Battle of Hachihama
Date: Second month of Tenshō 10 (1582)
Location: The village of Hachihama in the Kojima District of Bizen Province
Outcome: A small confrontation between soldiers from the Mōri and Ukita in the foothills of Mount Mugii escalated into a large battle between the opposing sides, with the Ukita fleeing in defeat.
The Battle of Hachihama occurred in the second month of Tenshō 10 (1582) in the village of Hachihama in the Kojima District of Bizen Province. The battle was waged between the Mōri army who were the most powerful force in the western region and the Ukita clan under the command of Hashiba Hideyoshi who was leading the western expansion of the Oda clan.
Details of the battle
Regional situation to the battle
At the end of 1581, Ukita Naoie, a sengoku daimyō and the head of the Ukita clan, died of illness at the age of fifty-three at Okayama Castle in Bizen. The following spring, Hoida Motokiyo served as the commander-in-charge for the advance of Mōri forces to Tsuneyama Castle in Bitchū Province with the aim of controlling the Kojima District. The Ukita received a written report concerning the advance of the Mōri forces from Kojima to Okayama. Ukita Haruie and Ukita Motoie (father and son) then led Togawa Hideyasu, Oka Ietoshi and others to set-up a base at Hachihama Castle, and then attempted to build a fortress on Mount Mugii to oppose the Mōri at Tsuneyama Castle. However, after detecting the construction, the Mōri forces occupied Mount Mugii in a standoff against the Ukita at Hachihama Castle, resulting in a series of skirmishes.
In the early morning of 2/24 of Tenshō 10 (1582), the Ukita sent out several forces to cut grass for the horses in the foothills of Mount Mugii. The Mōri then dispatched several of their soldiers to chase away the Ukita forces. Additional forces then joined on the side of the Ukita, matched in kind by the Mōri to fight back. The situation escalated with both sides fielding a large army, leading to a large battle in the willow fields of Hachihama. Ukita Motoie was killed in action. Fleeing in defeat, the Ukita forces barely halted the Mōri through the valiant efforts of soldiers known as the Seven Spears of Hachihama, comprised of Nose Yoriyose, Kunitomi Sadatsugu, Shijikai Tarōbei, Baba Motoie, Kishimoto Sōjirō, Komori Saburōemon, and Kurii Saburōhyōe Masaharu. Thereafter, the Ukita forces sheltered in Hachihama Castle and waited for reinforcements from Hideyoshi.