Talk:Battles of Kawanakajima

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4th Kawanakajima personal combat - Kenshin Vs. Shingen[edit]

It has been questioned if there really was a personal combat between Kenshin and Shingen during the 4th battle of Kawanakajima at all. There are theories that the rider was Kenshin's "Kagemusha", Arakawa Nagazane. And another source states that Shingen once told a monk that "the man who fought Kenshin at Kawanakajima that day was not me". So one, the other, both, or neither could have been kagemusha. It seems that the Koyo Gunkan is the only thing that actually states that it was both Shingen and Kenshin, while the Hokuetsu Gunki and the Kenshin Nenpu throw this into doubt. Just in case anyone was wondering. --Kuuzo 23:22, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Uesugi victorious?![edit]

Most sources state that that the 4th battle of Kawakanajima ended in a narrow victory for the Takeda, a stalemate at best. And if memory serves me right, the Uesugi actually suffered a higher percentage of casualties. Whoever put these revisions must have some 'hard-to'get' sources. We need concrete sources, solid facts... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dairokutenmaoh (talkcontribs) 07:18, 20 November 2006 (UTC).

My sources indicate a Takeda victory, if somewhat pyrrhic; Stephen Turnbull's "Samurai Sourcebook" indicates a 62% loss for Shingen, and 72% for Kenshin. Sansom, strangely, doesn't provide any account of the battle, only that it happened. LordAmeth 21:59, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Were the casualties really so high?[edit]

Given that shortly after the battle of Kawanakajima both Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin were actively campaigning against other clans in the area, is it possible to believe the estimates of the casualties sustained by both armies? While the idea of such a large scale battle is certainly appealling, it is most unlikely that Kenshin and Shingen, adveseries who had a huge amount of respect for one another and were known to have fought largely indecisive battles in the past, would risk such large casualties as 60-70% of their total forces. The other engagements at Kawanakajima were not very bloody and instead were tentative competitions to gain tactical stratgeic advantage.

1st Kawanakajima: "no decisive battle was fought." From Wikipedia 2nd Kawanakajima: Kenshin makes a number of half-hearted assaults on Asahiyama fortress before leaving it be and heading to face Shingen on the plain at Hachimanbara where they stare each other down. No decisve battle was fought. 3rd Kawanakajima: "Takeda Shingen captured a fortress called Katsurayama, overlooking the Zenkoji temple from the north-west. He then attempted to take Iiyama castle, but withdrew after Uesugi Kenshin led an army out of Zenkoji." From Wikipedia 5th Kawanakajima: "In 1564, Shingen and Kenshin met for the fifth and final time on the plain of Kawanakajima. Their forces skirmished for 60 days, and then both withdrew." From Wikipedia

As you can see there were no decisive actions at Kawanakajima between Shingen and Kenshin and none of them were anything more than skirmishes excpet the fourth battle, supposedly. It is likely that the 4th was the most bloody and the most exciting in the tactics employed. However, is it not equally likely that the battle has been dramatised for the purposes of propaganda or to make the tale more dramatic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.197.51.90 (talkcontribs) 07:50, 26 June 2007

It is not only likely, it is definite, that contemporary sources and those from the Edo period (17th-19th centuries) exaggerated and dramatized the events. And it does seem likely that Dr Turnbull, one of our chief English-language sources on such things, hasn't fully done his homework and properly accounted for these exaggerations. It's the nature of the game, I suppose; I do not personally myself have any other sources that indicate a particularly different story. The numbers may be smaller, but the overall shape of the narrative, as far as I can tell, as far as I am aware, is pretty accurate. Whether the numbers (both original strength and extent of losses) were as great as some of the sources make them out to be, I have no idea. But I do not doubt that this was a major battle, not a minor skirmish, and an important and significant event in the narrative of the Shingen-Kenshin conflict, and therefore of the Sengoku period as a whole. LordAmeth 23:00, 26 June 2007 (UTC)


I don't know why the "Samurai Sourcebook" made such an obvious error on the casualties, but i had it corrected following what is given by the Japanese wikipedia. 67.174.229.124 (talk) 15:25, 15 September 2008 (UTC)