Battle of Arioka Castle (1/2)Murashige Araki betrays Nobunaga

Battle of Arioka Castle

Battle of Arioka Castle

Article category
case file
Incident name
Battle of Arioka Castle (1578-1579)
Hyogo prefecture
Related castles
Arioka Castle

Arioka Castle

Amagasaki Castle

Amagasaki Castle

people involved

In October 1578, Oda Nobunaga suddenly received news. ``Araki Murashige has rebelled!'' Unbelieving, Nobunaga sends a messenger, but the rebellion turns out to be true. This is how the ``Battle of Arioka Castle'' between Oda's army and Araki's army takes place. Due to the failure of the Oda army's all-out attack, the battle continued for about a year, and when Murashige escaped from Arioka Castle, his wife and children met a tragic end. This time, I will explain the Battle of Arioka Castle in an easy-to-understand manner.

What kind of military commander is Murashige Araki?

Murashige Araki was originally a military commander who served Katsumasa Ikeda, one of the powerful people known as the Three Guardians of Settsu Province (present-day most of north-central Osaka Prefecture and southeastern Hyogo Prefecture). Although he took a wife from the Ikeda clan, he later betrayed the Ikeda clan and defected to the Miyoshi clan, expelled his lord Katsumasa Ikeda, and took control of the Ikeda clan. In 1571, he defeated Koremasa Wada, one of the three guardians of Settsu who was under Yoshiaki Ashikaga, at the Battle of Shiraigawara (Ibaraki River, Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture). He then approached Nobunaga Oda, who was in conflict with Yoshiaki, and was liked by Nobunaga and ended up serving him.

According to the Ontoku Taiheiki, a military chronicle written in the 18th century, when Murashige and Nobunaga first met, Nobunaga suddenly pulled out his sword and stabbed him with several steamed buns. While everyone is surprised, Murashige approaches Nobunaga, opens his mouth wide and tries to take a bite of the manju. Seeing this, Nobunaga praised Murashige as ``the best in Japan,'' and bestowed the Wakizashi on him. Regardless of whether it's historical fact or not, it's an episode that shows Murashige's boldness.

Murashige later played an active role in various battles as part of the Oda army. In the first year of Tensho (1573), Nobunaga achieved military exploits in the ``Battle of Wakae Castle,'' where he defeated Yoshitsugu Miyoshi and destroyed the Miyoshi family. In November 1574, he attacked Tadachika Itami, one of the three guardians of Settsu, and captured Itami Castle.The castle was then moved from Ikeda Castle to Itami Castle, underwent major renovations, and was renamed Arioka Castle. He would rule Settsu Province from Arioka Castle as his base.

Arioka Castle, which was the stage of the battle

Arioka Castle is known as a ``mysterious castle'' whose details are unknown due to the lack of historical materials. What we do know is that ``Sougamae'' was created through major renovations by Murashige Araki. This is a castle structure that protects the entire castle by surrounding the castle, townhouses, and townhouses with a moat and earthworks, and the structure of Arioka Castle is said to be one of the oldest in existence.

The structure of Arioka Castle is 1.7km north-south and 0.8km east-west, centering on the main wall that was located at what is now JR Itami Station. Excavation studies have revealed that there was a moat that was 16m to 20m wide and 7m deep, surrounding the main wall. Forts were built on the north, west, and south sides, and the east side was protected using the terraced cliffs of the Itami Terrace. In addition, it seems that there were ditches and moats surrounding the townhouse.

Having built a strong castle in this way, Murashige Araki strengthened his presence among Nobunaga's subordinates, and played an active role in the subjugation of the Echizen Ikko Ikki and the 10-year battle with the Honganji sect of the Jodo Shinshu sect, the Battle of Ishiyama. .

In July 1578, the city participated in the Battle of Miki Castle, a battle between the Oda army led by Hideyoshi Hashiba and the Bessho army, which had defected to the Mori clan. In the midst of this battle, a major incident occurred in October 1996, which was the betrayal of Murashige, who had been providing logistical support to Hideyoshi. Murashige suddenly left the front and returned to Arioka Castle. This was a betrayal of Oda Nobunaga.

Battle of Arioka Castle ① Why did Murashige Araki rebel?

