Battle of Anegawa (1/2)Angry Nobunaga attacks Asai and Asakura!

Battle of Anegawa

Battle of Anegawa

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case file
Incident name
Battle of Anegawa (1570)
Shiga Prefecture
Related castles
Nagahama Castle

Nagahama Castle

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On June 28, 1570, the Oda/Tokugawa army and the Azai/Asakura army clashed at Anegawa in Asai District, Omi Province (Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture) in the Battle of Anegawa. During the Battle of Kanegasaki, Oda Nobunaga was betrayed by Azai Nagamasa during his capture of Asakura Yoshikage, so he withdrew to Kyoto, then prepared his system in Gifu and challenged the Azai and Asakura forces to a rematch. It is generally accepted that although it was a difficult battle, he achieved victory. I will explain in detail what actually happened.

Oda Nobunaga and Asai Nagamasa are stepbrothers! Were you good friends at first?

It is well known that the main characters in this battle, Oda Nobunaga and Azai Nagamasa, were brothers-in-law. Nobunaga married his younger sister, Oichi, who was famous as the most beautiful woman in the Sengoku period, to Azai Nagamasa. It is not clear when she got married, and there are various theories such as Eiroku 4 (1561), Eiroku 7 (1564), and Eiroku 10 (1567). The purpose of the marriage is also divided into ``to conquer the Saito clan in Mino'' and ``to form an alliance with Omi Province, which he would pass through in order to move to Kyoto.'' Depending on Nobunaga's situation at the time of the marriage, they were divided.

For the Asai family, it was advantageous to form an alliance with Nobunaga, who was an enemy of the Saito clan, since their arch-rival, the Rokkaku clan of Minami-Omi, had formed an alliance with the Saito clan. However, the Asakura clan and Nobunaga, who had been in an alliance for some time, had been enemies, and some of their vassals opposed the alliance. In the end, Nagamasa decides to form an alliance with Nobunaga, but at the same time, he stipulates the condition of ``a vow not to fight against the Asakura family.''

Nobunaga highly valued Nagamasa. Before Oichi married, Nagamasa's name was ``Shinkuro Asai,'' but upon marriage, he took one character from Nobunaga's name and changed his name to ``Nagamasa.'' It seems that Nobunaga was very pleased. Nobunaga is paying all the expenses for the marriage, which should have been borne by the Azai family. I don't know what Nagamasa had in mind, but since he and Oichi were very close, I think he did not think badly of Nobunaga, Oichi's older brother.

Nagamasa helps Nobunaga and Yoshiaki Ashikaga come to Kyoto

Nagamasa Asai also cooperated with Oda Nobunaga when he went to Kyoto to worship Yoshiaki Ashikaga in 1568. This visit to Kyoto was in response to Yoshiteru Ashikaga, the 13th shogun of the Muromachi shogunate, being murdered in Kyoto by the Miyoshi Sanninshu and Michi Matsunaga (the eldest son of Hisashi Matsunaga) in 1565.

After the murder of the shogun, Yoshiaki, who was imprisoned by Hisashi Matsunaga and others, secretly escapes and receives protection from Yoshikage Asakura. Yoshiaki asks Yoshikage to help him go to Kyoto in order to become the shogun, but Yoshikage does not move. Disappointed, Yoshiaki decided to rely on Nobunaga. While Yoshiaki was on his way to Gifu, which was ruled by Nobunaga, Nagamasa welcomed him at Odari Castle.

Nobunaga, who had obtained the banner of Yoshiaki, began preparations to move to Kyoto. Then, in September 11, Eiroku, he led his army and departed from Mino. At this time, Nobunaga was attacking the Rokkaku family, who were interfering with his move to Kyoto. The Rokkaku family was defeated by Nobunaga, and eventually surrendered their stronghold of Kannonji Castle (Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture) and retreated south to Koga District. This must have been a happy outcome for the Asai family, who had been in conflict with the Rokkaku family for many years.

