Battle of Kotesashi (1333)

The Battle of Kotesashi (小手指ヶ原の戦い, Kotesashi-gahara no tatakai) was part of the decisive Kōzuke-Musashi Campaign during the Genkō War in Japan that ultimately ended the Kamakura Shogunate. Fought in present-day Tokorozawa, Saitama on May 11, 1333, it pitted the anti-shogunate imperial forces led by Nitta Yoshisada against the pro-Shogunate forces of the Hōjō Regency led by Sakurada Sadakuni. The next day (May 12), the forces again engaged each other in the Battle of Kumegawa. The result of these two days was a victory for the Imperial forces who in less than one week marched 50 kilometers south and finally defeated the Shōgun's forces during the Siege of Kamakura.[2]

Battle of Kotesashi
Part of the Kamakura period
Kotesashi Battlefield Monument September 2008.jpg
Battle of Kotesashi monument
DateMay 11, 1333
Kotesashi, present-day Tokorozawa, Saitama Japan
35°47′49.35″N 139°25′23.23″E / 35.7970417°N 139.4231194°E / 35.7970417; 139.4231194
Result Victory for the Imperial Forces
Japanese Crest mitu Uroko.svg Forces loyal to the Kamakura Shogunate Imperial Seal of Japan.svg Forces loyal to the Emperor Go-Daigo
Commanders and leaders
Japanese Crest mitu Uroko.svg Sakurada Sadakuni[1] Japanese Crest Nitta hitotu Hiki.svg Nitta Yoshisada

The battleEdit

On May 11, opposing forces were drawn up on opposite sides of the Iruma River. In the morning of the May 11, the Imperial forces crossed the river and opened their attack with an archery barrage. The Shogunate forces responded in kind. This was followed by both sides sending in their mounted warriors in multiple waves throughout the day.


The results were indecisive with both forces drawing away at the day's end to set up camp and rest. The losses on both sides appear to be modest with a slight advantage to the Imperial forces. It was apparent to both sides that the battle would continue the next day. The Imperial forces camped by the Iruma River and forces of the Shōgun some 5 kilometers away at the Kume River.[3]


The Battle of Kotesashi was immediately followed on the next day by the Battle of Kumegawa.


  • McCullough, Helen Craig (1959). "The Taiheiki. A Chronicle of Medieval Japan." 1959. Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo, ISBN 0-8048-3538-1.
  • Papinot, E. (1910). "Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan." 1972 Printing. Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo, ISBN 0-8048-0996-8.


  1. ^ Painot, E (1910) p. 314
  2. ^ McCullough, Helen Craig (1959): pp. 274-285.
  3. ^ The exact location of the Kume River is not known as it does not appear on modern maps. Rather, there is an area on the border of Saitama and Tokyo named Kume River (久米川, Kumegawa) where the battle was fought. There is more than one river that runs through this area.

Coordinates: 35°47′49.35″N 139°25′23.23″E / 35.7970417°N 139.4231194°E / 35.7970417; 139.4231194