Battle of Shari Temple


Miyoshi Clan

Settsu Province


Date:  7/21 of Tenbun 16 (1547)

Location:   The environs of the Shari Temple in the Higashinari District of Settsu Province

Synopsis:  This large-scale battle marked a continuation of divisions within the Hosokawa-Keichō family dating back to the assassination of Hosokawa Masamoto in 1507.  After Hosokawa Ujitsuna (the adopted son of Hosokawa Takakuni) raised arms against Hosokawa Harumoto, he allied with Yusa Naganori to fight against the army of Miyoshi Nagayoshi who supported Harumoto and was, at the time, a powerful figure in the Kinai.  As one army headed south while the other headed north, the two sides clashed in the environs of the Shari Temple, with more than 1,000 soldiers killed in action while victory propelled Nagayoshi to prominence in the Kinai.

Lord:  Hosokawa Harumoto

Commanders:  Miyoshi Nagayoshi, Miyoshi Masanaga, Miyoshi Masakatsu, Miyoshi Jikkyū, Kōzai Motonari, Atagi Fuyuyasu, Matsura Okinobu, Hatakeyama Naomasa

Forces:  Unknown (also included forces from Rokkaku Sadayori)

Losses:  37 samurai, 75 common soldiers

Commanders:  Hosokawa Ujitsuna, Yusa Naganori, Hosokawa Yorisada, Hatakeyama Masakuni

Forces:  Unknown

Losses:  301 samurai, approximately 800 common soldiers

The Battle of Shari Temple occurred on 7/21 of Tenbun 16 (1547) at the Shari Temple in the environs of the Higashinari District of Settsu Province.  The violent clash erupted between an army led by Miyoshi Nagayoshi on behalf of Hosokawa Harumoto and the combined forces of Hosokawa Ujitsuna and Yusa Naganori.  After the Ōnin-Bunmei War, this was regarded as the largest-scale conflict in the Kinai, demonstrating to those across the Kinai the power of Miyoshi Nagayoshi.  The Kinai consisted of the five provinces surrounding the capital, including Kawachi, Yamashiro, Settsu, Izumi, and Yamato.


Hosokawa Masamoto served as the twelfth head of the Hosokowa-Keichō family – the main branch of the Hosokawa clan. He further served as the kanrei, or deputy shōgun, of the Muromachi bakufu.  Masamoto ousted Ashikaga Yoshiki (later known as Yoshitada and Yoshitane) from his role as the tenth shōgun, replacing him with Ashikaga Yoshitō (later known as Yoshitaka and then Yoshizumi) and himself becoming the de facto ruler.  This gave rise to him being called the “half shōgun.”

Having three adopted sons (Hosokawa Sumiyuki, Hosokawa Sumimoto, and Hososkawa Takakuni), tensions arose from Masamoto’s choice of a successor, leading to his assassination on 6/23 of Eishō 4 (1507) in an event known as the Lord Hosokawa Incident.  While Sumiyuki was killed soon after the assassination, the other two adopted sons entered into a prolonged contest for control of the Hosokawa-Keichō family known as the Conflict between the Hosokawa.  Intertwined with this struggle existed a rivalry between Ashikaga Yoshitane and Ashikaga Yoshizumi for the title of shōgun, all occurring in the midst of a decline in the capacity of the Muromachi bakufu to exercise authority in the capital of Kyōto and beyond.  This multi-faceted struggle is known as the Eishō Disturbance, commencing from the time of Masamoto’s assassination in 1507 until the defeat of Hosokawa Takakuni by Hosokawa Harumoto at the Collapse at Daimotsu on 6/4 of Kyōroku 4 (1531).

Harumoto was the son of Hosokawa Sumimoto who finished the quest of his deceased father to subdue the chief rival, Takakuni.  After having defeated Takakuni, Harumoto became the most powerful figure in the Kinai, assuming, in 1536, the role of deputy shōgun.  Remnants of the faction supporting Takakuni, however, continued their resistance, causing instability across the Kinai.  In 1542, the adopted son of Takakuni, Hosokawa Ujitsuna, raised arms in Izumi Province, leading to a siege of the harbor town of Sakai in Izumi.  Evading capture, in the eighth month of 1543, he shifted his position to the Sumiyoshi District in Settsu Province but was defeated by Miyoshi Nagayoshi who was aligned with Harumoto.  In the middle of the tenth month, Ujitsuna withdrew to mountainous areas in Izumi.

Thereafter, Ujitsuna, joined by remnants of Takakuni’s faction, continued to frequently engage in small-scale battles.  In 1546, he combined with Yusa Naganori (the deputy military governor of Kawachi), and Tsutsui Junshō and made preparations to enter Takaya Castle.  Upon learning of these developments, Harumoto ordered Nagayoshi to subdue Ujitsuna.  In the eighth month, Nagayoshi entered Sakai and prepared to attack the allied forces of Ujitsuna and Naganori.  Instead, however, he became encircled.  Through the mediation of a deliberative council known as the eigōshū in Sakai, the siege was lifted, Nagayoshi retreated to Koshimizu Castle, and the allied army went north to surround Ōtsuka Castle in the Nishinari District.

