Siege of Matsukura Castle


Uesugi Clan

Etchū Province

Shiina Clan

Dates:  Eiroku 12 (1569) to Genki 4 (1573)

Location:  Matsukura Castle in the Niikawa District of Etchū Province

Outcome:  In 1569, Uesugi Kenshin from Echigo attacked Shiina Yasutane in Etchū but failed; in 1573, Yasutane finally surrendered the castle after being cornered by the Uesugi.

Commanders:  Uesugi Kenshin

Forces:  28,000

Casualties:  Unknown

Commanders:  Shiina Yasutane

Forces:  Unknown

Casualties:  Unknown

The Siege of Matsukura Castle occurred from Eiroku 12 (1569) to Genki 4 (1573) and was waged between Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo Province and Shiina Yasutane of Etchū Province.  Matsukura Castle was a mountain fortress located in the Niikawa District of Etchū Province.

Matsukura Castle was known, along with Masuyama Castle and Moriyama Castle, as one of the three great mountain fortresses of Etchū.  At the time of the battle, Shiina Yasutane served as lord of Matsukura Castle in his role as the deputy military governor of Etchū.  Originally, Yasutane was opposed to Jinbō Nagamoto, the former deputy military governor of Etchū and in an inferior position.  In the ninth month of 1562, he suffered an overwhelming defeat at the Battle of Jinzū River and was attacked below Matsukura Castle.  After requesting reinforcements from Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo, his forces succeeded in driving Nagamoto to the west of the Jinzū River.  Nevertheless, Nagamoto continued to hold power while Yasutane was dissatisfied with the measures taken by Kenshin.

In 1568, Yasutane joined with Takeda Shingen of Kai Province and turned on Kenshin by launching a rebellion.  As a result, in 1569, Kenshin attacked Matsukura Castle.  Owing to its location, however, the mountain fortress proved difficult to attack.  After an assault that continued for one hundred days, Kenshin finally returned home to Echigo.

Thereafter, Yasutane settled for a period with the Uesugi clan, but, in the fifth month of 1572, he supported a western campaign by Takeda Shingen by raising arms again to act in concert with the Kaga Ikkō-ikki during their invasion of Etchū.  After a strenuous battle, the Uesugi finally crushed the Ikkō-ikki and cornered Yasutane in Matsukura Castle.  In the first month of 1573, Yasutane finally surrendered and vacated the castle.  This brought to an end a long period of governance by the Shiina in Etchū.  Afterwards, Kenshin assigned a retainer, Kawada Nagachika, to serve as the head commander of the castle.