[via Japan Probe]

The Battle of Nagashino (長篠の戦い ,Nagashino no Tatakai) took place in 1575 near Nagashino Castle (長篠城) on the plain of Shitaragahara (設楽原) in the Mikawa province (三河) of Japan. The castle had been under siege by Takeda Katsuyori (武田勝頼) since the 17th of June; Okudaira Sadamasa (奥平貞昌), a Tokugawa vassal, commanded the defending force. Both Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康) and Oda Nobunaga (織田信長) sent troops to alleviate the siege and Takeda Katsuyori (武田勝頼) was defeated.

The victory of Oda’s Western-style tactics and firearms over Takeda’s cavalry charge is often cited as a turning point in Japanese warfare; many cite it as the first ‘modern’ Japanese battle. In fact, the cavalry charge had been introduced only a generation earlier by Takeda’s father, Takeda Shingen (武田信玄). Furthermore, firearms had already been used in other battles. Oda Nobunaga’s innovation was the wooden stockades and rotating volleys of fire which led to a decisive victory at Nagashino.

The Battle of Nagashino and the last years of the Takeda clan are dramatised in Akira Kurosawa’s 1980 film Kagemusha (Shadow Warrior).

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14 thoughts on “Modern Samurai: Gun vs Sword

  1. The picture at the top of this post (two pink haired girls, gun vs sword image), what anime is that from? I’ve tried checking Gun X Sword but I’m not sure if that’s right or not.

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