Collapse at Daimotsu
Date: 6/4 of Kyōroku 4 (1531)
Location: The village of Daimotsu near Amagasaki in Settsu Province
Outcome: The allied forces of Hosokawa Takakuni and Uragami Muramune prevailed in the initial stages of the conflict; following a two-month deadlock, Akamatsu Masasuke betrayed the Hosokawa and Uragami by executing a pincer attack with Miyoshi Motonaga that devastated the Hosokawa and Uragami forces.
The Collapse at Daimotsu (Daimotsu kuzure) occurred on 6/4 of Kyōroku 4 (1531) in the village of Daimotsu in Settsu Province. An allied army led by Akamatsu Masasuke, Hosokawa Harumoto, and Miyoshi Motonaga defeated an allied army led by Hosokawa Takakuni and Uragami Muramune. This event is also referred to as the Battle (or Collapse) at Tennō Temple, and represents the final chapter in a decades long succession struggle within the Hosokawa clan dating back to the assassination of Hosokawa Masamoto, the deputy shōgun, in 1507, known as the Lord Hosokawa Incident (Hosokawa-dono no hen).
Events prior to the conflict
After losing to the allied forces of Miyoshi Katsunaga and Hatano Tanemichi at the Battle of Katsurakawara in 1527, Hosokawa Takakuni, the kanrei, or deputy shōgun, fled to Ōmi Province, and then solicited support from daimyō in Iga, Ise, Bitchū, and Izumo provinces, but was rejected. Having lost authority, Takakuni did not have the means to direct forces to serve as his reinforcements until Uragami Muramune, the deputy military governor of Bizen Province, offered support. Takakuni and Muramune developed a relationship while under the protection of the Akamatsu clan, cooperating with one another such as in the detainment of Ashikaga Yoshiharu. Muramune had ambition to leverage the authority of the deputy shōgun to unify Harima Province under his command. Meanwhile, Takakuni desired to overcome a difficult situation in the wake of his loss at Katsurakawara.
In the seventh month of 1530, Muramune attained his goal to gain control over all of Harima. Next, to enable Takakuni to realize his objectives, their allied forces invaded Settsu. On 3/6 of Kyōroku 4 (1531), the army toppled Ikeda Castle defended by Ikeda Nobumasa. The next day, Kizawa Nagamasa, who was in charge of defending Kyōto on behalf of Hosokawa Harumoto, suddenly withdrew his forces, whereupon Takakuni’s soldiers from Shōgunyama Castle attacked and captured the capital.
Those aligned with the Sakai kubō, an administration based in the city of Sakai in opposition to the central authorities in Kyōto, aimed for Miyoshi Motonaga to become the supreme commander. In furtherance of this plan, an army of 15,000 men under the command of the Miyoshi, along with 8,000 reinforcements under Hosokawa Mochitaka who landed in Sakai from Awa Province in Shikoku, attacked the allied forces of Takakuni and Muramune based at Nakajima in Settsu Province. At this Battle of Nakajima, the conflict ebbed and flowed over a two-month period without either side gaining a clear advantage. Akamatsu Masasuke, the military governor of Harima, arrived at the Rokutan Temple in Nishinomiya with reinforcements for Takakuni. The forces then moved to the Kannō Temple and received a personal visit from Takakuni and Muramune.
Course of events
Akamatsu Masasuke colluded with Hosokawa Harumoto to attack Takakuni and Muramune from the rear, enabling victory in a single stroke. Masasuke had sought revenge against Muramune after Muramune sent an assassin to kill Masasuke’s father, Akamatsu Yoshimura, in 1521. Prior to deploying, Masasuke had secretly sent children as hostages to Ashikaga Yoshitsuna to provide assurance for the planned betrayal. This double-crossing by the Akamatsu army reverberated among the Hosokawa and Uragami under which the forces deployed to the Kannō Temple were assigned.
After the surprise attack by the Akamatsu army against Takakuni’s base at Nakajima, the Miyoshi army coordinated efforts by launching a full-scale assault, resulting in the deaths of Muramune and many commanders including Hosokawa Sumikata (the military governor of Izumi and son of Hosokawa Masakata), Matsuda Mototaka (the deputy head of the Board of Retainers), Itami Kunisuke, Yakushiji Kunimori, Hohokabe Hyōgo-no-suke, and Kawarabayashi Hyūga-no-kami. The Nazato River in Nakajima was filled with those killed in action, resulting in an overwhelming defeat.
Although a deadlock ensued for a period of two months from when Miyoshi Motonaga came to the front lines in the Battle of Nakajima, the allied forces of the Hosokawa and Uragami were at a clear advantage after having achieved a series of victories with high morale. These circumstances, however, changed after Masasuke joined the battle and attacked from behind (from the direction of Nishinomiya) while the Miyoshi army attacked from the front (from the direction of the Tennō Temple), dealing a major blow to the allied forces of the Hosokawa and Uragami. As a result, the earlier deadlock gave way to a dramatically different situation on the battlefield. In the midst of the chaos, Takakuni broke away from the scene. Thereafter, the battle site was known as daimotsu kuzure.
After the battle
Takakuni initially took refuge in nearby Daimotsu Castle, but the Akamatsu forces were on to him so he fled to the shop of an indigo dyer called Kyōya in the town of Amagasaki. He then turned over an earthenware pot for storing indigo dye and hid inside but was apprehended on 6/5 of Kyōroku 4 (1531) by Miyoshi Kazuhide. There is an anecdote that Kazuhide plotted by offering melons to local children playing in the neighborhood if they could locate where Takakuni was hiding. Just three days after his capture, Hosokawa Harumoto (the son of Hosokawa Sumimoto and bitter enemy of Takakuni) ordered Takakuni to kill himself in the Kōtoku Temple in Amagasaki.
Meanwhile, the commanders and soldiers of the defeated Uragami army attempting to flee from Namaseguchi to Harima were chased by the Akamatsu and were almost entirely eviscerated. Masasuke set ambushes in Namaseguchi and Hyōgoguchi, and rounded-up the soldiers who had fled the battlefield.
The conflict among the three adopted sons of Hosokawa Masamoto that began with the Eishō Disturbance (Eishō no sakuran) witnessed its final chapter with the death of the final son, Takakuni, at the Collapse at Daimotsu.