Meanwhile, Yusa Naganori sent letters to Miyake Kunimura of Miyake Castle and Ikeda Nobumasa of Ikeda Castle urging them to have the kunishū of Settsu serve Ujitsuna, making clear his betrayal of Harumoto.  Nagayoshi gave up attempting to rescue Ōtsuka Castle and requested reinforcements from Hosokawa Mochitaka, the military governor of Awa Province.  Nagayoshi prioritized efforts to combine the powers of family members based in Shikoku including Miyoshi Jikkyū, Sogō Kazumasa, and Atagi Fuyuyasu who led the Awa naval forces.  As a result, Ōtsuka Castle fell on 9/4.  Owing to the betrayal of the Miyake and Ikeda, on 9/14, Harumoto departed from Kyōto and withdrew to Kanno-osan Castle in Tanba Province.  The allied army of Ujitsuna and Naganori headed toward Kyōto and attacked Akutagawa Castle.  Miyoshi Masanaga responded by attacking from the rear, but Akutagawa Magojūrō, the lord of the Akutagawa Castle, settled on 9/18 and vacated the premises.

At this stage, Harumoto and the Miyoshi had incurred a series of defeats.  On 11/13, Harumoto went from Kanno-osan Castle, via Kannouji Castle in the western portion of Settsu, to Nagayoshi’s base at Koshimizu Castle.  A total of 500 vessels of the reinforcement army led by Atagi Fuyuyasu, Miyoshi Jikkyū, and Sogō Kazumasa, along, with 20,000 soldiers came together, raising the prospects for their side in the conflict.

The Miyoshi army toppled Harada Castle on 2/20 and Miyake Castle on 3/22 of Tenbun 16 (1547).  On 6/25, the Miyoshi captured Akutayama Castle and Ikeda Castle without resistance, restoring their power in Settsu Province.  During this time, on 3/29, Ashikaga Yoshiharu, the shōgun, went to Shōgun-jizōyama Castle in the northeast environs of Kyōto.  Yoshiharu supported the allied army of Ujitsuna and the Yusa but did not have an influence on such a large conflict.  In the fourth month, Harumoto and the Miyoshi also received reinforcements from Rokkaku Sadayori, the military governor of Ōmi Province, placing them at an advantage.  In the seventh month, the Miyoshi army went from Tanba to Hata (in the environs of Umegahata in Takao in the Ukyō District of Kyōto) and burned down the area.  On 7/12, an army of 20,000 soldiers camped at the Shōkoku Temple.  On 7/19, Ashikaga Yoshiharu set fire to Shōgun-jizōyama Castle, fled to Sakamoto in Ōmi, and the supporters of Harumoto re-took control of the capital for the first time in over a year.

Course of events

After recovering from temporary disadvantages and taking control of almost all of the Kinai, the allied army of Ujitsuna and the Yusa based in Takaya Castle in Kawachi were the sole remaining enemies of the Miyoshi army in the Kinai.  On 7/21, the Miyoshi army gathered at Enami Castle which was one of seventeen manors in the Matta District of Kawachi Province known as the Seventeen Sites in Kawachi and each battalion headed south to attack Takaya Castle.

Learning of the impending attack, the allied army of Ujitsuna and the Yusa prepared for battle and, after departing Takaya Castle, passed-through the Shōkaku Temple and marched north.

In the environs of the Shari Temple, the two armies violently collided, commencing the largest battle in the Kinai from the Ōnin-Bunmei War until the introduction of arquebuses.  The clash began with shooting arrows and evolved into an all-out battle.  Forces led by Hatakeyama Naomasa and Matsura Okinobu served on the front lines, clashing with their opponents in a sprawling spear fight for several hours.  After losing 400 soldiers, the Yusa army fled in defeat.  Meanwhile, over 50 soldiers from Shikoku also died in battle so the outcome on this day was to the favor of Naomasa and Okinobu.

According to one account, 2,000 troops in total on both sides were killed, which is considered to be the approximate number of soldiers who died in battle.

The Battle of Shari Temple contributed to the notoriety of Miyoshi Nagayoshi throughout the Kinai in terms of his military power and skills.

Having learned of the defeat, Ashikaga Yoshiharu, the shōgun, became dejected and, on 7/1, sent a messenger to Hosokawa Harumoto and Rokkaku Sadayori to request a settlement and returned to Kyōto.

Meanwhile, continuing their pursuit of the Yusa army that had fled from Shari Temple to Takaya Castle, the Miyoshi army established a camp in Wakabayashi.  The allied army of Ujitsuna and the Yusa responded by dispatching ashigaru, or lightly-armed foot soldiers, to attack, triggering small-scale clashes.  By the end of Tenbun 16 (1547), these clashes did not result in a decisive outcome so an encirclement by the Miyoshi army extended until the eighth month of the following year.

By 4/27 of Tenbun 17 (1548), mediation led by Rokkaku Sadayori resulted in a settlement that included Nagayoshi entering into a political marriage with the daughter of Yusa Naganori.

On 5/6, Ikeda Nobumasa (Hisamune) was compelled to commit seppuku at the residence of Harumoto.  This was said to have been advocated by Miyoshi Masanaga, an elder in the Miyoshi clan.  Nagayoshi distrusted Masanaga and urged Harumoto to murder Masanaga, but Harumoto refused.  Having separated from Harumoto, Nagayoshi leveraged familial ties to seek the support of Yusa Naganori.  In 1549, at the Battle of Eguchi, Nagayoshi and Naganori engaged in a violent clash against Harumoto and Masanaga.

The Conflict between the Hosokawa, serving as a component of the broader Eishō Disturbance, evolved into a new phase of struggle in the Kinai centered around Miyoshi Nagayoshi.  Until the later subjugation of the Kinai by Oda Nobunaga, the Battle of Shari became a catalyst for the Miyoshi clan to influence developments throughout the Kinai.