Battle of Shigino
Date: 11/26 of Keichō 19 (1614)
Location: The village of Shigino to the northeast of Ōsaka Castle in Settsu Province
Synopsis: In the early years of the Edo period, the Toyotomi family resisted efforts by the Tokugawa clan to unify the country, culminating in a showdown between the Edo bakufu army and the Toyotomi army known as the Siege of Ōsaka, occurring in the winter of 1614 and the summer of 1615. In this battle during the winter campaign, Uesugi Kagekatsu led bakufu forces on a successful mission to capture a fortress in the village of Shigino from the Toyotomi.
The Battle of Shigino occurred on 11/26 of Keichō 19 (1614) to the northeast of Ōsaka Castle in Settsu Province. This was one of the battles during the Winter Campaign of the Siege of Ōsaka in which the Edo bakufu army fought against the Toyotomi army based at Ōsaka Castle.
To the northeast of Ōsaka Castle, on the northern shore of the Yamato River lies the village of Imafuku and, on the southern shore, the village of Shigino. This is a lowlands area so the battalions can only maneuver on the embankments surrounded by rice fields.
Aiming to build an auxiliary castle in Imafuku, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered his army to capture the Toyotomi bases in Imafuku and Shigino on the same day, ordering Satake Yoshinobu to lead 1,500 soldiers to Imafuku and Uesugi Kagekatsu to lead 5,000 soldiers to Shigino. The events in Imafuku are known as the Battle of Imafuku.
In the village of Shigino, the Toyotomi established a well-fortified base, defended by Inoue Yoritsugu and 2,000 soldiers. Kagekatsu headed toward this village with his contingent along with Horio Tadaharu, Niwa Nagashige, and Sakakibara Yasukatsu serving in the rear guard.
Early in the morning of 11/26, the Uesugi forces attacked the fortress in Shigino. Yasuda Yoshimoto and Suda Nagayoshi (retainers of the Uesugi) occupied the fortress while Inoue Yoritsugu, a commander of the arquebus battalion in the Toyotomi army, was killed in action. A total of 12,000 reinforcements from the Toyotomi army including Ōno Harunaga arrived to lead a counterattack. The front line of the Uesugi forces was pushed back to the perimeter of the fortress, and as the second line led by Suibara Chikanori began to collapse, yelled for his forces to move out of the way to the left and right and then fired a massive volley of arquebus fire at the Toyotomi forces charging toward them. The Yasuda battalion followed-up with spears, repelling the Toyotomi army.
After occupying Shigino, upon orders of Ieyasu, Kagekatsu was informed to alternate with Horio Tadaharu and have the soldiers rest, but Kagekatsu refused in saying: “I was born in a family prepared for war and fought in the vanguard. After striving to capture this site from this morning, even upon orders from superiors, I cannot delegate it to another person.”