Battle of Miyagawa
Date: 9/25 of Tenbun 11 (1542)
Location: Near the bridge on the Miya River in Shinano Province
Outcome: Over the course of one day, the Takatō army lost between 700 and 800 soldiers and then fled in defeat at the hands of the Takeda.
The Battle of Miyagawa occurred on 9/25 of Tenbun 11 (1542) along the Miya River in Shinano Province. The conflict was waged between Takeda Harunobu of Kai Province and Takatō Yoritsugu of Shinano. As an outcome of this battle, the Takeda family seized control of the Suwa District in Shinano.
In the seventh month of 1542, Suwa Yorishige, a sengoku daimyō and head of the main branch of the Suwa clan, was defeated by the combined forces of the Takeda and Takatō at the Battle of Kuwabara Castle. The Takeda were the preeminent power in neighboring Kai while the Takatō were a branch of the Suwa family. After the Siege of Kuwabara Castle, Yorishige and his younger brother, Suwa Yoritaka, were taken to the main base of the Takeda in Kōfu to be incarcerated. On 7/21, Yorishige and Yoritaka committed seppuku, ending the main branch of the Suwa family. As the prevailing parties to the battle, the Takatō initially agreed with the Takeda to divide the former holdings of the Suwa, so that the Takatō took control of the territory to the west of the Miya River while the Takeda claimed the territory to the east.
Nevertheless, Takatō Yoritsugu sought a higher status as the lord of all of the former Suwa landholdings, so he was dissatisfied controlling only that portion of the Suwa District to the west of the Miya River. Consequently, on 9/10, he invaded the Takeda territory, toppling the former base of Suwa Yorishige at Uehara Castle. Further, he garnered as allies Moriya Mitsukiyo from the Suwa Grand Shrine, Ariga Tōtōmi-no-kami, Fujisawa Yorichika (the lord of Fukuyo Castle in Minowa in the Ina District), and the Haruchika group (dogō, or a powerful local clan). In response, on 9/11, Harunobu assigned an army to Itagaki Nobukata and directed them to go forward so bushō from the lower Suwa group, Suwa Mitsutaka, and Ankokuji Jikkei could serve as a rear guard for the Takeda.
On 9/19, Harunobu backed Yorishige’s orphan, Toraō, and advanced to Wakamiko. While asserting the propriety of his actions, he converged with the Itagaki units. On 9/25, the Takeda army marched to the Miya River and, from around 1:00 to 3:00 PM, clashed with the Takatō forces near the bridge on the Miya River. The battle continued until between 5:00 to 7:00 PM. After losing between 700 and 800 soldiers, including Yoritsugu’s younger brother (Takatō Yorimune), the Takatō army fled in defeat.
The Takeda army relied upon Moriya Yorizane (the Shinto priest from the Suwa Grand Shrine) and Suwa siblings as guides to enable forces led by Komai Kōhakusai to Minowa and approach Fukuyo Castle. As a result, on 9/28, Yorichika surrendered. Then, on 9/29, Itagaki Nobukata invaded Kamiina and pressured the Haruchika group. The Ina group and allies of the Takatō incurred an overwhelming defeat, and, on 10/7, the forces in western Suwa surrendered, Kōhakusai became the magistrate and rang the sacred bell at the Suwa Grand Shrine, after which he had the groups from western Suwa pledge their allegiance to the Takeda.
In the fifth month of 1543, Harunobu renovated Uehara Castle and based Itagaki Nobukata in this location to serve as the governor of the Suwa District.
In the tenth month of 1544, Takatō Yoritsugu, Fujisawa Yorichika, and Ogasawara Nagatoki rebelled against the Takeda, but, in the fourth month of 1545, lost to the Takeda army at the Battle of Takatō and, thereafter, served the Takeda family.