Battle of Imafuku

今福の戦い

Tokugawa Clan

Imafuku

Settsu Province

Toyotomi Clan

Date:  11/26 of Keichō 19 (1614)

Location:  The village of Imafuku to the northeast of Ōsaka Castle in Settsu Province

Synopsis:  In the early years of the Edo period, the Toyotomi family resisted efforts by the Tokugawa clan to unify the country, culminating in a showdown between the Edo bakufu army and the Toyotomi army known as the Siege of Ōsaka, occurring in the winter of 1614 and the summer of 1615.  In this battle during the winter campaign, Satake Yoshinobu led bakufu forces on a mission to capture a fortress in the village of Imafuku from the Toyotomi.  The result was indeterminate with the Tokugawa unable to build an auxiliary castle in Imafuku.

Lord:  Tokugawa Ieyasu 

Commanders:  Satake Yoshinobu

Commanders of reinforcements:  Uesugi Kagekatsu, Naoe Kanetsugu, Horio Tadaharu, Sakakibara Yasukatsu  

Forces:  1,500 + 1,000 reinforcements

Losses:  Unknown

Lord:  Toyotomi Hideyori

Commanders:  Yano Masatomo, Iida Iesada

Commanders of reinforcements:  Kimura Shigenari, Gotō Mototsugu

Forces:  600 + 3,000 reinforcements

Losses:  Yano Masatomo, Iida Iesada, others unknown

The Battle of Imafuku occurred on 11/26 of Keichō 19 (1614) to the northeast of Ōsaka Castle in Settsu Province.  This was one of the battles during the Winter Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka in which the Edo bakufu army fought against the Toyotomi army based at Ōsaka Castle.

To the northeast of Ōsaka Castle, on the northern shore of the Yamato River lies the village of Imafuku and, on the southern shore, the village of Shigino.  This is a lowlands area so the battalions can only maneuver on the embankments surrounded by rice fields. 

Aiming to build an auxiliary castle in Imafuku, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered his army to capture the Toyotomi bases in Imafuku and Shigino on the same day, ordering Satake Yoshinobu to lead 1,500 soldiers to Imafuku and Uesugi Kagekatsu to lead 5,000 soldiers to Shigino.  The events in Shigino are known as the Battle of Shigino.

In the village of Imafuku, the Toyotomi dug trenches in three locations and built four layers of fencing.  Yano Masatomo and Iida Iesada were each assigned 300 hundred soldiers to defend the village.  To build an auxiliary castle in the village, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered his army to capture the Toyotomi bases in Imafuku and Shigino.  He then ordered Satake Yoshinobu to lead 1,500 soldiers to Imafuku.

At dawn on 11/26, the Satake forces attacked Imafuku, with retainers including Shibue Masamitsu and Tomura Yoshikuni occupying the area up to the fourth layer of fencing.  while both commanders, Masatomo and Iesada, were killed in action.  The arrival of Kimura Shigenari and reinforcements for the Toyotomi army enabled a counterattack.  The Satake forces pulled-back slightly, but then the two sides entered a stalemate.  Observing the progress of the battle from the tower at Ōsaka Castle, Toyotomi Hideyori ordered Gotō Mototsugu to join the fight with reinforcements.  Mototsugu rushed to support Shigenari and commanded an assault to push back the Satake forces.  Masamitsu advanced to the fourth layer of fencing but, upon orders from Shigenari, was shot and killed, causing the vanguard of the Satake to flee in disarray.  Satake Yoshinobu called for support from the Uesugi forces located on the other side of the Yamato River.  In response, forces led by Uesugi Kagekatsu, Horio Yasukatsu, and Sakakibara Yasukatsu advanced to a sandbank in the river and fired arquebuses, after which the Toyotomi army withdrew.  The result of the battle, however, was indeterminate with the Tokugawa unable to build an auxiliary castle in Imafuku.

For their service in this battle, five members of the Satake family, including Kurosawa Michiie, received written certificates of commendation and rewards from Tokugawa Hidetada, the second shōgun of the Edo bakufu.