Fight for the Shinazu Shrine
News reaches us from Echizen Province of a long-standing dispute over rents turning to a violent clash between the local Ikko-Ikki of the Shinazu monastery and a band of Asakura samurai and ashigaru from Castle Shinji led by renowned clan hatamoto Asakura Nobumasa.
Financial negotiations between the monastery and the Asakura clan had been in progress at Castle Shinji for several days last week until the hot-blooded Nobumasa, infuriated at the monastery's intransigence over the outstanding rents, had Abbot Iwakura Hikotame thrown into the castle latrine. On his dripping wet and noisome emergence the Abbot was told that a force from the castle would occupy the shrine and he was duly expelled from the front gate with several kicks and blows. On returning to the monastery the outraged Abbot duly alerted the military Ikko-Ikki and sent a defending force to the shrine under the experienced Kikuchi.
The action :
Asakura samurai led by Asakura Nobumasa marched for the Shinazu shrine and Asakura Nobumasa's four bodyguard samurai boldly rushed the bridge, managing to cross largely unhindered by a disappointingly ineffectual fire from the Ikko-Ikki musketeers stationed to their left. As they arrived there, Kikuchi sent three of his own ashigaru to launch a flank attack upon them. This was dramatically unsuccessful and the Asakura men wounded all three of the Ikko-Ikki in a few seconds but a counter attack led by Okamura, supported by fire from the musketeers, restored parity as three of the Asakura men were also severely wounded.
More troops from both sides were fed into the fight by the bridge and the struggle went one way then the other for several minutes until the heroic Okamura gruesomely sliced an Asakura archer in two, spreading terror anongst the Asakura and stopping an attack on the musketeers in its tracks. Dumbfounded by this, the Asakura fighters, led shamefully by Asakura Nobamasu, fled back over the bridge while Okamura and Shenji closed in and disposed off the last Asakura attacker trapped in front of the musketeers.
With this reverse the fight was pretty much over and the Asakura force slunk back up the road to Shinji Castle with the jeers of the triumphant Ikko-Ikki ringing in their ears.