The battle of Anegawa

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The battle of Anegawa (姉川の戦い) is one of the famous battle scenes during Sengoku period. It happened at the north-east side of lake Biwa in July 30, 1570 between the Union of Oda-Tokugawa and the Union of Azai-Asakura. Anegawa is a small river that runs into Lake Biwa. This battle was the revenge of Oda Nobunaga against Azai Nagamasa who betrayed his own brother in law, Nobunaga. Nobunaga could won because of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu defeated Asakura even though Asakura had twice larger army than thin, since Nobunaga was losing by Nagamasa even he had only half of Nobunaga's army. So, it shows how strong the army of Ieyasu was strong during this period.

Tourist Info.
There is a board map that tells all the battle related spots at the battle field.
Most of the spots have parking, and some of them has restroom.

0. at Maibara Station.
1. use JR Hokuriku Line to Nagahama Station.
2. use bus to Anegawa Kosenjo.


周围的地图 The battle of Anegawa


Date: July 30, 1570.
Armies: The Union of Oda Nobunaga & Tokugawa Ieyasu v.s. The Union of Azai Nagamasa & Asakura Yoshikage.
25,000 vs 18,000
Winner: The Union Oda Tokugawa

The battle of Anegawa happens because Azai Nagamasa betrayed Oda Nobunaga. Azai Nagamasa married Oichi, the sister of Oda Nobunaga. Therefore, Oda and Azai formed an alliance.

However, when Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu were invading Echizen, the land of Asakura clan, Azai Nagamasa suddenly betrayed Nobunaga and attacked Nobunaga from back to cut off the retreat and military depot.

Nobunaga and his ally Ieyasu were just about defeated because of Nagamasaz’s betrayal. This battle is called the Battle of Kanagasaki. After Nobunaga escaped from Echizen to Kyoto, he immediately assembled his army and attacked the traitor.

Nobunaga assembled about 20,000 armies and order Ieyasu to join this battle. Ieyasu brought 5000 armies. They left July 9 at Gifu Castle. Nagamasa had 8,000 of his armies and asked Yoshikage for help. Yoshikage send his general, Asakura Kagetake, with his army 10,000 armies. This is where both armies meet just before the battle.

In July 29, Nobunaga surrounded Yokoyama Castle. It’s a branch castle of Oyama Castle that is the castle of Nagamasa. Nobunaga also settled his headquarter at Tatsugabana.

In easy morning in July 30, Azai and Asakura settled their headquarters on the north side of Anegawa river, and Ieyasu and Nobunaga settled their headquarters on the south side of Anegawa river. Ieyasu was facing against Asakura's army, and Nobunaga was facing against Nagamasa's army.

It is very famous that Nobunaga divided his army into 13 units and layered them in front of his headquarter.

At the sun rise, Ieyasu attacked Asakura, and Isono Kazumasa ran over the river and attacked Nobunaga. The battle was very aggressive, and both of the armies lost many soldiers. Around the noon, Kajiwara Yasumasa, Ieyasu's separate unite, attacked Asakura Kagetake from the side, and Kagetake's army fell into utter confusion. Then, Magara Jurozaemon Naotaka, the strongest warrior of Asakura clan was kill. Kagetaka lost his control of his army and retreated to Echizen.

At the same moment, Nagamasa broke 11 Nobunaga's units out of 13 units. Nobunaga was thinking his defeat again. However, as soon as Ieyasu defeated Asakura, he attacked Nagamasa from the side. Nagamasa couldn't hold the attack, and he also retreated to Odani Castle.

Nobunaga wanted to attack Odani castle and kill Nagamasa, but Odani castle was well known as the hardest mountain castle. So, he left Hashiba Hideyoshi to surround this castle.

2 years later, both Nagamasa and Asakura clan was abandoned by Nobunaga.