Glossary: event - battle

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Dewa Kassen (出羽合戦)
1600

The Battle of Dewa was the Battle of Sekigahara fought in the North, in which Uesugi Kagekatsu was defeated and forced to submit to Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Uesugi Kagekatsu raised an army of 50,000 to move against Tokugawa Ieyasu, but lost Shiroishi in a siege to the combined armies of Date Masamune and Mogami Yoshiaki. Afterwards, Mogami sent a letter to Kagekatsu, suggesting that he become a vassal of Tokugawa. Kagekatsu refused and ordered his chief vassal Naoe Kanetsugu to attack the Mogami territory of Dewa. Kanetsugu led a force of more than 20,000 in an invasion of Mogami's territory, capturing Hosoya Castle. However, though he surrounded Hasedou Castle, it stood firm with the aid of Yamagata Castle.

Taking advantage of Uesugi's superiority of numbers, Onodera Yoshimichi also invaded Mogami territory. Surrounded, Yoshiaki send a request for aid to his nephew Date Masamune. 500 cavalry from Date a few days later held the battle to a stalemate. However, when news of the defeat of the western forces in the Battle of Sekigahara reached Uesugi and Mogami, Mogami gave chase to Uesugi's retreat in sudden reversal, resulting in fierce battles around Hasedou Castle. Uesugi lost more than 1,500, Mogami around 600.

Kawagoe-jou no Tatakai (河越城の戦い)
May 19, 1546 - May 19, 1546

Also known as: Kawagoe Night Battle (河越夜戦), Kawagoe Engagement (河越合戦)

The Battle of Kawagoe Castle was fought on May 19, 1546, in Musashi Province at and around Kawagoe Castle, held by the Houjou, against an overwhelming force led by Uesugi Norimasa (Yamanouchi-Uesugi Clan and the then-Kantou Kanrei), Uesugi Tomosada (Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan), and Ashikaga Haruuji (the then-Koga Kubou).

When the Uesugi-Ashikaga forces besieged Kawagoe Castle on Oct. 31, 1545, they numbered roughly 70,000-80,000 men to the 3,000 in the castle garrison, led by Houjou Tsunashige. (One account says that all the daimyo of the Kantou except Chiba Toshitane of Shimousa participated.) Ujiyasu led a reinforcement force of 8,000 from Sagami, and the fighting was locked in stalemate for several months. Kushima Tsunahiro (Tsunashige's younger brother), who was in Ujiyasu's reinforcement force, sent a single horseman to slip through the Uesugi-Ashikaga forces into the castle to coordinate a surprise attack.

Ujiyasu sent a false offer of surrender to the Uesugi army. Instead of accepting it, they attacked the Houjou fiercely. Ujiyasu pulled back, luring the enemy into believing they had the battle in hand. On the night of May 19, Ujiyasu split his 8,000 troops into four companies. One of them he left under the leadership of Tame Mototada with the command that it would not move until the end of the battle. Ujiyasu led the other three companies, traveling lightly without armor, into the enemy camp at midnight. The Uesugi-Ashikaga army collapsed in pandemonium. Uesugi Tomosada was killed. When Tame Mototada saw from behind Ujiyasu that he had thrust too far in, he sounded a conch shell to warn Ujiyasu and pull him back. On the other hand, Tsunashige, who had been watching over the battle from inside the castle, led his troops into Ashikaga Haruuji's army, shouting "We've won! We've won!" Occupied with Ujiyasu's army and completely unprepared, the Ashikaga army was routed. The total number of dead on the Uesugi-Ashikaga side reached 13,000 according to some accounts.

As a result of the battle, the Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Clan was destroyed, and Kantou Kanrei Uesugi Norimasa rapidly lost power and influence until he was driven out of Hirai Castle, his main stronghold, and forced to seek refuge with Nagao Kagetora in Echigo. Immediately thereafter, Ashikaga Haruuji was surrounded at the old imperial palace and forced to retired in favor of his son, Ashikaga Yoshiuji, whose wife was Houjou Ujiyasu's daughter.

Mifuneyama Kassen (三船山合戦)
Sept. 25, 1567 - Sept. 25, 1567

Also known as: Mifunedai no Tatakai (三船台の戦)

The Battle of Mt. Mifune/Mifunedai was fought between Satomi Yoshihiro and Houjou Ujimasa on Sept. 25, 1567, in Kazusa, Kimitsu-gun, Mifunedai (present-day Kimitsu City in Chiba Prefecture.

The battle took place after a heavy defeat suffered by Satomi Yoshihiro at the hand of the Houjou Clan in the 2nd Battle of Kounodai (1564), in which Yoshihiro lost the northern part of Kazusa and the western part of the Satomi territory. The Houjou was in the process of building a fortress at Mifunedai, the base of Mt. Mifune, in order to take Yoshihiro's main fortress of Sanuki Castle. Knowing that once the Houjou fortress was completed, Sanuki Castle, located only a kilometer to the south, would be in great danger, Yoshihiro attacked the Houjou troops stationed at Mifunedai.

