Battle of Kanegasaki (the period of the Northern and Southern Courts) (金ヶ崎の戦い (南北朝時代))

The Battle of Kanegasaki, was a battle between the troop of the Southern Court (Japan) led by Yoshisada NITTA who held Kanegasaki-jo Castle in Echizen Province (Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture), and the troop of the Northern Court (Japan) led by Takatsune SHIBA who attacked the castle, from 1336 to 1337 in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan).

In May 1336, the Southern Court (Japan) side was defeated by the Northern Court (Japan) side led by Takauji ASHIKAGA in the Battle of Minato-gawa River, and escaped to Mt. Hiei. Yoshisada NITTA descended the mountain with two imperial princes of the Emperor Godaigo: the Imperial Prince Tsuneyoshi and the Imperial Prince Takayoshi, and successfully escaped to the Hokuriku region where they were welcomed by Ujiharu KEHI who was Guji (chief of those who serves shrine, controls festivals and general affairs) of Kehi-jingu Shrine, then entered Kanegasaki-jo Castle in Echizen Province (Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture) on November 24.

Immediately after Yoshisada entered the castle, the Northern Court led by Echizen no kuni shugo (the Governor of Echizen Province) Takatsune SHIBA besieged the Kanegasaki-jo Castle. Takatsune struggled to conquer the Kanegasaki-jo Castle which had a strong defense, and he started to starve them out. The following year, in 1337, Takauji sent reinforcements including KO no Moroyasu and carried out the violent attacks. In order to call for reinforcements for them, Yoshisada escaped from the Kanegasaki-jo Castle where the provisions had run out, leaving the two imperial princes and his eldest son Yoshiaki NITTA. However, Yoshisada could not return to the Kanegasaki-jo Castle because the Northern Court side obstructed him in his way.

The Northern Court side invaded the Kanegasaki-jo Castle on April 12. Johei (castle garrisons) were killed one after another due to famine and fatigue caused by the starvation tactics, and the castle fell on April 15. The Imperial Prince Takayoshi and Yoshiaki NITTA killed themselves and the Imperial Prince Tsuneyoshi was arrested by the Northern Court side.

[Original Japanese]