Nitta Yoshisada
Battle of Minatogawa
Portrait traditionally identified as that of Ashikaga Takauji
Nitta Yoshisada offering his sword to Ryūjin
Troops disposition at Minatogawa
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Tomb of Ashikaga Takauji at Tōji-in in Kyoto

The Imperial forces loyal to Emperor Go-Daigo led by Kusunoki Masashige and Nitta Yoshisada attempted to intercept the Ashikaga forces led by Ashikaga Takauji in Settsu.

- Battle of Minatogawa

Soon after, Nitta Yoshisada joined their cause, and laid siege to Kamakura.

- Ashikaga Takauji

Long an enemy of Ashikaga Takauji, Nitta Yoshisada is often blamed for the split between the Northern and Southern Courts, as he fought against the Ashikaga and for the emperor, Emperor Go-Daigo.

- Nitta Yoshisada

At the decisive Battle of Minatogawa in 1336, Takauji defeated Yoshisada again and killed Masashige, allowing him to seize Kyoto for good.

- Ashikaga Takauji

Yoshisada was defeated in the Battle of Minatogawa allowing Takauji to occupy Kyoto once again.

- Nitta Yoshisada

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Emperor Go-Daigo

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The 96th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

The 96th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

Woodblock print triptych by Ogata Gekkō; Emperor Go-Daigo dreams of ghosts at his palace in Kasagiyama
Memorial Shinto shrine and mausoleum honoring Emperor Go-Daigo
Empress Kishi and Emperor Go-Daigo. From Taiheiki Emaki (c. 17th century), vol. 2, On the Lamentation of the Empress. Owned by Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore.
Japanese Imperial kamon — a stylized chrysanthemum blossom

The Kenmu restoration was in turn overthrown by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336, ushering in the Ashikaga shogunate, and split the imperial family into two opposing factions between the Ashikaga backed Northern Court situated in Kyoto and the Southern Court based in Yoshino led by Go-Daigo and his later successors.

Immediately following this, Nitta Yoshisada, who had raised an army in the east, laid siege to Kamakura.

Kusunoki's army was defeated at the Battle of Minatogawa.

Ashikaga Tadayoshi depicted in an Edo period print

Ashikaga Tadayoshi

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Ashikaga Tadayoshi depicted in an Edo period print

Ashikaga Tadayoshi (足利 直義) was a general of the Northern and Southern Courts period (1337–92) of Japanese history and a close associate of his elder brother Takauji, the first Muromachi shōgun.

In Dec. 1335, Tadayoshi was defeated by imperial forces under the command of Nitta Yoshisada forcing his retreat to the Hakone mountains.

Turning against Go-Daigo, Tadayoshi and Takauji set up a rival emperor in 1336 after defeating the Loyalists in the Battle of Minatogawa.