Battle of Kawasaki

Battle of Kawasaki
Part of the Zenkunen War
LocationKawasaki, Mutsu province
Result Abe victory
Minamoto forces Abe forces
Commanders and leaders
Minamoto no Yoriyoshi, Minamoto no Yoshiie Abe no Sadato
1800 4000

The battle of Kawasaki was the first major battle of the Early Nine Years' War (Zenkunen War) (1051-1063). It was fought between the forces of the Abe clan, led by Abe no Sadato, and those of the Minamoto clan, acting as agents of the Imperial Court, and led by Minamoto no Yoriyoshi and his eighteen-year-old son Yoshiie.

Much of the battle took place during a snowstorm, and consisted of Minamoto assaults on Abe no Sadato's entrenched army of 4000 warriors.[1] In the end, the Minamoto were driven off, due to a combination of Abe resistance and the weather, and were pursued through the blizzard by Sadato and his men. "In the end only six officers on horseback were left. These were Yoshiie, Junior Secretary of Palace Repairs Fujiwara no Kagemichi, Oyake no Mitsuto, Kiyohara no Sadahiro, Fujiwara no Norisue and Noriakira."[2][3]

The Mutsu Waki states, "The 200 horse-riding rebels half-circled and attacked them from the solid left and right wings, shooting arrows like rain. But Yoshiie kept shooting down enemy commanders. Finally, the rebels, deciding that these men were gods, retreated, so Yoriyoshi's men were also able to retreat."[3]


  1. Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 199. ISBN 1854095234.
  2. Sansom, George (1958). A history of Japan to 1334. Stanford University Press. pp. 249–251. ISBN 0804705232.
  3. 1 2 Sato, Hiroaki (1995). Legends of the Samurai. Overlook Duckworth. pp. 97–98. ISBN 9781590207307.

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