yoshitsune and his compatriot, Saitō no Musashibō Benkei.[3] Throughout the battle, Benkei defended his lord. Benkei supposedly died standing up, which caused great fear in his enemies. Yoshitsune himself committed suicide at the end of the battle.[4]


  1. ^ John Powell: Magill's Guide to Military History. Salem Press, 2001. pp. 1020 ISBN 0893560146
  2. ^ Sansom, George (1958). A History of Japan to 1334. Stanford University Press. pp. 326–327. ISBN 0804705232.
  3. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (2002). "IV Battles and Sieges". In John Gilbert. The Samurai Sourcebook (2000 Edition Reprint ed.). London: Cassell & Co. p. 205. ISBN 1-85409-523-4.
  4. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1977). The Samurai, A Military History. MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 83. ISBN 0026205408.