The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Battle of Sekigahara

The Battle of Sekigahara (関ヶ原の戦い Sekigahara-no-tatakai) was a decisive battle on September 15, 1600 (on the ancient Chinese calendar, October 21 on the modern calendar) that cleared the path to the Shogunate for Tokugawa Ieyasu. Though it would take three more years for Tokugawa to consolidate his position of power over the daimyo, Sekigahara is widely considered to be the unofficial beginning of the Tokugawa bakufu, the final shogunate to control Japan.

At Sekigahara, in what is now Gifu Prefecture, Tokugawa Ieyasu's forces battled those led by Ishida Mitsunari, representing Toyotomi Hideyoshi's son and designated successor Toyotomi Hideyori. Prior to the battle, Tokugawa had received word from Kobayakawa Hideaki, nominally allied with Ishida, that he intended to betray his allies during the fight. Although at first Kobayakawa merely stood on the sidelines of the battle, Tokugawa eventually ordered his arquebusiers to fire at Kobayakawa's troops, after which Kobayakawa began fighting on Tokugawa's side. It was in fact this betrayal that led to Tokugawa's decisive victory and the end of the fighting amongst the council of five regents.


List of Daimyo

Eastern Army (Tokugawa Force)

Western Army (Toyotomi Force)


  • According to tradition, Miyamoto Musashi, the so-called "Sword-Saint", was present at the battle among the ranks of Toyotomi Hideyori's army. Supposedly, he fought well and escaped the defeat of Hideyori's forces unharmed. Whether this is fact or myth is unknown.

Last updated: 05-07-2005 14:02:34
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04