Battle of Fukai
Year: Eishō 8: 1511 (7/13)
Location: Fukai Castle near the city of Sakai in Izumi Province, south of Ōsaka
Outcome: After Hosokawa Sumimoto sent forces to launch attacks near Sakai, Hosokawa Takakuni dispatched an army to confront them at Fukai Castle, rushing into an empty complex only to be slaughtered while attempting to exit.
The Battle of Fukai occurred on 7/13 of Eishō 8 (1511) at Fukai Castle in the metropolis of Sakai in Izumi Province, south of Ōsaka.
This represented one event in a prolonged series of military clashes between rivals within the Hosokawa clan that occurred between 1509 and 1531, known as the Conflict between the Hosokawa (Ryō-Hosokawa no ran). These events comprised the military component of a broader succession struggle between the adopted sons of Hosokawa Masamoto. Masamoto was an influential deputy shōgun, with de facto power over the bakufu. However, tensions arose from his choice of a successor, leading to his assassination in 1507, known as the Lord Hosokawa Incident (Hosokawa-dono no hen). Intertwined with this struggle existed a rivalry between Ashikaga Yoshitane and Ashikaga Yoshizumi to serve as shōgun, all occurring in the midst of a decline in the capacity of the Muromachi bakufu to exercise authority in the capital of Kyōto and beyond. This multi-faceted struggle is known as the Eishō Disturbance (Eishō no sakuran), commencing from the time of Masamoto’s assassination in 1507 until the defeat of Hosokawa Takakuni by Hosokawa Harumoto at the Collapse at Daimotsu (Daimotsu kuzure) in 1531.
There are very limited sources of information concerning the history of Fukai Castle other than this battle.
In 1509, after the Battle of Nyoigatake, Hosokawa Sumimoto returned to Awa Province, whereupon he sought to devise a military strategy to return to Kyōto and enable Ashikaga Yoshizumi to reclaim his position as shōgun. On 7/7 of 1511, he assigned family members – Hosokawa Masakata and Hosokawa Mototsune (the military governor of Izumi Province) – to serve as the lead commanders of an army that landed on the shoreline of Sakai. The forces launched an initial attack against Tennōji Castle. Then, Yamanaka Tametoshi, Hatakeyama Takakuni, and Yusa Nobumori, along with a group of irregulars, converged to set-up positions near Fukai Castle. The army led by Masakata totaled seven to eight thousand men.
Upon hearing of this news, Hosokawa Takakuni, a rival of Sumimoto, ordered kunishū, or families of local influence, in Settsu Province to attack them, and quickly took action. This led to the formation of an army of 20,000 men comprised of members of the Ikeda, Itami, Miyake, Ibaraki, Aiu, Fukui, Ōta, Irie, Takatsuki clans, establishing bases at the Nishimura and Higashimura fortresses.
Details of the battle
The battle commenced on 7/13 after Takakuni sent his vanguard toward Fukai Castle. After his forces invaded the castle, it became known that no one remained. The exits were closed and the soldiers trapped inside the complex. As the invaders sought to escape, units under Hosokawa Masakata descended upon the exits and engaged in violent clashes with those attempting to exit the castle. Takakuni’s men fought valiantly, but were all cut down, with over 300 commanders and soldiers slayed in the battle.
Survivors among the Takakuni army fled to Sakai, while Masakata seized the opportunity to attack Nakajima Castle that same day. This led to the ensuing Battle at Funaokayama.