Conquest of Hida
Date: Eighth month of Tenshō 13 (1585)
Location: Hida Province
Synopsis: In the aftermath of the coup d’état that resulted in the death of Oda Nobunaga, the vast territory formerly under his control was contested by clans seeking to assert their authority. This pattern included the Anekōji clan of Hida Province. Upon orders of Hashiba Hideyoshi, Kanamori Nagachika attacked the Anekōji and took control of the province while, upon orders of the Imperial Court, the surviving members of the Anekōji were taken away to Kyōto.
Lord: Hashiba Hideyoshi
Commanders: Kanamori Nagachika, Kanamori Arishige, Ema Tokimasa, Nabeyama Toshitaka, Nabeyama Ukon-Taifu, Hirose Munenao, Ushimaru Chikatsuna, Sanzō Munetsugu
Lord: Anekōji Yoritsuna
Commanders: Anekōji Hidesuna, Anekōji Suetsuna, Kojima Tokimitsu, Kojima Motoyori, Mitsuki Kunitsuna, Uchigashima Ujimasa, Hata Yasutaka
The Conquest of Hida occurred in the eighth month of Tenshō 13 (1585). This conflict was waged between the Kanamori (on behalf of Hashiba Hideyoshi) and Anekōji clans.
After Oda Nobunaga and his eldest son, Oda Nobutada, died in the coup d’état known as the Honnō Temple Incident on 6/2 of Tenshō 10 (1582), the former territory of the Oda clan was in chaos. The Anekōji of Hida were one of the clans seeking to take advantage of the situation. Nevertheless, after the Kiyosu Conference, Oda Nobutaka and Shibata Katsuie competed against Hashiba Hideoshi for control, leading to the Battle of Shizugatake in which the Anekōji were among the clans who departed in defeat. The offensive by the Hashiba army against the allied forces of Oda Nobutaka and Shibata Katsuie extended into Hida Province.
At this time, the Hashiba forces sought to eliminate Sassa Narimasa of Etchū Province. As an ally of the Sassa clan, the Anekōji clan were also targeted. The forces of Kanamori Nagachika operating on orders to invade Hida were guided by members of former powers in Hida who were decimated by the Anekōji including Ema Tokimasa, Hirose Munenao, Ushimaru Chikatsuna, and Nabeyama Toshitaka. The Kanamori army separated into two divisions and invaded from the north and south (including the main division under Nagachika and a detached division under Kanamori Arishige). These forces were opposed in each area by the Anekōji army which struck back at the Kanamori divisions. In the mountainous areas of Hida, however, the Anekōji were swept by the Kanamori forces.
In the eighth month of 1585, Sassa Narimasa was attacked by Hashiba Hideyoshi in an event known as the Toyama Campaign. As reinforcements for the Sassa, the Uchigashima army headed toward Etchū Province. At the same time, Hideyoshi ordered Kanamori Nagachika to capture Hida Province which was the base of the Anekōji and Uchigashima who were allies of the Sassa. Narimasa, however, chose not to engage in battle against the menacing Hashiba army, and, instead, underwent the rites of tonsure and pledged his obedience. Meanwhile, when Uchigashima Ujimasa was away in an effort to assist the Sassa in Etchū, some of his retainers colluded and Kaerikumo Castle was taken by Nagachika. The Anekōji lost all of their landholdings. Ujimasa surrendered via Nagachika to the Hashiba, obtaining recognition of his rights to his landholdings, but became subordinate to Nagachika who controlled all of Hida Province.
After being surrounded at his base at Hirose Castle, Anekōji Yoritsuna refused demands from Nagachika to surrender and holed-up in the castle instead. In the face of large walls, the Kanamori forces stalled in their assault on the castle, but, upon orders of the Imperial Court, Yoritsuna himself vacated the castle and the Anegakōji surrendered.
Among those who fought to the end, Yoritsuna’s sons, Anekōji Hidetsuna and Anekōji Suetsuna, along with Kojima Tokimitsu, Kojima Tokiyori and many other followers of the family, were killed in action, took their own lives, or went missing. Meanwhile, Yoritsuna and surviving family members were spared by Hideyoshi who viewed them as relatives of Oda Nobunaga and, upon orders of the Imperial Court, as members of a noble family, taken to the capital of Kyōto and incarcerated.