English Text of Ujigawa
| [kudoki] The Commander-in-Chief, Yoshitsune, advanced to the river's
edge and looked out across the water. Perhaps he wished to probe his men's
minds, for he said, "What shall we do? Would it be best to go around to
Yodo and Imoarai? Shall we wait for the river to subside?"
[ko no koe] Hatakeyama no Shoji Jiro Shigetada, who was only twenty-one years old then, [sage] came forward to speak. "We used to hear many stories in Kamakura about this river. [shirakoe] It is not some unknown body of water that has suddenly materialized: it is the outlet of Lake Biwa, and it will not go down no matter how long we wait. Nobody can bridge it for you, either. Was Ashikaga no Matataro Tadatsuna superhuman [hazumi] when he rode across it during the battle in the Jisho era? [kudoki-sage sequence] I'll test it for you." Five hundred riders surged forward to align their bridles-members of the Tan League and others.
[hiroi] Just then, two warriors galloped into sight from the tip of Tachibana-no-Kojima northeast of the iodine. One was Kajiwara Genda Kagesue; the other was Sasaki Shiro Takatsuna. Although neither had let his intentions show, each had made a secret resolve to be the first man across the river. Takatsuna hailed Kagesue, who was about thirty-five feet ahead of him. "This is the biggest river in the west. Your saddle girth looks loose; tighten it up!"
[hiroi] Kagesue must have feared that the girth did indeed require tightening. He stiffened his legs [ongyoku] in the stirrups to hold them away from Surusumi's belly, tossed the reins over the horse's mane, undid the girth, and tightened it. Meanwhile, Takatsuna galloped past him into the river. Kagesue followed, perhaps feeling that he had been tricked.
"Look out, Sasaki," Kagesue cried. "Don't slip up just because you want to be a hero. There must be ropes on the bottom."
Takatsuna drew his sword, cut the ropes one after another as they touched his mount's legs, rode straight across the swift Uji River on Ikezuki, the best horse in the world, and ascended the opposite bank. [ryo] Kagesue's mount, [shoju] Surusumi, landed far downstream, forced into a slanting course at the half-way point.