Battle of Goryō


Hatakeyama Yoshinari


Hatakeyama Masanaga

Date:  1/18 to 1/19 of Ōnin 1 (1467)

Location:  Grounds of the Kamigoryō Shrine north of Kyōto in Yamashiro Province

Outcome:  After losing his position as head of the main branch of the Hatakeyama clan and fleeing north of the capital, Hatakeyama Masanaga lost over two days of fighting against pursuing forces led by his rival, Hatakeyama Yoshinari.

Commanders:  Hatakeyama Yoshinari, Yamana Masatoyo, Asakura Takakage

Forces:  Unknown

Casualties:  Unknown

Commanders:  Hatakeyama Masanaga, Jinbō Naganobu, Yusa  Naganao

Forces:  Unknown

Casualties:  Unknown

The Battle of Goryō occurred over a two-day period in early 1467 near the Kamigoryō Shrine in the Kamigyō District of Kyōto in Yamashiro Province.  The battle involved a clash between the armies of Hatakeyama Yoshinari and Hatakeyama Masanaga. The Hatakeyama clan were the military governors of Kawachi, Kii, Yamashiro, and Etchū provinces.  Discord within the Hatakeyama clan and this clash triggered the Ōnin-Bunmei War that lasted over a period of almost eleven years.

Course of events

Beginning in 1454, a disturbance within the Hatakeyama clan led to intervention by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eighth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu, and, at one time, Hatakeyama Yoshinari became its head.  Yoshinari, however, ignored the orders of Yoshimasa and engaged in repeated military interventions in Yamato, causing a gradual loss of trust.  With the support of Hosokawa Katsumoto, the deputy shōgun, Yoshinari’s opponents began to back Yoshinari’s younger cousin, Hatakeyama Masanaga, endangering Yoshinari’s position.

In the sixth month of 1460, after causing a dispute at the Negoro Temple in Kii Province, Yoshinari directed his army from Kyōto toward Kii.  Katsumoto, however, took advantage of the military vacuum and the fact that Yoshinari had been abandoned by Yoshimasa so that, in the ninth month, told Yoshinari to transfer leadership of the clan to Masanaga.  Yoshinari refused and fled to his territory in Kawachi, intercepted Masanaga’s army in the Battle of Dakeyama Castle, and resisted until the the fourth month of 1463.  After the fall of Dakeyama Castle, Yoshinari fled to Yoshino in the southern portion of Yamato Province.  After taking over the role as head of the clan from Yoshinari, in 1464, Masanaga was chosen to be the successor to Katsumoto as the deputy shōgun.  This significantly expanded the power of Katsumoto who re-positioned the Hatakeyama clan with Masanaga as the head.

Meanwhile, similar to the Hatakeyama, the Shiba clan was also beset by internal disputes.  This became a complicated situation owing to the desire of Yoshimasa to organize an expedition force to Kantō in the midst of continued fighting in opposition to Ashikaga Shigeuji, the Koga kubō, in the Kyōtoku Conflict.  Shiba Yoshikado was appointed by Yoshimasa as the head of the Shiba clan in lieu of Shiba Yoshitoshi and his son, Shiba Matsuōmaru, on account of being the son of Shibukawa Yoshikane, the steward of Ashikaga Masatomo (the Kamakura kubō (Horigoe kubō) officially sanctioned by the bakufu).

Yoshikado’s father initiated a political dispute and lost his position so Yoshikado feared being forsaken by Yoshimasa.  Together with his retainer Asakura Takakage (the seventh head of the Asakura clan), Yoshikado joined with assorted daimyō including Yamana Sōzen in an effort to block Yoshimasa.  Yoshinari was also one of those chosen, and, around 1465, Yoshikado allied with Yoshinari through Takakage.  In 1466, he became engaged to the adopted daughter of Sōzen, furthering formation of the faction.

