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Battle of Kochi
Samurai battle
Conflict: Warring States Period
Date: 1545
Place: near Kochi, Tosa Province
Outcome: Chosokabe victory
Combatants

Kono Kono

Chosokabe Chosokabe

Commanders

Michinao Kono
Yorikata Kono

Ietoyo Kira

Strength

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Casualties

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The Battle of Kochi was an engagement between the Kira-Chosokabe of Tosa Province and the Kono clan of Iyo Province. The Chosokabe, led by regent Ietoyo Kira, smashed the Kono by using concealed archers to whittle down the enemy before they came within range of the weak Yari Ashigaru spearmen.

The Campaign

Ietoyo Kira

Ietoyo Kira

The Kono clan of Iyo Province was a powerful feudal clan who were led by Michinao Kono, a mighty warlord who had been fighting against the Ichijo and their vassals, the Chosokabe. In 1545, the Chosokabe overthrew the Ichijo and took over Tosa Province, led by Kunichika Chosokabe. When Kunichika died in battle with Fusamoto Ichijo at the Tosa Fields, it became evident that it was time for their downfall, as they had quickly declined. The invasion force had 700 troops, all led by Michinao, but commanded in the field by his son, Yorikata Kono. The Kono fielded a powerful force, made up of samurai, while the Chosokabe mastered the bow and were Ashigaru. The Chosokabe, led by regent Ietoyo Kira, had 500 Ashigaru bowmen and spearmen, mainly farmers who were recruited to defend their lands and loved ones. The Kono troops made their way into Tosa in the autumn, leaving Iyo in summer. They were just outside the capital city's gates when Ietoyo led his troops out of Kochi Castle in a counterattack.

Dispositions

The Kono had 700 troops, mainly consisting of samurai infantry, but also including the personal bodyguards of Michinao and Yorikata. They were on the offensive, so they did not have the advantage of defense, much less costlier. Meanwhile, the Chosokabe had weaker infantry, but had their skilled bowmen, their advantage over other clans. Their bow samurai and bow Ashigaru proved superior to the enemy. Ietoyo Kira was at the head of a samurai regiment, leading from the front. The Yari Ashigaru were deployed in front of the woods, with the archers behind them and concealed inside the brush and trees.

Battle

Michinao Kono sent his main body of troops under Yorikata to attack the seemingly demoralized Chosokabe Yari Ashigaru, whose spears were practically ineffective against the swords of their samurai troops. Yorikata's bodyguard unit of horsemen charged alongside the force advancing, expecting an easy victory. However, they were met by a rain of arrows, killing many of the Kono troops. The Kono men who reached the spears were cut down, and Yorikata was slain. Michinao led the other 200 troops into battle, and was wounded in the leg. The Chosokabe routed the enemy, and the battle was won for them. This made Ietoyo Kira a hero, but he would only be regent until 1546, when Sanefusa Mototsura became daimyo, taking the name Chosokabe.

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