The Soga–Mononobe conflict was a political and military dispute that took place in Japan during the Asuka Period between the pro-Shinto Mononobe clan, led by Mononobe no Moriya, and the pro-Buddhist Soga clan, led by Soga no Umako, which would eventually emerge victorious in the year 587 AD.
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Battle at Mount Shigi
Although the circumstances under which the fighting took place are extremely murky, Takeshi Umehara notes that some ancient and medieval accounts say that the decisive battle took place in July of 587 near Mount Shigi.[A]
Between July 1st and 2nd the Soga are said to have been defeated in a series of engagements with the Mononobe, who, according to the Nihon Shoki, employed a type of fortification called an inaki, a palisade constructed from bundles of rice plants.
The Soga gradually retreated westward and by July 3rd the demoralized Soga troops had finally concentrated in the area between Mount Shigi and Mount Ikoma. Legend has it that at this point Prince Shotoku of the Soga cut down a sacred nuride tree, fashioned it into an image of the Four Heavenly Kings of Buddhism, and placed it on his forehead. Shotoku and Soga no Umako then both openly vowed to build a temple to the Four Heavenly Kings should they be victorious in the battle, which reenergized their men prior to the final confrontation. In this final battle the turning point came when a Soga archer, named by the Nihon Shoki as one Tomi no Obito Ichii, fired the arrow which killed Mononobe clan leader Mononobe no Moriya, after which his forces were quickly routed.
The main line of the Mononobe family, the most powerful opponent of Buddhism, was, together with its retainers killed in the battle. The survivors were dispersed, and some adopted a different name.
A The name of Mount Shigi where the battle took place has been written as both Shigisan and Shigisen and for this reason the battle has been referred to as the Battle of Shigisan or Battle of Shigisen.
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... and other families in the so-called Battle of Shigisan 信貴山, 587, ...
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- Christensen, Jack Arden (1981). Nichiren: Leader of Buddhist Reformation in Japan. Jain Publishing Company. p. 9. ISBN 0875730868.
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