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Battle of Tedorigawa
Tedorigawa in Samurai Warriors 5
Date November 5, 1577
Location Tedorigawa (found in modern Hakusan, Ishikawa)
Result Uesugi victory and Oda army retreat; historically unclear.
Uesugi Oda
Kenshin Uesugi Nobunaga Oda
Katsuie Shibata

The Battle of Tedorigawa (手取川の戦い, Tedorigawa no Tatakai) is a supposed encounter between Kenshin and Nobunaga. It's famously known as Kenshin's decisive victory over the latter before his death.

There are few records for the encounter and it's unknown if it actually occurred or if it's an overblown exaggeration of events. Proponents for the battle often claim that it was a victory for the Uesugi army, but recently historical records have been reexamined and they don't state the facts needed to clearly support who was the victor.

Role in Games[]

Samurai Warriors[]

In Samurai Warriors 2, the Uesugi side has Kenshin and Kanetsugu appear before Nobunaga's arrival on the field. Katsuie is confident in his army's numbers and tells his men to charge, but Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi hold their troops back. An order to destroy the floodgates in the south is issued by Kenshin, which requires Mitsuhide and Mornori Andō's swift defeat at Funaoka Castle. If the river floods the field, the map subtly changes as some of the bridges in the central area are submerged. Depending on when the gates are broken, Katsuie will either state that it was bad luck or pushes onward with the last of his strength. The Oda army lowers and the commander is vulnerable without any close generals to help him. Hideyoshi temporarily retreats at this time, later appearing to attack Kagekatsu. When Nobunaga arrives, and Oichi attempt to cross the river and a secondary mission to stop them is given while they're on their march. After Ranmaru is defeated, Nobunaga's main camp is open and victory is easy to claim from there.

If the players rush across the river and ignore the flood gates, they can defeat Hideyoshi and Katsuie early. Nobunaga's arrival thereafter has the Uesugi abort the water attack.

The Oda side of the battle has Nobunaga send Hideyoshi and Katsuie to counter Kenshin's army. When they falter, their leader decides to personally ride out. Upon his arrival, Nobunaga orders his stranded allies to fall back on the western bank. Hideyoshi, Katsuie, Toshiie, Nagahide Niwa, and Kazumasu Takigawa are the specific generals needed to be rescued for Nobunaga's full counteroffensive. As the players do so, Mitsuhide is given the task of wiping out the Honganji Rioters in Funaoka Castle. He hesitates to follow his lord's rule and questions his own desires, eventually leaving from the field. His departure lowers ally morale and triggers Kenshin's plan to close the gates. Defeating Kanetsugu before he reaches Funaoka Castle saves the men and battlefield from more damage. As the charge from both armies commences, Kagekatsu and a small band of Ikko Rebels endanger the main camp.

If Nobunaga's army fails to save officers, then a large band of Ikko Rebels appear as Shigenaga Honjo's reinforcements and place Hideyoshi in danger. Failing to stop Kanetsugu triggers Uesugi reinforcements and makes the central bridges accessible once more. Kenshin orders his army to charge, putting the Oda army at a disadvantage.

The Oda Scenario in Samurai Warriors 3 is exclusive to Motochika's story, where he is teaming with Mitsuhide. In the Moushouden expansion, it is also in Ranmaru and Katsuie's story. As for the Uesugi side, is only available to Kenshin and Kanetsugu. In the Moushouden expansion, it is available in Aya's story.

In Samurai Warriors 4, it is only playable through the Uesugi faction and part of the battle is also based on taking the castle of Tedorigawa from the Cho forces who have surrendered to the Oda. Although Nobunaga himself arrives in the battle, Katsuie acts as the enemy commander for the campaign unlike previous titles. Also, Motochika is omitted from the Oda side. This battle also starts the ongoing rivalry between Aya and .

