Battle of Kayazu

萱津の戦い

Oda Nobunaga

Owari Province

Oda Nobutomo

Year: 8/16 of Tenbun 21 (1552)

Location:  The Kaizu (Kayazu), Matsuba, and Sanbongi areas in Owari Province

Outcome:  Forces fighting for Oda Nobunaga of the Oda Danjō-no-jō sub-branch of the Kiyosu-Oda family defeated the forces of Oda Nobutomo, head of the Kiyosu-Oda and deputy military governor of the four lower districts of Owari.

Commanders:  Oda Nobunaga, Oda Nobumitsu

Forces:  Unknown

Casualties:  Unknown

Commanders:  Sakai Taizen

Forces:  Unknown

Casualties:  Fifty mounted soldiers including Sakai Jinsuke; over thirty samurai, others

The Battle of Kayazu occurred on 8/16 of Tenbun 21 (1552) in Kayazu in Owari Province.

Course of events

Oda Nobuhide expanded his territory in the course of becoming a sengoku daimyō  in Owari Province. Nobuhide was associated with the Oda Danjō-no-jō family, one of three magistrates (including the Tōzaemon and Inaba-no-kami) under the Kiyosu-Oda (Yamato-no-kami) family who served as deputy military governors of the four lower districts of Owari Province.  While on the rise, Nobuhide repeatedly clashed and reconciled with the Kiyosu-Oda branch under whom the Danjō-no-jō sub-branch served.  The four upper districts of Owari were governed by the Ise-no-kami branch of the Oda.  Meanwhile, during this period, the Shiba clan witnessed a decline in power as the military governors of Owari above the Oda families.

Nobuhide died on 3/3 of 1552.  After he was succeeded by his third son, Oda Nobunaga, Yamaguchi Noritsugu (the lord of Narumi Castle) and his son, Yamaguchi Noriyoshi, betrayed Nobunaga in favor of Imagawa Yoshimoto of Suruga Province.  On 4/17 of 1552, Nobunaga clashed with Noriyoshi at the Battle of Akatsuka.

At this time, Oda Nobutomo served as the head of the Kiyosu-Oda family and lord of Kiyosu Castle, but the real authority was wielded by Sakai Taizen in the role of matadai, an influential personal official of the deputy military governor.  Taizen plotted along with Sakai Jinsuke, Kawajiri Yoichi and Oda Sanmi and, on 8/15 of 1552, assaulted Matsuba and Fukada castles which were aligned with Nobunaga.  During these operations, Oda Iga-no-kami (the lord of Matsuba Castle) and Oda Nobutsugu (the lord of Fukada Castle who was Nobunaga’s uncle and younger brother of Nobuhide) were taken hostage.

Upon hearing this news, in the early morning on 8/16, Nobunaga deployed from Nagoya Castle, converging at Inaniwa along the Shōnai River with Oda Nobumitsu (Nobunaga’s uncle and older brother of Nobutsugu) who dashed from Moriyama Castle.  The soldiers separated into units on routes to enter Kaizu, Matsuba, Sanbongi, and Kiyosu.  Nobunaga and Nobumitsu then crossed the Shōnai River on their own and went to Kaizu (Kayazu).  Hostilities broke out around 8:00 AM, and, after several clashes, Sakai Jinsuke was killed.  Chūjō Ietada and Shibat Katsuie brought his head, while fifty mounted soldiers from the Kiyosu-Oda died in action.

At the entrance to Matsuba, Nobunaga’s soldiers chased the Kiyosu-Oda forces inside the perimeter of the area, and, at Daimonzaki in Majima, the battles ensued from around four hours (8:00 AM to 12:00 PM).  After several hours of fighting with bow and arrow, there were so many wounded among the Kiyosu-Oda that the few who remained retreated to their home base in Kiyosu.  At the entrance to Fukada, there was no fortress in the town of Sanbongi so the forces immediately collapsed and over thirty samurai on the Kiyosu-Oda side were killed.  As a result, after Nobunaga’s forces approached Fukada and Matsuba castles, the Kiyosu-Oda surrendered and vacated the castles, returning to Kiyosu on their own.  Riding this momentum, Nobunaga had the crop fields in Kiyosu cut down, while the antagonism between Nobunaga and Nobutomo persisted.

This battle was also the first deployment for Maeda Toshiie, a retainer of Nobunaga’s who later became a sengoku daimyō and prominent elder in the Toyotomi administration.