What's new

Oda Nobunaga's Nagashino Encampment

Welcome to our Japan community!

A discussion forum for all Things Japanese. Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Highway archaeology at its finest: Nagashino Shitaragahara Parking Area along Shin Tomei Highway cuts across a historic battlefield scattered with countless sites commemorating one of the most momentous Sengoku-era battles, the Battle of Nagashino (1575).


View of the location where the final skirmishes of the Battle of Nagashino took place.

The Battle of Nagashino (長篠の戦い Nagashino no Tatakai) took place at Nagashino Castle in Mikawa Province. The castle had been under siege by Takeda Shingen's son, Katsuyori, as it threatened the Takeda supply lines. Okudaira Sadamasa, a vassal of Tokugawa Ieyasu, commanded the defence. Both Tokugawa and Oda Nobunaga sent troops to lift the siege, and Takeda Katsuyori was defeated, spelling the beginning of the end of the Takeda clan.

At the end of the Sengoku period, Takeda Katsuyori became Oda Nobunaga's main rival. He proceeded with his army against Oda's allies. Tokugawa Ieyasu had already conquered Nagashino Castle in 1574. In 1575, Takeda Katsuyori tried to recapture the castle as a springboard for an offensive against Mikawa province and laid siege to Nagashino Castle with about 15,000 men. Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu led a relief army of 30,000 men, consisting mainly of ashigaru, 3,000 of which were equipped with arquebuses. The Takeda army was known for its fearsome cavalry force. Oda Nobunaga had his relief army build a palisade three kilometres long. The position was positioned between a river and mountainous terrain and, together with the castle, took away the space for the Takeda cavalry to manoeuvre over long distances. Takeda Katsuyori, believing his elite warriors to be superior to the ashigaru, ordered a frontal assault. The Takeda brought five waves of attack on the relief army's position, reinforced by spearmen, archers and samurai. After the fifth wave of attack, the Takeda retreated due to heavy losses. They lost about 10,000 men, two-thirds of its troops employed in the siege. Eight of his famous 24 generals were killed in battle, including Yamagata Masakage and Oyamada Nobushige.

Oda's western tactics and firearms were seen as a turning point in Japanese warfare. Many historians call it Japan's first 'modern' battle. Takeda's cavalry charge represented the old, traditional form of warfare. Ironically, however, it was only introduced by his father, Takeda Shingen, less than a generation earlier. Before that, one-on-one samurai battles were more common. Nagashino was the decisive military defeat for the 'eastern triumvirate' consisting of the Hōjō, the Imagawa and the Takeda (Imagawa Ujizane had already been eliminated). Subsequently, the 'three unifiers' (Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu) eliminated the remaining warlords and ushered in the Edo period.

Chausuyama Inari shrine (茶臼山稲荷神社)

Nagashino Shitaragahara Parking Area

The encampment of Oda Nobunaga is situated on Mount Chausu (茶臼山) and marked by a small Shintō shrine, Chausuyama Inari shrine (茶臼山稲荷神社).

Chausuyama Inari shrine (茶臼山稲荷神社)

Chausuyama Inari shrine (茶臼山稲荷神社)

Chausuyama Inari shrine (茶臼山稲荷神社)

Chausuyama Inari shrine (茶臼山稲荷神社)

In May 1575, Nobunaga moved his headquarters from Gokurakuji (極楽寺) in Uehirai to Chausuyama to prepare for the decisive battle in Shitarahara.

Ruins of the Oda Nobunaga Battle Encampment (織田信長戦地本陣跡)

The monument below depicts a poem Nobunaga composed to express his feelings before the battle, a rare feat in Japanese warlords.

Nobunaga's poem

「きつねなく 声もうれしくきこゆなり 松風清き 茶臼山かね」


Nobunaga-themed vending machines.

Who said a highway stop couldn't be historically stimulating, too? :)

Disclaimer: All photos were taken with my former iPhone 6, hence not of the best quality.
  • oda-nobunaga-encampment-02.jpg
    219.7 KB · Views: 118
  • oda-nobunaga-encampment-03.jpg
    161.9 KB · Views: 112
  • oda-nobunaga-encampment-10.jpg
    147.3 KB · Views: 119
  • oda-nobunaga-encampment-11.jpg
    168.6 KB · Views: 3,526
  • Like
Reactions: Majestic


Journal entry information

Read time
3 min read
Last update

More entries in Travel & Nature

More entries from thomas

Top Bottom