Battle of Komeno
Date: 8/22 of Keichō 5 (1600)
Location: The village of Komeno along the Kiso River in the Haguri District of Mino Province
Synopsis: In one of the preliminary clashes leading to the Battle of Sekigahara, Oda Hidenobu, the lord of Gifu Castle aligned with the Western Army, sought to prevent forces of the Eastern Army from advancing to his base. Despite using two lines of defenses, Hidenobu’s troops were outnumbered and could not halt the advance of the Eastern Army at the village of Komeno.
The Battle of Komeno occurred on 8/22 of Keichō 5 (1600) as one of the preliminary clashes leading to the Battle of Sekigahara between the Eastern and Western armies. This battle unfolded primarily at the village of Komeno in the Haguri District of Mino Province. The Western Army aimed to prevent the Eastern Army from advancing toward Gifu Castle, defended by Oda Hidenobu. This conflict was waged in the afternoon on the same day as the Battle to Traverse Kōda-Kisogawa so these are easily regarded as the same battle. The Battle to Traverse Kōda-Kisogawa, however, occurred several hours earlier when the Eastern Army made its crossing of the Kiso River by utilizing Koyaba Island in the middle of the river to establish a position en route to the opposite shore defended by the Western Army.
On 8/21 of Keichō 5 (1600), led by Ikeda Terumasa, Asano Yukinaga, and Yamauchi Kazutoyo, a total of 18,000 forces in the Eastern Army marched to the village of Kōdashima near the shores of the Kiso River. The forces were headed toward Gifu Castle. Meanwhile, Oda Hidenobu, the lord of Gifu Castle aligned with the Western Army, positioned Dodo Tsunaie, Iinuma Nagasuke and others in the village of Komeno in the Haguri District. Oda Nobuhide devised a strategy to destroy the enemy in Komeno and then attack their residual forces at the village of Nakaya in Haguri, the village of Shikanō in Kakami, and the village of Kawate in Atsumi. He formed two lines of defenses with a total of 9,000 forces.
At dawn on 8/22, forces from the Eastern Army led by Ikeda Terumasa resolved to cross the Kiso River. Relying upon an infantry division, the Western Army attempted to destroy them, but the Eastern Army advanced to Koyaba Island in the Kiso River and set-up a position. The forces then proceeded toward the village of Komeno on the opposite shore. This initial clash associated with the river-crossing is known as the Battle to Traverse Kōda-Kisogawa.
Later in the afternoon of the same day, the ensuing clash by the opposing armies in the village of Komeno is known as the Battle of Komeno.
Although Hidenobu commanded a total of 9,000 forces, owing to their dispersed positions, only 3,000 forces were located in the village of Komeno. Hidenobu’s strategy to establish two lines of defense ended in failure as the Western Army was routed by the Eastern Army with its overwhelming numerical superiority.
The battle ended in the evening of that same day. Iinuma Nagasuke was killed in action while Dodo Tsunaie managed to return with remnants of Hidenobu’s forces to Gifu Castle.
The Eastern Army continued to advance toward its intended target of Gifu Castle. On 8/23, Gifu Castle fell following its surrender by Hidenobu in an event known as the Siege of Gifu Castle.
Meanwhile, also on 8/22, a separate division of the Eastern Army led by Fukushima Masanori traversed the Kiso River at the Okoshi crossing and after clashing with forces from the Western Army on the opposite shore, proceeded to assault Takegahana Castle defended by Sugiura Shigekatsu who was aligned with Hidenobu. This event is known as the Siege of Takegahana Castle in Keichō 5.