The Famous Samurai of the Sengoku Period of Japan-日本戰國名將系列 Uesugi Kenshin-上杉謙信
In 1467, the first east-west war in Japan has begun. Every Daimyō, the seigniors of Japan, rose and fought for the inheritance of the ninth generation supreme general. With the full civil war, Japan had officially entered the Sengoku Period. As the saying goes “A hero is known in the time of misfortune”. In the war mist and the clatter of horses’ hooves, numerous heroes and legendary warriors were born in this age of rivalling warlords.
After the death of his father, Uesugi Kenshin led the army for defending the land against the rebellious courtiers and won the first full victory at the age of 14. After putting down the rebellion, the young Kenshin inherited the fief land “Echigo”, started his legendary story and won the famous name “The Dragon of Echigo” from other Daimyō. At the back and in the middle of the medal is the “Kamon” (family crest) of the Uesugi family, two sparrows in a bamboo grove, represents the official position of Kenshin, the command of Kantō. The bamboo has the symbol of rising and bravery in Japan, shows out the quality of the warrior family. The map of ancient japan at the bottom right corner marks the location of the land Echigo, and the background of the medal is Kenshin’s castle on the hill, the castle of Kasugayama.
With the strong faith of “Bishamonten”, one of the Four Heavenly Kings in Japanese Buddism, as the god of warriors and a punisher of evildoers, Kenshin rose the flag of Bishamonten in every battle, and claimed himself was blessed and possessed by it, and truly become an invincible general. In all Kenshin’s life, he fought no injustice battle, and held the faith of “righteousness first”, and rarely invaded other small countries. In all 71 big battles in his life, Kenshin made an amazing record of 61 victories, 2 defeats and 8 draws. By defeated the most powerful Daimyō at the time, Oda Nobunaga, in the battle of Tetorigawa, Kenshin’s fame spread all over Japan, and won him another famous title in Japanese history, “The God of Army.”
Throughout all the generals at the same time, there was only one opponent could be Kenshin’s match, Takeda Shingen, known as “The Tiger of Kai”. What is present in the front of the medal is one of the scenes in the battle of Kawanakajima, which took almost ten years between Kenshin and Shingen. Leading the famous cavalry of Uesugi, and wearing in the white robe, Kenshin charged in the front line as the god of the warrior with the flags of dragon and Bishamonten. By drawing away from the main forces of the enemy, he aimed the command post of Takeda Shingen, prepared to assault alone and cut the head of this ferocious tiger of Kai.
Image below by SHIKABANE TARO is of Uesagi Kenshins grave in Japan.