Attack on Shikoku (2/2)Toyotomi Hideyoshi VS Chosokabe Motochika

Attack on Shikoku

Attack on Shikoku

Article category
case file
Incident name
Attack on Shikoku (1585)
Tokushima prefecture, Kagawa prefecture, Ehime prefecture, Kochi prefecture
Related castles, temples and shrines
Shozui Castle

Shozui Castle

Oka Toyoshiro

Oka Toyoshiro

people involved

Toyotomi's army first began to capture Kizu Castle, which was guarded by Tojo Sekibei. After eight days of fighting, Sekibei surrendered the castle to the Toyotomi army due to the lack of water and the persuasion efforts of his uncle Tojo Kiimokami, who was in the Toyotomi army. He then fled to Tosa, but was forced to commit seppuku by an angry Motochika.

After that, Toyotomi's army continued to gain momentum, and Chosokabe's army was left in a weak position. Chosokabe's army is at the mercy of the Toyotomi army's plan to attack from three directions at the same time, and has to deal with it by dispersing its small force. As a result, Chikasu Kasokabe of Ushiki Castle and Yasutoshi Yoshida of Kiyama Castle abandoned the castle and returned to Tosa.

Of the remaining castles, Hidenaga was in charge of capturing Ichinomiya Castle, and Hidetsugu was in charge of capturing Iwakura Castle. Ichinomiya Castle was defended by Tadazumi Tani and Chikatoshi Emura with 10,000 soldiers, but it was surrounded by 50,000 Toyotomi troops and was cut off from supply routes and water, so it was surrendered in late July.

In addition to Hidetsugu, Kanbei Kuroda also participated in the attack on Iwakura Castle, and by building a tower on the side of the castle and firing cannons into it, they tormented Chikaoki Hieyama of Iwakura Castle and forced him to surrender. Although Waki Castle did its best and withstood the attacks of Hideyoshi's army, it was abandoned after neighboring Iwakura Castle fell. Thus, the defense line of Awa Province collapsed, and the battle in Awa Province ended in victory for Hideyoshi's army.

Attack on Shikoku ③ Battle of wits in Sanuki Province

The army headed for Sanuki Province landed on Yashima, and first captured Kioka Castle (Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture), which was guarded by Yorimura Takamatsu, the lord of the castle from the Chosokabe side. Next, we captured Kosai Castle and Mure Castle. Next, he thought of attacking Ueda Castle, which was being defended by Chikatake Tonami, Motochika Chosokabe's cousin.

However, Ueda Castle is a strong and well-defended castle. Furthermore, Kanbei Kuroda surmised that ``If we surrounded Ueda Castle, the Chosokabe army might attack from behind,'' and proposed that they cancel the attack on Ueda Castle and join up with the main force of Awa Province. I thought that the place of the decisive battle would be Awa Province. In the end, the generals agreed to this plan, and the Toyotomi army from Sanuki Province passed through Ueda Castle and joined up with the main army.

In fact, Motochika Chosokabe had hidden soldiers in ambush near Ueda Castle, and was planning to carry out a pincer attack by having Hideyoshi's army attack Ueda Castle. However, Kanbei sees through his plan. My parents must have been disappointed.

Attack on Shikoku ④ Confrontation with Mori forces in Iyo Province

The Toyotomi army heading towards Iyo Province was mostly Mori forces, led by Terumoto Mori. Terumoto remained in Mihara (Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture), but the ships carrying soldiers left Mihara and Tadanoumi (Takehara City, Hiroshima Prefecture) in late June. On June 27th, an army led by Takakage Kobayakawa landed in Imabari, and on July 5th, Motonaga Yoshikawa landed in either Imabari or Niihama.

The first targets of the Mori forces were the Ishikawa clan in Uma District (parts of Shikokuchuo City and Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture), and powerful members of the Ishikawa clan's vassals who ruled Arai District (Niihama City and Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture). It was Kaneko's house. The head of the Ishikawa clan is Ishikawa Toratake, who is only 8 years old. For this reason, Motoyaku ruled the area as the de facto leader of Uma and Arai. This Motoya and Takakage Kodigawa fought a fierce battle in July called ``Tensho no Jin'' or ``Battle of Kaneko Castle/Battle of Takao Castle.''

At the time the Mori army attacked, Motoya was at Takao Castle with Toratake Ishikawa, and his younger brother Motoharu Kaneko was defending his stronghold, Kaneko Castle. The Mori forces first began their attack on Takao Castle. The attack began on July 12th, and a fierce battle ensued with many killed on both sides. Then, on July 17, Motoya set Takao Castle on fire and marched out of the castle with around 600 soldiers. Against the large Mori army, the Motoyaku side had a total of 800 troops, including reinforcements from the Chosokabe army. The result was a great victory for the Mori forces, and the Motoya continued their resistance until the end and were annihilated. Furthermore, his lord, Toratake Ishikawa, has safely returned to Tosa.

After that, the Mori army attacked Takatoge Castle and other castles in Arai District, and fell Kaneko Castle. He then proceeded further east to capture Uma County. Motochika Chosokabe surrendered to the Toyotomi army during the invasion, but the Mori forces continued their attack on Iyo without stopping, and took control of Iyo at the end of August.

Motochika Chosokabe surrenders to Hideyoshi

Motochika Chosokabe struggled against the three-pronged attack of Toyotomi's army, but he did not give up on the war just yet. However, his subordinates, including Tadazumi Tani, who had escaped from Ichinomiya Castle, advised him to surrender. In particular, Tadazumi strongly appealed to Motochika to surrender, citing the overwhelming military strength of Hideyoshi's army that he saw with his own eyes. Motochika insisted on a thorough resistance, saying, ``Surrendering without a single fight is a failure of the samurai's reputation.''

Meanwhile, on July 25th, Toyotomi Hidenaga sent a letter advising him to cease fire, stating that he would make every effort to give Motochika all of Tosa Province. Due to these movements, Motochika eventually decided to accept the cease-fire recommendation and surrender. Peace was concluded on August 6, and the invasion of Shikoku ended with victory for Hideyoshi's army.

As a result of the peace, the Chosokabe clan was barely relieved of Tosa Province. After Awa, Sanuki, and Iyo Province were confiscated by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, on August 4th, in the "Shikoku Kokubu", Awa Province was given to Masakatsu Hachisuka's children's household, Sanuki Province was given to Hidehisa Sengoku and Tsunayasu Sogo, and Iyo Province were given to Takakage Kobayakawa respectively.

In addition, the terms of the peace included that Nobuchika Chosokabe be allowed to live in Osaka, that his second son and chief retainer be offered as hostages, that the head of the Chosokabe family lead 3,000 soldiers and serve in the military, and that he was prohibited from forming an alliance with Ieyasu Tokugawa. It was also mentioned. Motochika complies with this (however, it is his third son who is offered as a hostage). In this way, Motochika was able to survive under the Toyotomi government as a subordinate of Hideyoshi.

Afterwards, Motochika participated in the Kyushu invasion (also known as Kyushu pacification and Kyushu conquest), which Hideyoshi conducted from July 1586 to April 1587, as an advance party. He took part in the Odawara conquest and the dispatch of troops to Korea, and passed away on May 19, 1598, the year after Hideyoshi died.

Reread the article about attacking Shikoku

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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