History buffs go back in time to learn about key samurai battle

History buffs in Japan have had a bit of first-hand experience of how samurai warriors fought a key battle more than 420 years ago.

The Battle of Sekigahara, fought on September 15, 1600, on the old lunar calendar, led to the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate.

The tourist association of Sekigahara Town in Gifu Prefecture organized a special event on Thursday to give people a simulated battle experience.

At 8 a.m., when the battle is said to have started, the sound of a trumpet shell reverberated around the battlefield.

More than 30 participants on an observation deck saw a smoke signal billowing from a mountain where the force led by Tokugawa Ieyasu was positioned.

The smoke marked the start of the battle that Ieyasu won before founding the shogunate.

The participants also watched a demonstration by a gun squad dressed as samurai. They also played the role of soldiers in adding wood to the signal fire and used a gadget for firing shots.

A history fan said she has been visiting Sekigahara since her school days. She said she was impressed by the gun squad and sending a smoke signal herself.

A tourist association official asked history fans to repeatedly visit Sekigahara, adding that visitors can try wearing samurai armor.