Orders from the bakufu to replace Yoshikado with Yoshitoshi as head of the clan triggered opposition from assorted daimyō.  Sōzen and Katsumoto colluded to commit the Bunshō Political Incident on 9/6 of 1466, leading to the ouster of close associates of Yoshimasa, namely, Ise Sadachika and Kikei Shinzui.  Sōzen and Yoshikado urged Yoshinari to raise arms, whereupon, on 8/25, Yoshinari appeared at the Tsubosaka (Minami-hokke) Temple in Yamato prior to the Bunshō Political Incident, and then in the ninth month led forces into Kawachi and toppled secondary castles affiliated with Masanaga.  Regional kokujin, or local leaders, such as Ochi Iehide and Furuichi Tanehide of Yamato who supported Yoshinari also rebelled.  On 11/28, through the mediation of Tōchi Tōkiyo, Ochi Iehide and others reconciled with Tsutsui Junei (another kokujin of Yamato) allied with Masanaga, thereby settling the conflict in Yamato.  Yoshinari set aside the situation in Yamato and, upon the request of Sōzen on 12/25, traveled from Kawachi to Kyōto (arriving on 12/27) where he awaited developments at the Daihō-on Temple.  Having perceived the threat, Masanaga reinforced the defenses at his residence.

On 1/1 of 1467, Masanaga held without incident a celebratory banquet to mark the beginning of the new year.  A planned visit to Masanaga’s residence on 1/2 by Ashikaga Yoshimasa was canceled.  Instead, Yoshinari met with Yoshimasa and the role as head of the Hatakeyama clan changed in fact to Yoshinari.  On 1/5, Yoshinari entertained Yoshimasa in a residence that Yoshinari borrowed from Sōzen.  On 1/6, an order was given to Masanaga to transfer his residence to Yoshinari.  Masanaga denied the order and, together with retainers including Jinbō Naganobu strengthened his defenses of the residence.  On 1/8, Masanaga was then discharged by the deputy shōgun and replaced by Yoshikado, further undermining his position.  Formation of the faction in 1465, the Bunshō Political Incident, and the discharge of Masanaga by the deputy shōgun comprised a series of maneuvers to maintain Yoshikado’s position as the successor to the clan.  The Yamana faction led by Sōzen became the strongest group in control of the bakufu.

On 1/15, while Sōzen hosted a banquet, he reinforced defenses with troops from his faction at the palace of the Ashikaga shōgun in Kyōto known as the Hana-no-gosho. Meanwhile, Hosokawa Katsumoto and Kyōgoku Mochikiyo appeared preparing to attack the bakufu. Yoshimasa then intervened on 1/17 by ordering Katsumoto to cease support for Masanaga, and Katsumoto consented on the condition that Sōzen suspend support for Yoshinari.  Yoshimasa stood on the side of the Yamana faction, and with the severing of Katsumoto’s support, Masanaga faced a precarious situation, whereupon, around 4:00 AM on 1/18, he set fire to his residence and headed north of the capital, establishing a base at the Kamigoryō Shrine in the environs of Kyōto.  Sōzen enabled the emperor (Gotsuchi-mikado) and the retired emperor (Gohana-zono) to transfer from their palace to the Hana-no-gosho for protection.

Yoshinari then led forces north toward the Kamigoryō Shrine which led to the battle.  The Kamigoryō Shrine was bordered by a river on the west side, while to the south lay the Shōkoku Temple surrounded by large moats with thickets, so attacks would come from the north or east.  Masanaga and his retainers, including Yusa Naganao, engaged in a ferocious fight against Yoshinari’s forces until around 4:00 AM on 1/19, but, isolated and overwhelmed, the defenders set fire to the hall of worship at the shrine and fled to Katsumoto’s residence.

It was reported that Sōzen’s grandson, Yamana Masatoyo, and Asakura Takakage were converging forces with Yoshinari, but the battle was over by the morning of 1/19 so they did not participate.  The Battle of Goryō ended in victory for Yoshinari while Yoshimasa mediated among assorted daimyō to avoid escalation into a larger conflict, allowing for calm after the first month of the year.  Nevertheless, neither of the factions stopped summoning forces to Kyōto.  On 5/26 of 1467, Katsumoto sent forces from his factions into the territory of the Yamana faction, initiating hostilities that led next to the Battle of Kamigyō in the early stages of the Ōnin-Bunmei War.