Battle of Shōgun-jizōyama


Rokkaku Clan

Yamashiro Province

Miyoshi Clan

Date:  11/24 of Eiroku 4 (1561)

Location:  The environs of Shōgunyama Castle near the Bay of Ōsaka in Izumi Province

Outcome:  The Miyoshi and Matsunaga forces launched a pincer attack against the castle and a nearby base for the Hosokawa, but in an attack on the Rokkaku forces, encountered a hail of arrows that forced their retreat, paving the way for Rokkaku Yoshikata to march upon the capital.

Commanders:  Rokkaku Yoshikata, Hosokawa Haruyuki, Gamō Katahide, Nagahara Shigezumi

Forces:  20,000

Casualties:  Unknown

Commanders:  Miyoshi Nagayoshi, Miyoshi Yoshioki, Matsunaga Hisahide

Forces:  14,000

Casualties:  Unknown

The Battle of Shōgun-jizōyama occurred on 11/24 of Eiroku 4 (1561) in the environs of Shōgunyama Castle in the Otagi District of Yamashiro Province.  Shōgunyama Castle was located on Mount Uryū at an altitude of approximately 300 meters.  The conflict was waged between the armies of Rokkaku Yoshikata (the shugo daimyō of southern Ōmi Province) and Miyoshi Nagayoshi (the sengoku daimyō of the Kinai as well as Awa Province in Shikoku).


The Matsura clan were kokujin, or provincial landowners, in Izumi Province, serving as deputy military governors of Izumi and senior retainers of the Hosokawa family – the military governors of one-half of Izumi.  However, in 1548, after Hosokawa Harumoto (the deputy shōgun) came into conflict with Miyoshi Nagayoshi, Matsura Mamoru (the lord of Kishiwada Castle) separated from Hosokawa Harusada (the military governor of upper Izumi) and aligned with Nagayoshi.  Mamori died between 1555 and 1557, and was succeeded by Matsura Nobuteru, the natural son of Sogō Kazumasa (one of Nagayoshi’s younger brothers).  Owing to his young age, Kazumasa and Kishiwada Suō-no-kami were assigned to serve as his guardians.

In 1558, three of Nagayoshi’s younger brothers (Kazumasa, along with Miyoshi Jikkyū and Atagi Fuyuyasu) entered Kishiwada Castle located along the shore of the Bay of Ōsaka.  In 1560, Jikkyū oversaw a major renovation and assigned Sogō and Fuyuyasu to serve as commanders of a garrison of 2,800 soldiers in the castle.  At this time, Kishiwada was a large-scale stone-walled fortress set in a strategic location for transportation from Awa, Sanuki, and Awaji provinces to Settsu Province and the capital of Kyōto.  In 1560, after Kazumasa achieved a major victory in battle against Hatakeyama Takamasa, Nagayoshi appointed him to serve as the lord of Kishiwada Castle while continuing to serve as the guardian of Nobuteru.  However, on 3/18 of 1561, Kazumasa suddenly died of illness.

Course of events

Hatakeyama Takamasa took advantage of Kazumasa’s death by having his forces surround Kishiwada Castle.  Rokkaku Yoshikata acted in coordination with this action by ordering his retainer, Nagahara Shigezumi, on 7/28 to hole-up in Shōgunyama Castle.  Yoshikata himself set-up an encampment in the vicinity of Kaguraoka to keep watch on whether the opposing forces would head toward the capital.  At this time, the Rokkaku army was comprised of 20,000 soldiers.

Meanwhile, Nagayoshi had his son, Miyoshi Yoshioki (the lord of Akutagawa Castle) lead 7,000 soldiers to Umezu and Koori castles, and Matsunaga Hisahide (the lord of Shigisan Castle) lead 7,000 soldiers to Koizumi Castle, taking positions to confront Shōgunyama Castle.

From the seventh to the eleventh months, there were small skirmishes, but, on 11/24, the two divisions coordinated a pincer attack with the Miyoshi army toward Shirakawaguchi and the Matsunaga army toward Shōgunyama Castle.  The Miyoshi forces broke-through Shirakawaguchi and pressed toward to camp of the Hosokawa army at Mabuchi.  During this time, a commander of the Miyoshi forces named Misato Shūri-no-suke fell down from his horse after it was speared, and was subsequently killed in an assault by Hori Izu-no-kami.  The Hosokawa army also incurred significant losses, with members of the Yakushiji and Yanagimoto clans killed in action.

Meanwhile, the Matsunaga army killed Nagahara Shigezumi, breached Shōgunyama Castle, and finally charged Yoshikata’s camp at Kaguraoka with 10,000 soldiers.  The Rokkaku army ordered Mikumo Saburō to lead a battalion of 300 archers to a high position from where they rained down a flurry of arrows.  This action killed many soldiers in the Matsunaga army, forcing their retreat.  Yoshikata then immediately took steps to pursue the fleeing forces, but Gamō Katahide convinced Yoshikata that it would not be viable to pursue the enemy with a large army, whereupon Yoshikata ceased the pursuit. 

Aftermath of the battle

In the first month of 1562, the Rokkaku army attacked the Miyoshi and killed several soldiers.  On 3/5 of the same year, after news arrived that Miyoshi Jikkyū had died at the Battle of Kumeda, the Miyoshi and Matsunaga armies pulled back to Shōryūji Castle, assigned Iwaki Tomomichi to provide security for Ashikaga Yoshiteru (the thirteenth shōgun), and moved him to the Iwashimizu-Hachiman Shrine in Kyōto.  The Rokkaku army marched to Kyōto and intimidated the citizens of the capital declaring that anyone providing refuge to members of the Miyoshi army would be penalized.