The Uesugi were a Japanese feudal clan that were based in Echigo Province in northern Central Honshu, as well as the Kanto Region. The Uesugi were known for their warrior monks, loyal to Buddhism, and their famed leader Kenshin Uesugi was among their number. They suffered in the Sengoku Jidai of 1545-1615, losing a string of battles against Shingen Takeda of the Takeda such as at the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, Battle of Tonegawa, and others, and were crushed at the Battle of Tetorigawa in 1577.


The Uesugi clan were founded after divisions occurred with the Ogigayatsu Uesugi and Yamanouchi Uesugi clans. In 1545, there was a brief civil war, but time passed, and the rebellion was crushed. The young daimyo Kenshin Uesugi expanded his realm against southern clans but failed to capture Kawagoe Castle from the Hojo, a rival clan in Kanto Province, and warfare in central Japan devolved to a clash over the Kanto between the Uesugi, Hojo, Imagawa, and Takeda. They fought several times over the territory over the years, leaving the Uesugi defeated at the Battles of Kawanakajima, and when the rising Oda clan expanded eastwards, they were targeted as a major threat. After the fall of the Takeda at the Siege of Ueda in 1575, the Uesugi were crushed at the Battle of Tetorigawa in 1577 and Kenshin lay dead in the waters of the Tetori River. The Uesugi were forced to surrender to the Oda shortly after, and sent their general Kanetsugu Naoe to fight for the Toyotomi Shogunate when they took over following the Oda's fall in 1582. The Uesugi were allowed to form their own clan by the Toyotomi and had their own turf in Echigo, managed by Kagekatsu Uesugi, and in gratitude for Ieyasu Tokugawa's leniency with keeping their lands after the death of Hideyoshi Hashiba, they fought for the Tokugawa Eastern Army in 1600. At the Battle of Hasedo, they defeated Masamune Date and Keiji Maeda's forces, killing Maeda and beating the Western Army in one of few battles fought away from central Japan. Afterwards, the Uesugi continued to prosper in their lands in a relatively-peacefull period that followed the Battle of Sekigahara. Their collapse came with the fall of the Samurai in the Wars of the Meiji Restoration in the 1860s-1870s.