Warriors Orochi[]

During Shu's sixth gaiden in the first game, Musashi and band of swordsmen are surrounded by the Orochi army lead by Mitsunari. They are heavily surrounded and are saved by the then wandering Meng Huo and Zhu Rong. To help tip the odds in their favor, Musashi suggests opening the gates at Fukaoka Castle while he asks the Shu army to help his swordsmen rivals. Lu Bu stands guard at the flood gate. Either eradicating the enemy army or opening the flood gate boosts the ally morale to charge Mitsunari's camp. Orochi reinforcements appear as the ally forces approach Mitsunari, but wiping them out is optional.

To recruit Musashi, the player needs to quickly open the flood gate while simultaneously protecting his comrades.

Warriors Orochi 3 changes some of the map. Almost all the roads in the west are impassable. To rid Ma Chao of his pain over the death of Huang Zhong, Pang De takes him there to steal a catapult from the Serpent army.

During another chapter, Benkei and Xu Huang both decide to train and recruit new officers within the area, only to be interrupted by a battle between the demon army and Yueying's juggernauts. Later, she appears herself, enraged at the destruction of her weapons, but also curious regarding Benkei's gauntlet. She joins the coalition shortly after her defeat.

In Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, another scenario occurs during the war against Tamamo. This time Ma Chao is mistakenly led by a doppelganger Nagamasa Azai to attack the Wei army led by Cao Cao at Tedorigawa. Oichi is convinced to fight alongside the Wei army due to her prior knowledge and thanks to Zhuge Liang's arrival, the ruse is eventually revealed. In the revised version of the stage, the Wei army are able to trace Nagamasa's deception earlier thanks to the Divine Mirror. Thanks to this startling discovery, Ma Chao will instead desert Nagamasa, and will help Cao Cao defeat the impostor.

In Warriors Orochi 4, this battle used for Shu-Uesugi army led by Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, Xu Shu, Kagekatsu and Aya with Yukimura and Perseus, begin to have a combat battle against Date-Wei army led by Sima Yi and Masamune until Guan Yu, Zhuge Liang and Yue Ying arrives to help them. After the battle, Sima Yi, Zhang Chunhua as well with Deng Ai and Kojūrō agreed to join them in order to resist Nobunaga.

The second part with a request from Nu Wa, Sima Yi, along Gracia, Mitsuhide, Ranmaru and Jiang Wei to rescue Kaguya. First they need to rescue Gan Ning and Ling Tong to defeat the cyclops and Kiyomori. When its done, they also need to help Zhang Liao to defeat Sun Wukong along with his clones. Keeping Kaguya safe is the key when the players manage to beat Da Ji and Himiko at the northern castle. After the Demon armies are retreat, Ares with Toyotomi army appears to attack Kaguya. But it was instantly defeated in the end. After their battle, Kaguya, Zhang Liao, Gan Ning and Ling Tong joined the alliance.


If players choose to fight against Kenshin in chapter 8, the battle is given a brief mention through a cutscene in Kessen III. Katsuie and Toshiie confront the daimyo but lose their ground and flee to Kuzuryūgawa. On a misty day without knowing his opponent's numbers, Nobunaga assists his men in their new location and faces Kenshin in a decisive encounter.

Historical Information[]

Events of Battle[]

In 1576, Uesugi Kenshin rode 20,000 troops into Noto Province with the intent of invading and ruling it as his own. Opposing him were the current lords of the province, the Hatakeyama clan. It is believed that Kenshin invaded Nanao Castle, which was then under the command of the family vassal, Chō Tsugutsura. Since the castle was a prominent location in the land, the struggle to defend it lasted for six months. Desperate to keep the castle in their command, Tsugutsura even forced the common folk and merchants to arms. However, the castle became filthy with piling amounts of feces and an epidemic spread as a result. The young lord of the Hatakeyama clan, Haruōmaru, died due to illness and the Hatakeyama troops were sent into confusion.