Nagamasa betrays Nobunaga in the Battle of Kanegasaki

Oda Nobunaga and Azai Nagamasa deepened their alliance after going to Kyoto. Just when I thought things would continue as they were, the alliance collapsed when Nobunaga attacked Yoshikage Asakura.

In October of Eiroku 11, Yoshiaki Ashikaga was appointed as the 15th shogun of the Muromachi shogunate, which further increased Nobunaga's power. In April 1570, Nobunaga led a large army of 30,000 men to attack Asakura Yoshikage in Echizen Province (Fukui Prefecture). Despite Nobunaga's repeated orders to go to Kyoto, Yoshikage refused, and the military was dispatched with the permission of the imperial family and the shogunate.

However, this dispatch was a violation of the Asakura family's oath not to fight, which they had sworn in their alliance with Nagamasa Asai. Nagamasa is unsure whether to join Nobunaga or the Asakura family, but in the end he chooses the Asakura family and decides to attack Nobunaga's army from behind. Surprised, Nobunaga hurries back to Kyoto. It was around Konoha Pass that Nobunaga heard of Nagamasa's betrayal, and according to the ``Nobunaga Koki,'' Nobunaga said, ``Asai is a well-established relative of the Oda family.He is entrusted with the control of the northern Omi area, so he should have no complaints.'' "It must have been a false alarm," he says, not believing it right away. However, reports of Asai's betrayal come in one after another, and he is forced to believe them. It is said that Nobunaga decided to withdraw, muttering, ``I'm not sure.''

It is not clear why Nagamasa decided to join the Asakura family. One theory is that his father, Hisamasa Asakura, who remained powerful even after his retirement, asked him to cut ties with Nobunaga. Another theory is that he was afraid of Nobunaga who was rapidly gaining power. Another theory is that he was angry at Nobunaga for breaking the rules of the alliance. There is a theory that he harbored a strong will, but in any case, he probably did not imagine that his hostility to Nobunaga at this time would lead to the downfall of the Azai family in the future.

On the way back to Gifu, there was an assassination attempt on Nobunaga!

After the Battle of Kanegasaki, Oda Nobunaga returned from Kyoto to Gifu to rebuild his position. In response, Azai Nagamasa advanced into southern Omi with an army led by Asakura Keikyo, Yoshikage Asakura's cousin, and stationed soldiers at Sabae Castle (Higashiomi City), causing a revolt and blocking Nobunaga's path. . Therefore, Nobunaga decided to head south towards Gifu from the Ise area, and headed towards Chigusa Pass.

This is where Nobunaga's assassination attempt occurred. This is an incident in which Rokkaku Shonei, who was defeated during Nobunaga's invasion of Kyoto, hired Zenjubo Sugitani, a master gunsmith and Koga-ryu ninja, to shoot Nobunaga. On May 19th, Zenjubo ambushed Nobunaga and his group as they traveled along the mountain path, hiding in the path of Mt. Chigusa. When Nobunaga approached to a distance of 22 to 24 meters, Zenjubo fired two matchlock shots. Fortunately, the ball only barely grazed Nobunaga's body. Afterwards, Zenjubo was captured, buried alive with his head exposed, and sentenced to be cut off with a bamboo saw. You can feel Nobunaga's anger. Furthermore, Nobunaga himself safely returned to Gifu on May 21st.

Nobunaga leaves Gifu to attack Asai and Asakura.

Oda Nobunaga returned to Gifu and prepared a system for attacking Asai and Asakura. First, they defeated the Rokkaku army, which had teamed up with the Asai and Asakura armies, at the Battle of Yasu Kawara. He then requested Tokugawa Ieyasu to go to war and prepared to invade Kita-Omi. Omi, where Nagamasa Asai is located, is an important route to Kyoto. We cannot allow hostile forces to hold this area.

The article on the Battle of Anegawa 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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