Battle of Shizugatake (1/2)Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeats Shibata Katsuie to take over the nation!

Battle of Shizugatake

Battle of Shizugatake

Article category
case file
Incident name
Battle of Shizugatake (1583)
Shiga Prefecture
Related castles
Nagahama Castle

Nagahama Castle

Gifu Castle

Gifu Castle

Ogaki Castle

Ogaki Castle

people involved

In April 1583, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Shibata Katsuie clashed near Shizugatake in Ika District, Omi Province (Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture). This was a battle called the "Battle of Shizugatake." The Battle of Shizugatake is the final battle between Hideyoshi and Katsuie, and can be said to be the first step in Hideyoshi's attempt to take over the country, but there are also interesting keywords such as ``Mino Great Return'', ``Maeda Toshiie's Retreat'', and ``Oichi no Kata's Suicide''. We have a lot. This time, I will explain about the Battle of Shizugatake.

Hideyoshi expands his power at the Kiyosu Conference

The cause of the Battle of Shizugatake dates back to the Kiyosu Conference held on June 27, 1582. After Oda Nobunaga was defeated by Akechi Mitsuhide in the Honnoji Incident on June 2nd, the conflict ended when Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeated Mitsuhide at the Battle of Yamazaki. However, the successor to the Oda family has not yet been decided. Therefore, Katsuie Shibata, the chief retainer of the Oda family, held a meeting at Seishu Castle to decide on a successor and redistribute the territory. That is the Kiyosu Conference.

At this time, four people gathered: Katsuie, Hideyoshi, Nagahide Niwa, and Tsuneoki Ikeda. At this time, Katsuie recommended Nobunaga's third son, Nobutaka Oda, and Hideyoshi recommended Nobunaga's successor, Nobutada's eldest son, Sanboshi (Oda Hidenobu), who was only 2 years old at the time, but Hideyoshi's opinion, who had succeeded in avenging Nobunaga's enemy, It is a popular theory that Sanboshi was chosen as his successor because of his strong influence.

Recent research has shown that the meeting was held at Cheongju Castle, where the Sanboshi is located, so it is likely that the line of "Samboshi = successor" has been decided, and that the main discussion was about the support system of the Sanboshi. . After that, Sanboshi entered Gifu Castle with Nobutaka who gained Mino Province (Gifu Prefecture), and after Azuchi Castle was rebuilt, they moved to Azuchi Castle.

Regarding the redistribution of territory, Hideyoshi acquired Kawachi Province (Osaka Prefecture), Yamashiro Province (southern Kyoto Prefecture), and Tamba Province (central Kyoto Prefecture and northern Hyogo Prefecture), increasing the number of territories by 280,000. Katsuie was relieved of Echizen Province (Fukui Prefecture) and gained 120,000 koku by acquiring Nagahama Castle and the three Kita-Omi districts (Shiga Prefecture), which had been Hideyoshi's fiefdoms. As a result, Hideyoshi suddenly gained power and the power relationship with Katsuie was reversed.

The reason Hideyoshi achieved so much success was because he defeated Mitsuhide Akechi. At that time, Katsuie was besieging Uozu Castle in Etchu Province (Toyama Prefecture) in order to attack Uesugi, and even though he wanted to kill Mitsuhide, he was unable to move due to resistance from the Uesugi side.

Additionally, with the approval of the council at this time, Katsuie married Nobunaga's younger sister, Oichi. This marriage was actually arranged by Hideyoshi. It is said that by marrying off his lord's sister to Katsuie, a senior vassal, he was trying to show that he had no intention of taking over the Oda family, and at the same time suppress Katsuie's dissatisfaction.

By the way, speaking of Oichi, she is the most beautiful woman in the Sengoku period. Stories often appear in novels and manga about Katsuie and Hideyoshi being enemies over Oichi. It is not certain whether such a love battle really took place, but if it were true, Hideyoshi must have felt extremely regretful, as he had handed over the beautiful woman he admired to his enemy.

Battle of Hideyoshi and Katsuie

After the Kiyosu Conference, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Shibata Katsuie continued their power struggle as the two great leaders of the Oda family. Katsuie gained allies from Nobutaka Oda and Kazumasu Takigawa, a senior vassal of the Oda family who had fallen from power for not being able to make it to the Kiyosu Conference in time, and recruited Motochika Chosokabe and the Saiga clan.