Why did Murashige Araki suddenly betray Nobunaga Oda? Nobunaga himself was so perplexed by the rebellion that he wondered, ``What on earth was missing?'' In fact, there are various theories as to why Murashige rebelled, and it is not known how true or false it is. The main theories are as follows.

  1. Kiyohide Nakagawa, his subordinate, was distributing military supplies to Ishiyama Honganji Temple, so he decided to rebel before being punished for fear of being suspected by Nobunaga.
  2. He joined the Mori clan because his position within the Oda family was in jeopardy. In particular, while Hashiba Hideyoshi was left in charge of China, he was not given a major role and was sent under Hideyoshi, which led to him abandoning Nobunaga and accepting the Mori clan's arrangements.
  3. As the people of Settsu and the peasants expressed anti-Nobunaga intentions, and some of the peasants in particular were connected to Hongan-ji Temple, and there were concerns about an uprising, they decided to cooperate with Hongan-ji Temple and the peasants rather than with Nobunaga.

Nobunaga, who received the news of Murashige's rebellion, dispatched Akechi Mitsuhide, Matsui Tomokan, and Yoromi Shigemoto to Arioka Castle to investigate the truth. Through these messengers, Nobunaga asked Murashige to ``present his mother as a hostage and come to Azuchi Castle to make excuses.'' In addition, the Christian daimyo Takayama Ukon also persuaded Murashige to make an excuse to Nobunaga.

According to one theory, at this time Murashige tried to explain the rebellion directly to Nobunaga. However, his vassal Kiyohide Nakagawa admonished him, saying, ``Nobunaga won't forgive you once you betray him, so you have no choice but to rebel,'' so he turned back without heading to Azuchi Castle (Tateiri Sakyo Ryo Nyudo Ryusaki). However, there is also a story that Kiyohide Nakagawa tried to stop Murashige, so this is not clear.

Murashige joined forces with Honganji Temple and the Mori clan in his fight against Nobunaga. Furthermore, he returned the daughter of Mitsuhide Akechi, who was married to his eldest son Muratsugu Araki, to Mitsuhide.

Nobunaga sent another messenger, but Murashige did not stop his rebellion. The reason why Nobunaga tried to pull Murashige back to this point was because he was in the middle of a dispute with Honganji Temple, the Mori clan, Yoshiaki Ashikaga, and others. It was also during the Battle of Miki Castle, and they wanted to hold onto Settsu Province. However, Nobunaga could not stop Murashige's betrayal and decided to subjugate Murashige. The battle of Arioka Castle begins.

By the way, at this time, Yoshitaka Kuroda (Kanbei) visited Arioka Castle alone to try to persuade Murashige Araki. He was captured by Murashige and kept in captivity for over a year until Arioka Castle fell. Nobunaga thought that Yoshitaka had betrayed him and ordered Hashiba Hideyoshi to kill the hostage's eldest son, Shojumaru (Nagamasa Kuroda), but Shigeharu Takenaka (Hanbei) opposed this and hid Shojumaru and returned to Nobunaga. I presented a fake head to him. Afterwards, Shigeharu dies of illness, but Shojumaru remains unharmed. He was safely reunited with Yoshitaka, who was rescued after Arioka Castle fell.

Battle of Arioka Castle ② Betrayal of Ukon Takayama and Kiyohide Nakagawa

Oda Nobunaga sets out with 50,000 soldiers to subjugate Araki Village. According to "Nobunaga Koki," the Oda army sent Kazumasu Takigawa, Mitsuhide Akechi, Nagahide Niwa, Yoritaka Hachiya, Naomichi Ujiie, and others to Ibaraki Castle (Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture), and the Oda family, including Nobutada Oda, Nobuo, Nobutaka, and others. He sent Naomitsu Fuwa, Toshiie Maeda, Narimasa Sassa, Nagachika Kanamori, and others to Takatsuki Castle (Takatsuki City, Osaka Prefecture).

The article on the Battle of Arioka Castle continues.

people involved
Naoko Kurimoto
Writer(Writer)I am a former travel industry magazine reporter. I have loved history, both Japanese and world history, since I was a child. I usually enjoy visiting temples and shrines, especially shrines, and often do ``pilgrimages to sacred places'' themed around historical figures. My favorite military commander is Ishida Mitsunari, my favorite castle is Kumamoto Castle, and my favorite castle ruins is Hagi Castle. My heart flutters when I see the ruins of battle castles and the stone walls of castle ruins.
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