Upon learning of the attack, Houjou Ujimasa lead his troops across Edo Bay while sending Houjou Ujiteru with a detached force toward Kururi Castle, Satomi Yoshitaka (Yoshihiro's father)'s main fortress.

In response, Yoshihiro rallied from Sanuki Castle and met Ujimasa's troops in a fierce battle. The Satomi army tore the Houjou army apart, killing one of its chief commanders, Oota Ujisuke. Fearing a pincer attack from land and water, the entire Houjou army retreated back to Sagami.

Mimase-touge no Tatakai (三増峠の戦い)
Oct. 8, 1569

The Battle of Mimase Pass took place on Oct. 8, 1569 between the armies of the Houjou Clan, led by Houjou Ujiteru and Houjou Ujikuni, and the Takeda Clan, led by Takeda Shingen, after the Kai-Sagami-Suruga alliance fell apart in 1568 upon Takeda's invasion of Suruga.

On Oct. 1, 1569, Takeda Shingen besieged Houjou Ujiyasu's Odawara Castle with 20,000 troops, but like Uesugi Kenshin before him, failed to penetrate the Houjou Clan's main fortress' defenses and retreated four days later on Oct. 5 after setting fire to the land near the castle. Houjou Ujiteru and Houjou Ujikuni set up an ambush with an army of 12,000-20,000 (estimates differ) at the strategic Mimase Pass for the Takeda army as it retreated back towards Kai. Houjou Ujimasa brought up their main army of 20,000 in a pincer movement.

Takeda Shingen led the Takeda army along with his generals Takeda Katsuyori, Takeda Nobukado, Yamagata Masakage, Naitou Masatoyo, Baba Nobuharu, Asari Nobutane, and Obata Norishige.

Houjou Ujiteru and Houjou Ujikuni led the Houjou army along with their generals Houjou Ujitada, Takajou Kurando (?), Hara Tanehide, and Ueda Tomonao.

Ujiteru and Ujikuni apparently sprung the ambush before Ujimasa arrived. Shingen, who had sensed the attack, split his army into three parts: one met the Houjou head-on, while the other two hid in the mountain and attacked from the side. The two armies met in full-blown battle on Oct. 8. The Houjou held the advantage at the start. However, a detached force led by Yamagata Masakage struck in a surprise attack from the higher ground of Shida Pass about a kilometer to the south-west, managing to turn the tide of the battle. The Takeda army also employed arquebuses in the narrow mountain pass to their great advantage, and the Houjou army suffered heavy losses. Though the fighting was close at the beginning of the battle, by the end it was clearly a Takeda victory.

Ujimasa halted his army upon hearing of the Houjou defeat, so the pincer attack (which may yet have won the day for the Houjou) never came to pass. Takeda then pushed forward into Sagami, there to raise his victory shout, before retreating.

Because Uesugi Kenshin had not sent aid during the seige and battle, the Houjou Clan began to view him with distrust, and Houjou Ujiyasu wrote a letter to him expressing his discontent. This battle would become the underlying cause for the Houjou's severing of their alliance with the Uesugi Clan and reformation of their alliance with the Takeda Clan.

Odawara no Eki (小田原の役)
Feb. - July 1590

The Siege of Odawara in 1590 was the campaign by which Toyotomi Hideyoshi killed Houjou Ujimasa, exiled his son Houjou Ujinao, and eliminated the mighty Later Houjou Clan, ruler of the eight provinces of the Kantou, as a threat to his power.

The Houjou were not caught unprepared; guessing at Hideyoshi's intentions, they had made preparations by making a massive recruitment effort targeting men from 15 to 70 years of age, shoring up arms, and making large-scale renovations and repairs to Odawara Castle, Hachiouji Castle, Yamanaka Castle, Nirayama Castle, and others.

Toyotomi's main force consisted of Toyotomi Hidetsugu, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda Nobukatsu, Gamou Ujisato, Kuroda Yoshitaka, Hashiba Hidekatsu, Ukita Hideie, Oda Nobukane, Hosokawa Tadaoki, Kobayakawa Takakage, Kikkawa Hiroie, Hori Hidemasa, Ikeda Terumasa, Asano Nagamasa, Ishida Mitsunari, Natsuka Masaie, Hasegawa Hidekazu, Ootani Yoshitsugu, Ishikawa Kazumasa, Mashita Nagamori, Kanamori Nagachika, Tsutsui Sadatsugu, Ikoma Chikamasa, Hachisuka Iemasa, Ootomo Yoshimune, and Shimadu Hisayasu leading approx. 170,000 troops. His navy was lead by Chousokabe Motochika, Katou Yoshiakira, Kuki Yoshitaka, and Wakizaka Yasuharu with approx. 10,000 troops. An additional army lead by Maeda Toshiie, Maeda Toshinaga, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Sanada Masayuki, and Yoda Yasukuni came down from the north with approx. 35,000 troops.

In all, around 210,000 troops faced the Houjou 82,000 (though opinions differ on those numbers).