Hideyoshi had allies such as Nagahide Niwa, Tsuneoki Ikeda, Kagekatsu Uesugi, and Ittetsu Inaba. Furthermore, he built Yamazaki Castle on Mt. Tennozan, the site of the Battle of Yamazaki, and made personal alliances with military commanders under the Oda clan, claiming that he was the one who killed Nobunaga's enemies.

In response to Hideyoshi's move, Katsuie sent a letter criticizing Hideyoshi's private alliances with military commanders. Hideyoshi, on the other hand, did not fulfill the promise made at the Kiyosu Conference to ``rebuild Azuchi Castle and move Sanboshi there'' and sent a letter accusing Nobutaka of corralling Sanboshi. There is no way that the reconstruction of Azuchi Castle will be completed in a few months, so this is a bit of a stretch.

Furthermore, from October 15th to 17th, Hideyoshi held a large-scale funeral for Nobunaga at Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto, with his adopted son Hidekatsu, Nobunaga's fourth son, as chief mourner, and made a grand announcement that he was Nobunaga's successor. I appealed. At this time, Katsuie was at Kitanosho Castle in Echigo Province (Niigata Prefecture), but he did not attend the funeral because it was difficult to move due to the snow and there was a risk of assassination by a military commander on Hideyoshi's side.

In return, Katsuie appealed to Hideyoshi for peace in November. This was done because Echigo Province in the Hokuriku region was concerned that they would be unable to move if the snow deepened, so this was to buy time. Toshiie Maeda, Nagachika Kanamori, and Naomitsu Fuwa were dispatched as envoys. Hideyoshi seems to have understood that these peace negotiations were to buy time, and instead tried to persuade the emissaries to become his allies (but failed).

Winter is your chance! Hideyoshi attacks Nagahama and Gifu Castle with a large army.

In December, Hideyoshi ignored peace and dispatched troops to Omi, saying, ``Now that Katsuie is stuck in the snow, now is our chance!'' He led a large army of 50,000 men and attacked Nagahama Castle and Gifu Castle under the motto of ``liberating the Sanpōshi that Nobukatsu had monopolized.''

Katsuie's adopted son, Katsutoyo Shibata, was the lord of Nagahama Castle, but in reality, Katsuie and Katsutoyo were not on good terms. Hideyoshi cleverly picked up on this family discord and ordered Yoshitsugu Otani to mediate the situation. As a result, Katsutoyo, along with Nagahama Castle, defected to Hideyoshi's side.

After that, Nobutaka of Gifu Castle, who was isolated because he could not expect reinforcements from Katsuie due to the snow, also surrendered to Hideyoshi. Nobutaka handed Sanboshi over to Hideyoshi, and his mother and daughter were taken hostage.

Katsuie tries to make a comeback with Kazumasu Takigawa

In January 1583, Shibata Katsuie's side began an attack. Kazumasu Takigawa of Ise raised an army and captured Hideyoshi's castles, including Kameyama Castle and Kokubun Castle. Kazumasu himself confined himself to Nagashima Castle in Kuwana District, Ise Province, and prepared to attack Hideyoshi.

Hideyoshi had been drawing troops to Kyoto to make arrangements with various forces, but in February he led a large army of 70,000 men and invaded Ise. Although Kameyama Castle and Kokubu Castle were recovered, Nagashima Castle, where Kazumasu was located, was difficult to capture.

Under these circumstances, Katsuie finally makes a move to help Kazumasu. They set out for Omi at the end of February, with snow still remaining. This is the beginning of the Battle of Shizugatake.

"Battle of Shizugatake" ① Katsuie's army makes a preemptive attack and takes down the fort.

On March 12th, Katsuie Shibata led an army of 30,000 soldiers and encamped at Yanagase in Omi Province along with Toshiie Maeda and Morimasa Sakuma. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, on the other hand, left his 10,000-strong army in Ise as a countermeasure against Nagashima Castle, and led about 50,000 soldiers to take up camp in Kinomoto. For a while, both armies built forts to form their own defense lines and prepared for battle while scouting for the enemy. Nagahide Niwa, on Hideyoshi's side, also dispatched troops to Tsuruga (Fukui Prefecture) and Kaizu (Gifu Prefecture) to check Katsuie's side, and the war reached a stalemate.

The article on the Battle of Shizugatake 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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