Battle of Yahagi-gawa
The Battle of Yahagi-gawa took place in 1181. Retreating from the Battle of Sunomata-gawa, Minamoto no Yukiie attempted to make a stand by destroying the bridge over the Yahagi River and putting up a defensive shieldwall, he was forced to withdraw in the end, but the Taira pursuit was soon called off when their leader, fell ill
Battle of Ishibashiyama
The Battle of Ishibashiyama was the first in which Minamoto no Yoritomo, who became shōgun less than a decade was commander of the Minamoto forces. The battle was fought on September 14, 1180, in the southwest of present-day Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, near Yoritomo's headquarters at Kamakura. Yoritomo was exiled by Taira no Kiyomori following the Heiji Rebellion of 1160. In the following years, the Taira clan attempted to consolidate their position forcing the Emperor Takakura to abdicate in favour of his infant son, whose mother was a Taira. Prince Mochihito felt that the throne should have been his, in May 1180, issued an appeal to the Minamoto clan to rise against the Taira; when Kiyomori heard that Yoritomo had left Izu Province for the Hakone Pass, he appointed Ōba Kagechika to stop him. Although there was much sympathy for Yoritomo's call to arms, the clans were wary of supporting him and an army of only 300 gathered at Ishibashiyama where he had raised his standard. A force from the Miura clan was prevented from reaching Yoritomo by the Sakawa River, in flood.
Kiyomori launched a night attack on the Minamato camp with 3,000 men. A further 300 under Itō Sukechika attacked from the rear; the defenders were aided by elements of Kiyomori's force who were secretly loyal to the Minamato and who could disrupt the battle without detection in the dark and stormy conditions. However, sheer weight of numbers soon told and the Minamato made a fighting retreat, culminating in a final stand by a hollow tree; when all was lost, Yoritomo is said to have hidden inside the tree trunk with a single companion. Here he was smuggled from the battlefield. Yoritomo fled by sea from Cape Manazuru to Awa Province in the south of present-day Chiba Prefecture on September 28, 1180
Battle of Dan-no-ura
The battle of Dan-no-ura was a major sea battle of the Genpei War, occurring at Dan-no-ura, in the Shimonoseki Strait off the southern tip of Honshū. On April 25, 1185, the fleet of the Minamoto clan, led by Minamoto no Yoshitsune, defeated the fleet of the Taira clan; the morning rip tide was an advantage to the Taira in the morning but turned to their disadvantage in the afternoon. The young Emperor Antoku was one of those; the Taira were outnumbered, but some sources say that they had the advantage over the Minamoto in understanding the tides of that particular area, as well as naval combat tactics in general. The Taira split their fleet into three squadrons, while their enemy arrived en masse, their ships abreast, archers ready; the beginning of the battle consisted of a long-range archery exchange, before the Taira took the initiative, using the tides to help them try to surround the enemy ships. They engaged the Minamoto, the archery from a distance gave way to hand-to-hand combat with swords and daggers after the crews of the ships boarded each other.
However, the tide changed, the advantage was given back to the Minamoto. One of the crucial factors that allowed the Minamoto to win the battle was that a Taira general, Taguchi Shigeyoshi and attacked the Taira from the rear, he revealed to the Minamoto which ship the six-year-old Emperor Antoku was on. Their archers turned their attention to the helmsmen and rowers of the Emperor's ship, as well as the rest of their enemy's fleet, sending their ships out of control. Many of the Taira committed suicide. Among those who perished this way were Antoku and his grandmother, Nun of the Second Rank, the widow of Taira no Kiyomori. To this day, the Heike Crabs found in the Straits of Shimonoseki are considered by the Japanese to hold the spirits of the Taira warriors; the Taira attempted to toss the imperial regalia off the ship but only managed to get the sword and jewel into the water before the ship holding the regalia was captured. The jewel was recovered by divers; this decisive defeat of the Taira forces led to the end of the Taira bid for control of Japan.
Minamoto no Yoritomo, the elder half-brother of Minamoto Yoshitsune, became the first shōgun, establishing his military government in Kamakura. In this battle the Taira lost Taira Tomomori, Taira Noritsune, Taira Norimori, Taira Tsunemori, Taira Sukemori, Taira Arimori and Taira Yukimori, who were killed. In 1965, a dramatized version of the battle dated for March 24, 1185, appeared as part of the movie Kwaidan. In his book and television series Cosmos, Carl Sagan presents a brief, dramatic account of the battle in chapter/episode 2. Sagan uses the Heike crabs as examples of artificial selection. In the anime film Pom Poko, by Studio Ghibli, one of the venerable Shape-Shifting Tanuki Masters is an eyewitness to the battle and delights in telling the Tama Tanuki of his exploits, where he was responsible for firing the first critical shot of the battle disguised as one of the mounted archers. In Sukiyaki Western Django, this battle is referred to as part of the film's backstory; the battle is recounted near the beginning of the Usagi Yojimbo story arc Grasscutter.