Tsugutsura then called upon Oda Nobunaga to his rescue and offered his son, Tsuratatsu, as a hostage in Azuchi Castle. Not wanting Kenshin to expand his influence, Nobunaga gathered troops immediately. He personally lead 30,000 while he sent Katsuie in advance with 18,000 soldiers. Before Nobunaga's arrival in October 26, Tsugutsura's generals, such as Yusa Tsugumitsu and Nukui Kagetaka, were dissatisfied with his performance and defected to the Uesugi. In their revolt, Tsugutsura was held responsible for the fall of the castle and was killed by a large group of soldiers. Nanao Castle fell into Kenshin's hands.

Before news of the revolt had reached them, Katsuie urged a march towards Nanao Castle. However, he apparently got in an argument for control with Hashiba Hideyoshi, who wanted to call off the assault due to what he perceived to be a collapse of internal affairs. Katsuie apparently ignored his warnings and continued onward. Eventually, the Oda army learned Kenshin's actions and ordered a temporarily retreat to Matto Castle by Tedorigawa. Katsuie was the first general to cross the river and, once he learned that Kenshin was in Nanao Castle, he tried to retreat as well. It is said that Kenshin's troops pursued Katsuie's men and, since it took time to cross the muddy banks, 1,000 men were said to have been lost in their flight. Katsuie was said to have almost died during the encounter, being injured several times as he dragged his body across. It is assumed that many soldiers drowned to death due to their heavy equipment. Common belief also states that Kenshin ordered a water attack of some sort to wipe out Katsuie's men.

Upon seeing Katsuie's battered troops, it is said Nobunaga became very angry with Kenshin. The popular opinion assumed Kenshin conquered Kaga Province after his victory and resumed his march towards the capital until his death. Matsunaga Hisahide was said to have used this battle to his advantage whilst opposing Nobunaga. A popular saying attributed to this battle is: "The Uesugi met the Oda at Tedorigawa. When Kenshin splashed into the river, his leap caused others to flee far away." The second part of the phrase is commonly interpreted as, "When Kenshin splashed into the river, Nobunaga jumped up and fled."

Authenticity Debate[]

While historical records note at least one attack, there are little details regarding what else occurred in the area. There is a common opinion now arising that the main commanders for either side didn't actually partake in the battle. The encounter isn't named by its commonly known name in either the Nobunaga Kouki or the Nagie Kafu, which state that no such struggle took place. At most, the former notes a small skirmish and the latter writes that 40,000 Oda troops did approach, but they withdrew once they learned Nanao Castle fell.

But Kenshin advancing his influence in Kaga and Nobunaga opposing him is true to an extent. Nobunaga Kouki writes that Katsuie set fire within Kaga Province, but it took place two years later in 1579. The same book records that at the same time that Tedorigawa supposedly took place, Katsuie was made army commander and had tried to advance into Kaga with a set of famous generals, but he did nothing extraordinary as he was blocked by opposing groups.

Toshio Inoue, a former professor at Niigata University, published a book called Everything About the Ikko Rebels. In his book, he argues that the Oda army won over the Uesugi near the mouth of Tedorigawa in October 1577. He stated that the day they fought was on the 27th, using the Kitacho Ibu as his reference. It is very likely that Kenshin clashed with the Oda on the following month on the 1st or 2nd, since he was said to have noticed the Oda army by then. Inoe then reasoned that Kenshin, due to a delay between the messengers and his duties, actually mobilized his troops on the 7th. The Hokuetsu Nikki records a moment when Kenshin was in Maruoka Castle, leading to the opinion that he wanted to house himself towards Noto Province. The records from Fukui Province only mention the Ikko rebels visited Kenshin in November and he merely extended his help to the Kaga Domain from Echigo.

The Uesugi family records personally mention a completely different incident occurring on January 13, 1578. On the behest of the Ikko rebels, Kenshin mobilized troops to assist the Saika group. Katsuie wanted to attack Uozu Castle around the same time, pitting him against the Saika and nearby Uesugi troops within the area. The Nobunaga Kouki does imply that there could have been Ikko rebels in the area, yet Inoe claimed that they weren't enough in number to push Nobunaga's forces out of the territory. The Hokuetsu Nikki records that Katsuie was supposedly pushed back at Daishouji Castle and fled to Fukui Castle, but there are no other records to support the incident.


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