Genpei War
Turning Point
Battle of Kurikara
1183 Jun 2

Turning Point

Kurikara Pass, Etchū Province,

The Taira had conscripted a huge army, marching forth on May 10, 1183, but were so disorganized that their food ran out just nine miles east of Kyoto. The officers ordered the conscripts to plunder food as they passed from their own provinces, which were just recovering from the famine. This prompted mass desertions. As they entered Minamoto territory, the Taira divided their army into two forces. Yoshinaka won by a clever strategy; under cover of nightfall his troops enveloped the main body of the Taira, demoralized them by a series of tactical surprises, and turned their confusion into a disastrous, headlong rout. This would prove the turning point in the Genpei War in the favour of the Minamoto clan.