The Japanese anime, Angolmois: Genkō Kassen-ki depicts the battle in a historical flashback and provides an alternative story where the young emperor survived the sea. Media related to Battle of Dan-no-ura at Wikimedia Commons ShimonosekiBooks: Stephen Turnbull: Fighting Ships of the Far East: Japan and Korea AD 612–1639. Osprey Publishing 2012, pp. 41–42 Other: According to Shimonoseki City Information:"In the Middle Age, the last battle between the Genji clan and the Heike clan broke out in Dannoura on 24 March 1185 and Yoshitsune won the battle by using the tides. On the other hand, Emperor Antoku died with three sacred treasures and the Heike clan was ruined."Opera: "The battle is the subject of an opera by the Thai-American composer S. P. Somtow. Called Dan no Ura, the opera premiered in Bangkok in 2014." Stephen Turnbull: Samurai - The World of the Warrior. Osprey Publishing 2006, pp. 34–38 Excerpt from the City of Shimonoseki homepage http://www.city.shimonoseki.yamaguchi.jp/seisaku/kokusai/y_english/history/ Gaskin and Vince Hawkins.'The Ways Of The Samurai'.
New York: Barnes & Noble Books
The Nagara River has its source in the city of Gujō, Gifu Prefecture, its mouth in the city of Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Along with the Kiso River and Ibi River, the Nagara River is one of the Kiso Three Rivers of the Nōbi Plain; the river was named Sunomata River. With a length of 166 km, it drains an area of 1,985 square kilometres in the Chūbu region and empties into Ise Bay; the government of Japan classifies it as a Class 1 river. Famous for being a clear-flowing river, it has been named one of the "Three Clear-Flowing Rivers in Japan," along with the Kakita River in Shizuoka Prefecture and the Shimanto River in Kōchi Prefecture. In 1985, the middle section of the Nagara River was named to "Japan's 100 Famous Waters." It was included among Japan's top bathing areas in both 1988 and 2001. The river is a popular tourist destination because of Nagaragawa Onsen, a collection of natural hot springs that are known for their high iron content. Downstream, the Nagara River diverges with the Kiso and Ibi rivers at multiple times.
Though the Nagara River is considered part of the Kiso River system, various construction projects over the years have kept the two rivers separate all the way to the mouth of the river. Other construction projects had changed the flow of the river, too. Up until the Shōwa period, two minor rivers diverged from the Nagara River in the heart of the city of Gifu, but construction in 1939 created the current path of the river through the system; as a result of this construction, about 160 ha of land was recovered, upon which the Gifu Memorial Center and other buildings were built. Cormorant fishing is an ancient tradition in which cormorants are used to catch various fish in lakes and rivers. Cormorant fishing takes place in two cities: Gifu, where it is called "Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River," and Seki, where it is called "Oze Cormorant Fishing". Though eleven other places in Japan host cormorant fishing, only the fishing masters on the Nagara River are Imperial Fishermen of the Household Agency.
The river passes through or forms the boundary of the following communities: Gifu Prefecture Gujō, Seki, Mizuho, Ōgaki, Wanouchi, Kaizu Aichi Prefecture Aisai Mie Prefecture Kuwana Battle of Nagaragawa Battle of Sunomatagawa 35°04′05″N 136°42′22″E
The Yahagi River is a river that flows from Nagano Prefecture's Mount Ōkawairi, through Gifu Prefecture, enters Mikawa Bay from Aichi Prefecture in Japan. It is one of Japan's first-class rivers. After flowing south from Mount Ōkawairi, the river enters Gifu Prefecture and forms the prefectural border with Aichi Prefecture between the cities of Ena and Toyota. Downstream, the Yahagifuru River follows the original path of the river; the river forms the border between the cities of Hekinan when it flows into Mikawa Bay. Nagano Prefecture Neba, Hiraya Gifu Prefecture Ena Aichi Prefecture Toyota, Anjō, Hekinan Japanese cruiser Yahagi 34°49′14″N 136°58′14″E
Battle of Uji (1180)
The first battle of Uji is famous and important for having opened the Genpei War. In early 1180, Prince Mochihito, the Minamoto Clan's favored claimant to the Imperial Throne, was chased by Taira forces to the Mii-dera, a temple just outside Kyoto. Due to the interference of a Mii-dera monk with Taira sympathies, the Minamoto army arrived too late to help defend the temple. Minamoto no Yorimasa and Prince Mochihito, along with a force of about fifteen hundred men including the warrior monks of Mii-dera and the Watanabe clan, fled south towards Nara, they crossed the Uji River, just outside the Byōdō-in, tore up the planks of the bridge behind them to prevent the Taira following them. Three warrior monks in particular are named in the Heike Monogatari: Gochi-in no Tajima, Tsutsui Jōmyō Meishū, Ichirai Hōshi; these three, along with the other monks of Mii-dera, fought with bow and arrow, a variety of swords and daggers, naginata. As for the Heike troops, they were led by Ashikaga Tadatsuna, one of the few warrior of direct Minamoto descent who stayed loyal to his oath to the Taira family when it was crumbling around him, until he and his father were murdered by one of their retainers, Kiryū Rokurō.
A young hero of 18 years old, Tadatsuna is remembered as having the strength of hundred men, a voice echoed over 10 li, teeth of 1 sun long. Describing it as such, Azuma Kagami further stated that "there will be no warrior in future ages like this Tadatsuna." Led by their young general, the Taira force soon began to ford the river and caught up with the Minamoto. Tadatsuna was the first warrior on the frontline, gallantly proclaimed his name and lineage before charging the enemies, as it was the traditional custom. Yorimasa tried to help the Imperial Prince get away, but was struck with an arrow in the right elbow. While his sons and Kanetsuna were dying to fend off the enemies eager for the old man's head, Yorimasa committed seppuku."Yorimasa committed hara-kiri in a way, to set the standard for generations to come."As for Prince Mochihito, he was captured and killed shortly afterwards by the Taira warriors. Turnbull, Stephen. Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603. Oxford: Osprey Publishing