Gochi-in no Tajima

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Gochi-in no Tajima (五智院 但馬?), called Tajima the arrow-cutter, was a warrior monk from Mii-dera who fought alongside the Minamoto clan forces, and many of his fellow Mii-dera monks at the Battle of Uji in 1180.

The bridge over the Uji River was torn up by Tajima's fellow sōhei, but the attacking Taira forces were still shooting arrows, and were still threatening to cross the river. Tajima is said to have stood upon the bridge and, spinning his naginata, deflected many if not most of the arrows that came his way.[1]

According to the Heike Monogatari,

"Then Gochi-in Tajima, throwing away the sheath of his long naginata, strode forth alone on to the bridge, whereupon the Heike straightaway shot at him fast and furious. Tajima, not at all perturbed, ducking to avoid the higher ones and leaping up over those that flew low, cut through those that flew straight with his whirring naginata, so that even the enemy looked on in admiration. Thus it was that he was dubbed 'Tajima the arrow-cutter'."


  1. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1977). The Samurai, A Military History. MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 44-46. ISBN 0026205408.