Kiso no Saigo (()() ()(さい)(), excerpt)

He firmly stepped his stirrups and stood up, and announced his name in a great voice, “you must have heard of Kiso the Young Man before; now you must be seeing him right in front of your eyes, the Chief of the Left Stables and Governor of the Iyo Province, General of Asahi, Minamoto no Yoshinaka. I heard that you are Ichijo no Jiro from Kai, and we are exactly good opponents for each other. Defeat me and let Yorimoto see!”. He shouted and raced his horse.

Ichijo no Jiro said, “the one who announced his name was the Great General. Don’t overlook anyone, people; don’t let anyone escape, you young samurais. Attack!” And they surrounded Kiso with a big crowd, and each one wanted to kill Kiso themselves.

The three hundred or so horsemen of Kiso, surrounded by six thousand or so horsemen, moved and cut through vertical directions, horizontal directions, opposite directions, moving their weapons in crossed directions. When they hurriedly got out towards the back, they became around fifty horsemen. As they tore through the enemies there, around two thousand horsemen of Tohi no Jiro Sanehira were guarding there.

When they broke through that, they rode and cut through about four to five hundred horsemen over there, and they rode and cut through about two to three hundred, then a hundred and forty to fifty, and then a hundred horsemen over here. Then, they were left with only five horsemen including Kiso and his followers. The enemies didn’t manage to defeat Tomoe among the five horsemen.

Even though General Kiso said, “you, woman, should quickly go somewhere else. I believe I shall die in the battle. If I kill myself in case I’m not killed by someone else, I don’t want people to say, ‘in the final army of General Kiso, he had a woman’”, Tomoe did not leave and escape. But she was told so many times, so she said, “great! Only if I can have perfect enemies! And then I would fight the last battle to let General Kiso see.” While she was standing by, the famous person of great strength from the State of Musashi, Onda no Hachiro Moroshige came there with around thirty horsemen.

Tomoe rode inside towards them, forced Onda no Hachiro into a line, and took him and pulled him off swiftly and powerfully. She pressed him to the pommel of her saddle, didn’t let him move a single bit, twisted his neck and cut off his head, and ended up throwing it away.

After that, she took off her armour and weapons, and went towards Togoku. Tezuka no Taro fought to death in the battle. Betto Tezuka escaped.

Now it was only Imai no Shiro and General Kiso left; the general said, “the armour which I usually don’t think of as anything at all has grown heavy today.” Imai no Shiro said, “your body hasn’t become weary, and your horse hasn’t become weak. Why would you think that a set of formal armour is heavy? Because there isn’t military strength on our side, you must feel that way because of nervousness. Even if only I, Kanehira, am still here, please think of me as a thousand other samurais. Now that I have seven, eight arrows, I can shoot some for defence for some time. What you can see over there is called the pine forest of Awazu. Please kill yourself in the pine trees”, and as he was spurring and going, around fifty horsemen of a new troop came out.

“My lord, please go into the pine forest. I shall defend against these enemies”, Imai no Shiro said; General Kiso said, “although I should have died in the capital, it is because I want to die with you that I escaped until here. Rather than being defeated in different places, I wish to die in a battle in the same place.” When he wanted to put their horses’ noses in line, Imai no Shiro jumped off of his horse, took hold of the mouth of the General’s horse, and said, “even if you have always been very famous as a warrior for years, if you end up careless in your last moments, it will become a lasting disgrace. Your body has been tired; your strength is not lasting. If we get separated by the enemy, and you are forced into a combat with the followers of people not worth mentioning and get struck down and killed, it would be regrettable that people might say, ‘General Kiso, who had been famous to such an extent in Japan, was killed by a follower of so-and-so.’ Please just go into the pine forest.” Kiso said, “well, then”, and ran his horse towards the pine forest of Awazu.

Imai no Shiro, only himself, charged into the fifty horsemen, firmly stepped his stirrups and stood up, and announced his name in a great voice, “You must have heard of me many times; now behold me in front of your eyes – General Kiso’s menotogo, Imai no Shiro Kanehira, turning thirty-three. Lord of Kamakura must also know the existence of such a person. Defeat me and show the lord!”; then he fiercely shot the remaining eight arrows rapidly one after another. He shot off eight enemy horsemen off their horses on the spot, heedless of his own life. Then he pulled out a forged weapon, charging here and there towards enemies; as he cut and went around, nobody looked at him face-to-face. He took away many enemies’ weapons. Under the command “kill with arrows!”, the enemy surrounded him and shot arrows like a rainfall, but because his armour was good, they did not pierce through to the inside; because they did not shoot through the small gaps, he was not wounded at all.

General Kiso, only himself, galloped towards the pine forest of Awazu. It was the Twenty-First Day of the First Month, during sunset; not knowing that there was a thin layer of ice and a farm field of deep mud, General Kiso beat the horse and plunged into the mud, and even the head of the horse disappeared. Although he spurred and spurred, beat and beat, the horse would not move. As he was wondering where Imai had gone, looking up, Ishida no Jiro Tamehisa from Miura caught up, pulled the bowstring well back, and shot a whizzing arrow towards the inside of his armour. Two followers of Ishida jumped off horses to meet where General Kiso was putting his forehead towards the horse’s head because of the serious wound, and they finally took the General’s head. Ishida no Jiro pierced through the head with a great sword, raised it high up, announced his own name in a great voice, “General Kiso, who has been always famous around the country of Japan, is killed by me, Ishida no Jiro Tamehisa from Miura!” While Imai no Shiro heard this when he had been fighting, he said, “now whom should I be defending while I fight? Behold this, gentlemen from the Eastern Nations, the model of killing oneself by the number-one courageous and strong person of Japan”, and placed the great sword into his mouth, jumped off his horse head-first, and he was pierced through and died. Only then, the battle of Awazu ended.