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Battle of Kurokawa

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The fighting that led up to the Date capture of the Ashina's Kurokawa castle was the culmination of a decades-old rivalry between the two families. In 1589 Masamune convinced the important Ashina retainer Inawashiro Morikuni to rebel and soon afterwards took advantage of the confusion to attack. He led some 23,000 men in the direction of Kurokawa and were met by Ashina Morishige's 16,000 at Suriagehara. The Ashina fought well and were only compelled to retreat when Masamune himself led a charge against their tiring ranks. Unfortunatly, Masamune's men had managed to destroy the bridge over the Nitsubashi River - which was the Ashina's escape route. Panic set in amongst Morishige's warriors, and many who did not drown trying to swim the Nitsubashi were cut down by the victorious Date. As many as 2,300 heads were taken and the Ashina army was scattered. Masamune pressed on to Kurokawa, which fell easily. Morishige escaped to the lands of the Satake, and Masamune, for a short period, would be the greatest northern warlord.

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