Battle of Yutokoroguchi
Date: 4/3 of Eiroku 6 (1563)
Location: Tottori Castle in Inaba Province
Outcome: Fuse-Yakata forces led by Nakamura Izu-no-kami forced their way into Tottori Castle, but after encountering a barrage of fire from pre-positioned arquebuses, fell into disarray while the Takeda forces swept to victory.
Commanders: Yamana Toyokazu, Nakamura Izu-no-kami Toyoshige
Forces: Unknown, but vanguard included members of the Akisato, Hashimoto, and Bessho clans
Losses: Unknown, but Nakamura Izu-no-kami was shot and killed by Takeda forces.
The Battle of Yutokoroguchi occurred on 4/3 of Eiroku 6 (1563) and was waged between Takeda Takanobu and Yamana Toyokazu leading Fuse-Yakata forces. Toyokazu was the sengoku daimyō and military governor of Inaba Province. This is also known as the Battle of Yutokoro and served as a catalyst for the forces of Takeda Takanobu to spread across Inaba Province. Yutokoroguchi is a place name below Tottori Castle in Inaba.
Background to the battle
In 1548, Yamana Nobumuchi, the military governor of Inaba Province, was killed by Yamana Suketoyo. Thereafter, Inaba was governed by the Tajima-Yamana clan. After the death of Yamana Toyosada, Yamana Munetoyo (Suketoyo’s son) inherited the role of military governor but, after taking over, died approximately one and one-half years later in 1561. Next, Toyosada’s son, Yamana Toyokazu, was sent as the military governor of Inaba. Around that time, Takeda Takanobu, the lord of Tottori Castle, maneuvered to become autonomous from the Fuse-Yakata . Toward the end of 1562 and into the beginning of 1563, Takanobu abandoned the Fuse-Yakata and, in the third month of 1563, clashed with Toyokazu.
Course of events
At the beginning of Takanobu’s rebellion, the Fuse-Yakata forces had enough power to resist Takanobu. Aware of the size and power of the Takeda forces, Toyokazu made a plan to attack Tottori Castle and wipe-out the Takeda forces in a single blow. On 4/3, he appointed Nakamura Izu-no-kami Toyoshige to serve as commander-in-chief of vanguard forces comprised of the Akisato, Hashimoto, and Bessho clans, and had the soldiers proceed from Akisato to Yutokoroguchi below the castle. To intercept the advancing forces, Takanobu came down Mount Kyūshō to burst into the area below the castle and resist the advance.
A violent back-and-forth conflict ensued between the opponents until some of the forces led by Nakamura Izu-no-kami finally broke-through the wooden door to the castle and all at once forced their way inside. Just as the Fuse forces considered victory near at hand, arquebuses set inside the castle by Takeda forces fired together in unison at the Fuse forces invading the castle. The sudden barrage caused disarray among the Fuse. After sustaining a direct hit, Nakamura Izu-no-kami was killed by Takeda forces. After the loss of Izu-no-kami and violent attack by the Takeda,the Fuse-Yakata forces lost their momentum and were pushed back, forcing them on to the defensive. The battle ended in a victory for the Takeda forces.
Having lost in the decisive battle, the Fuse-Yakata forces experienced a rapid decline in power. Meanwhile, having prevailed in the battle, the Takeda forces strengthened their attacks against the Fuse-Yakata. After joining with the Mōri clan, in the twelfth month of 1548, Takanobu succeeded in driving Toyokazu out of Fuse-Tenjinyama Castle, forcing him to flee to Shikano Castle. Thereafter, Takanobu’s forces spread across all of Inaba Province. However, the kokujin, or provincial landowners, who earlier prevented the Yamana clan from taking control of the province stood in the way of Takanobu’s aspirations. At this point, the domestic calm established by the Tajima-Yamana clan in Inaba unraveled, and a period of war ensued among the Mōri, Amago, and Yamana clans along with alliances of kokujin from the southern portions of Inaba mixed into the conflict.