For the Houjou, Houjou Ujimasa, Houjou Ujinao, Houjou Ujitada, Houjou Ujiteru, Oota Ujifusa, [[Narita Ujinaga, Minagawa Hiroteru, Haga Yasutada, Matsuda Norihide, Kasahara Masaharu and Kasahara Masataka held Odawara Castle. Matsuda Yasunaga held Yamanaka Castle, Houjou Ujikatsu Yamanaka Castle then Tamanawa Castle, Houjou Ujinori Nirayama Castle, Daidouji Masashige Matsuida Castle, and Houjou Ujikuni Hachigata Castle.

Toyotomi's basic strategy held the troops from the north in reserve while sending his main army towards Odawara Castle, taking Yamanaka Castle, Nirayama Castle, and Ashigara Castle along the way. At the same time, his navy circled Izu Peninsula toward Odawara from the south. Though Toyotomi controlled an overwhelming force, the Houjou had gathered an elite force of 50,000 at Odawara Castle, with the most elite among them placed at Yamanaka, Nirayama, and Ashigara Castles.

One by one, the Houjou's supporting castles fell either to Toyotomi's main force or to the reserves from the north. At Odawara, however, only a night attack by Oota Ujifusa on the Houjou side and some skirmishes from the Toyotomi side could be called actual fighting.

In July, Ujinori and Ujifusa began peace negotiations via Ieyasu. The Houjou agreed to surrender, and Ujimasa and Ujiteru were moved to the guardhouse. They committed seppuku on the 10th of August.

Sekigahara no Tatakai (関ヶ原の戦い)
1600

Also known as: Realm Divide

The Battle of Sekigahara was fought on October 21, 1600 between the forces of those loyal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi's young son and heir, Toyotomi Hideyori (forces of the West) and Tokugawa Ieyasu (forces of the East). The battle took place in Sekigahara in modern Gifu Prefecture and was the decisive battle which led to Tokugawa taking control of all Japan.

Suriagehara no Kassen (摺上原の合戦)
1589

A battle fought between Date Masamune and Ashina Yoshihiro on June 5, 1589 in which Date Masamune defeated the Ashina Clan in one of the bloodiest battles of the Sengoku in northern Japan. Around 2300 of the Ashina were killed, many of them drowned when they tried to cross the Nitsubashi River after the Date forces had destroyed the bridge.

Uozu-jou no Tatakai (魚津城の戦い)
March - June, 1582

The Battle of Uozu Castle was fought in 1582 between vassals of Uesugi Kagekatsu with 4000 soldiers and that of Oda Nobunaga with more than 10,000 soldiers. The Oda forces, led by Shibata Katsuie, Sassa Narimasa, Maeda Toshiie, and Sakuma Morimasa, fresh from successfully taking Toyama Castle, besieged Uozu Castle around March 11 (March 3, 1582).

The castle commanders immediately beseeched Kagekatsu for help, but Kagekatsu's reinforcements, already depleted by the Otate no Ran, were delayed by the betrayal of Shibata Shigeie and the Oda troops remaining in Kai and Shinano after their subjugation of the Takeda.

The Oda forces weakened the castle with numerous fierce attacks. Kagekatsu personally led an army from Kasugayama Castle on May 4 (May 25, 1582). Two days later, the Oda forces occupied the outer citadel of the castle. On May 19 (June 9, 1582) the Uesugi army arrived on Uozu Castle's east bank and set up camp at Tenjin Hill. However, they could not break through Oda's besieging army, and were forced to withdraw on May 27 (June 7, 1582) when it appeared that Kasugayama Castle itself may come under attack.

Abandoned by Kagekatsu after a 3-month long siege and running out of provisions, the 13 commanders of Uesugi, Sanbonji Kagenaga, Yoshie Munenobu, Yoshie Kagesuke, Yoshie Nobukage, Ishiguchi Hiromune, Nakajou Kageyasu, Takenomata Yoshitsuna, Terashima Nagasuke, Tadenuma Yasushige, Abe Masayoshi (sp?), Wakabayashi Ienaga (sp?), Kameda Choujou (sp?), and Fujimaru Katsutoshi wrote their names on wooden tablets and committed seppuku on June 3 (June 22, 1582). Thus the castle fell to Oda.

The Oda army prepared to march on to Echigo, but news of the death of Oda Nobunaga on June 21, the day before the end of the siege, caused confusion and panic within the army, and it retreated.

<small>Note: Japanese dates given in this entry are based on the lunar calendar; Gregorian Calendar dates in () were calculated using <a href="http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/geschichte-japans/nengo_calc.htm">NengoCalc</a>.</small>

Yamazaki no Tatakai (山崎の戦い)
1582

A battle fought between Toyotomi Hideyoshi/Oda Nobutaka and Akechi Mitsuhide 13 days after Mitsuhide's forces killed Oda Nobunaga at Honnou Temple. Mitsuhide's troops were out-numbered 2 to 1 in the battle, and most of them fled. Mitsuhide retreated, but was killed en route to Sakamoto Castle at Ogurusu Village.