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Previous: Siege of Kyoto
Concurrent: Battle of Fushimi Castle, Battle of Otsu Castle, Battle of Hasedo, Battle of Ishigaki Plains, Battle of Numata Castle
Next: Battle of Sekigahara
Battle of Kuzegawa
Sakon Shima at Kuzegawa
Conflict: Sekigahara Campaign
Date: 1600
Place: Kuze River, Shinano Province
Outcome: Indecisive:
*Western raid succeeds
*Motochika Chosokabe dies
*Western Army morale rises
Combatants

Ishida Western Army:
*Tachibana Tachibana
*Chosokabe Chosokabe

Tokugawa Eastern Army
*Tokugawa Tokugawa
*Honda Honda

Commanders

Mitsunari Ishida
Sakon Shima
Ginchiyo Tachibana
Motochika Chosokabe

Tadakatsu Honda
Kazuhide Nakamura
Toyouji Arima
Tanomo Noisshiki

Strength

1,300 troops

6,000 troops

Casualties

unknown

4,000 dead

The Battle of Kuzegawa (or Kusegawa) was a raid on the Eastern Army's camp by the Western Army during the Sekigahara Campaign of 1600. The plan was to attack the camp in order to increase morale for the Western Army, who were demoralized due to scant enthusiasm for volunteering to join them. Although Motochika Chosokabe died in battle, Tadakatsu Honda's force lost several troops in action and morale rose significantly.

Background

The Sekigahara Campaign started in 1600 when Ieyasu Tokugawa and Mitsunari Ishida quarrelled over the succession of Hideyoshi Hashiba, who had united Japan by the time of his death in 1598. Ieyasu led the Eastern Army and Mitsunari Ishida led the Western Army, confronting each other at Sekigahara on the fog-ridden Jinba Plains. While there was a standoff there, battles occured all over Japan between Toyotomi loyalists and Tokugawa liberals. The first battle was at Fushimi Castle.

Mitsunari and Ieyasu stared at each other's armies across the plains, at least whoever they could see through the thick fog. Skirmishes occurred as scouting parties fought, but only one battle occured. The first one occured at Kuzegawa.

Battle

Western Army strategist Sakon Shima devised a plan to launch a raid on the Tokugawa Army's camp on the Kuze River, where Tadakatsu Honda and around 10,000 troops were encamped. With 13,000 troops, the Western Army had the advantage. They succeeded in wounding several enemies, but Tadakatsu ordered Tanomo Noisshiki's unit to withdraw to avoid suffering more casualties, and the Tokugawa reformed their ranks. The Western Army succeeded in routing Tanomo's force, but from then on, they had no idea of what they were going to do next. The Eastern Army counterattacked, wounding Motochika Chosokabe, but were repelled. Tadakatsu Honda tried to murder Mitsunari Ishida during this attack, but failed to do so, as General Ginchiyo Tachibana rescued him. No further attacks were made, and the battle ended, leaving things the way they were before, except Motochika died of natural causes (or mortal wounds) after the battle.

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