Battle of Inuta Castle
Date: 9/9 to 9/26 of Bunmei 15 (1483)
Location: Near Inuta Castle in Kawachi Province
Outcome: Evading orders from the Muromachi bakufu to capture and kill him, Hatakeyama Yoshinari gained control of Kawachi and Yamato provinces while defending against an expedition led by Hatakeyama Masanaga aimed at defeating him. Yoshinari captured Inuta Castle while Masanaga was forced to return to Kyōto.
The Battle of Inuta Castle occurred in the ninth month of Bunmei 15 (1483) at Inuta Castle in the northern part of Kawachi Province. The battle was waged between Hatakeyama Yoshinari and Hatakeyama Masanaga over rights to territory in Kawachi Province. Yoshinari prevailed and secured rights to Kawachi.
In 1477, toward the end of the Ōnin-Bunmei War, Hatakeyama Yoshinari traveled from Kyōto to Kawachi, and, at the Siege of Wakae Castle, conquered Kawachi including Wakae Castle in the central part of the province. Kawachi was controlled by Yoshinari’s younger cousin, Hatakeyama Masanaga, who fought to become the next head of the Hatakeyama clan. The Muromachi bakufu took away the role of military governor from Yoshinari and appointed Masanaga in his place. Deemed a rebel and without a pardon, an extraordinary situation arose as Yoshinari controlled the territory of Kawachi. The bakufu issued numerous orders to capture and kill Yoshinari, but Yoshinari’s influence also extended into Yamato Province so there was no actual deployment of forces.
On 3/8 of 1482, Masanaga and Hosokawa Masamoto (the deputy shōgun) deployed from Kyōto, and, on 6/19, marched from Yamazaki on the border of Yamashiro and Settsu to Ibaraki in Settsu. During the advance, the forces subdued kokujin, or provincial families of influence in Settsu who, through Yoshinari, were opposed to Masamato. However, on 7/16, Masamoto individually settled with Yoshinari. In exchange for the return of the Higashinari, Nishinari, and Sumiyoshi districts in Settsu, Masamoto recognized Yoshinari’s possession of a group of manors known as the Seventeen Places in the western part of the Matta District of Kawachi. In the seventh month, Masamoto returned to Kyōto. Meanwhile, Masanaga continued without Masamoto on the march to subjugate Yoshinari. On 7/19, he traveled by boat from Amagasaki to Sakai in Izumi Province, and awaited an opportunity for a while at Kumeda Temple. He then converged with reinforcements from the Kokawa and Negoro Temples in Kii Province. In the eighth month, at the Shōkaku Temple in southern Kawachi, he confronted Yoshinari at Yoden Castle.
After intercepting Masanaga’s army, Yoshinari’s forces engaged in small scale skirmishes while he waited for an opportunity to mount a counterattack. In the tenth month, a detached unit toward Minamiyama Castle to launch a surprise attack. Yoshinari convinced the Takayama clan, landlords in the Ikoma District near Minamiyama Castle and Yamato, to switch sides and support him. On 12/27, Yoshinari’s army captured Kusaji Castle and pacified the Kuse, Tsuzuki, and Sōraku districts. In the fourth month of 1483, the forces toppled Koma Castle in the Sōraku District and occupied Minamiyama Castle including the Kizu River basin. Having been caught completely off-guard, Masanaga’s army continued to resist from the northern part of the Uji River basin, downing the Uji Bridge to block Yoshinari from proceeding farther north. The destruction of the Uji Bridge is also considered to have been the work of Yoshinari to prevent reinforcements from the bakufu army and a southward advance.
Masanaga was at risk of a pincer attack, but, while staying at the Shōkaku Temple, he expected support from the bakufu and additional forces from other provinces. In the eighth month, he imposed a levy in Yamashiro Province that was based on the right of military governors to collect one-half of the annual taxes to be paid by manors and lands under the governance of the central authorities. He then called for 3,000 forces to be sent from Etchū Province. Although Masamoto had promised to transfer to Yoshinari the Seventeen Places in Kawachi, individuals in these locations who sided with Masanaga refused to do so and instead resisted the Yoshinari’s supporters. Aiming to take control of the Seventeen Places, Yoshinari’s army based at Minamiyama Castle headed north and gathered at Yawata while a separate battalion set-up a camp at the borders of Kawachi, Yamashiro, and Yamato provinces to prevent an invasion by Masanaga’s forces from Kawachi.
On 8/13, Yoshinari’s army departed Yawata to attack the Seventeen Places located in lowlands between the Yodo River and expansive Fukono Pond. Noticing that the Yodo River was overflowing due to a long period of rain, on 8/22, the army destroyed the Ōniwa and Uematsu dams on the Yodo River to flood the Seventeen Places. This is known as the Battle of the Seventeen Places. This had the effect of isolating the Seventeen Places, but upstream on the Yodo River, Masanaga’s supporters continued to resist from Inuta Castle in the northern part of Kawachi. In the ninth month, a retainer of Masanaga named Yusa Naganao came from Kyōto to lead forces from Etchū including members of the Shiina clan to serve as a rear guard for those at Inuta Castle who were surrounded by Yoshinari’s army. On 9/9, the armies confronted one another near Inuta Castle. Hostilities broke out on 9/17 which lead to the defeat of Masanaga’s army. Members of the Shiina clan were killed while Yusa Naganao suffered injuries, after which he crossed the Yodo River and fled toward the Shōkaku Temple. Meanwhile, defeated soldiers housed in Inuta Castle. Following the capture of Inuta Castle on 9/26, Yoshinari had in fact pacified Kawachi.
While Masanaga and Yoshinari continued their confrontation in the southern part of Kawachi, Yoshinari’s forces gained control of Minamiyama Castle and the northern part of Kawachi. However, in the seventh month of 1485, Saitō Hikojirō, a retainer of Yoshinari in charge of protecting Minamiyama Castle, betrayed Yoshinari so the front line in Yamashiro turned into a stalemate. After the two armies maintained their positions, on 12/11, kokujin in Yamashiro rose to action and started an uprising. Following negotiations, on 12/17, the two opposing armies withdrew in an event known as the Yamashiro Uprising.
Owing to the uprising, the conflict between the Hatakeyama armies drew to an end, leaving Yoshinari in control of Kawachi and Yamato while Yoshinaga possessed Kii and Etchū. Thereafter, a large-scale conflict did not occur in the Kinai. On 12/12 of 1491, Yoshinari died and his son, Hatakeyama Yoshitoyo inherited Kawachi and Yamato. However, Yoshinari was not pardoned by the bakufu so, in 1493, Masanaga requested the bakufu to make another expedition to Kawachi. Hosokawa Masamoto, the deputy shōgun who had strained relations with Ashikaga Yoshitane (the tenth shōgun) and Masanaga, stayed behind in Kyōto, and while Yoshitane was absent, launched a coup d’état known as the Meiō Political Incident that resulted in the ouster of Yoshitane and a rupture of the Ashikaga family, ushering in a period of chaos in the Kinai.