First Siege of Yodoko Castle


Hosokawa Masamoto


Yakushiji Motoichi

Date:  9/4 to 9/20 of Eishō 1 (1504)

Location:  Yodoko Castle in Nōso in Fushimi in southern Kyōto in Yamashiro Province

Synopsis:  After Hosokawa Masamoto (the deputy shōgun) placed Yakushiji Motoichi in Yodoko Castle to prepare for an attack by the Hatakeyama army, Motoichi joined with Akazawa Tomotsune to rebel against Masamoto, but was defeated by the besieging Hosokawa army.

Lord:  Hosokawa Masamoto

Commanders:  Yakushiji Nagatada, Kōzai Motonaga

Forces:  Unknown

Losses:  Unknown

Commanders:  Yakushiji Motoichi, Shinomiya Nagayoshi, Akazawa Tomotsune

Forces:  Unknown

Losses:  Over 60 soldiers including Motoichi and Nagayoshi

The First Siege of Yodoko Castle occurred from 9/4 to 9/20 of Eishō 1 (1504) at Yodoko Castle in Nōso in Fushimi in the southern portion of Kyōto.  The castle was located on the northern shore of the convergence of the Kizu, the Katsura, and the Uji rivers.  The conflict was triggered after Yakushiji Motoichi, a retainer of Hosokawa Masamoto (the deputy shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu) joined with Akazawa Tomotsune and rebelled against Masamoto.  The Second Siege of Yodoko Castle was waged in 1573 between the armies of Oda Nobunaga and Ashikaga Yoshiaki (the fifteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu).

Course of events

In 1504, Hosokawa Masamoto came into conflict with Akazawa Tomotsune, the deputy military governor for the upper districts of Yamashiro Province.  On 3/9 of the same year, Masamoto ordered Yakushiji Motoichi, the deputy military governor of Settsu, to attack Makishima Castle, but the Akazawa army accompanied by 600 to 700 soldiers appeared to withdraw from the castle.  Having learned of this action, the army of Hatakeyama Hisanobu came to attack Makishima along with Yodoko Castle situated in a strategic location for transportation and military purposes.  The Hosokawa army placed Jinbō Yosanzaemon as the lord of the castle, but had Yakushiji Motoichi and Yakushiji Nagatada (siblings), Kōzai Motonaga, and members of the Naitō army enter the castle and prepare for a siege by the Hatakeyama forces.

These events gave rise to another development.  Yakushiji Motoichi, who served with the Hosokawa army, backed one of Masamoto’s adopted sons, Hosokawa Sumimoto, and launched a rebellion against Masamoto.  Acting in concert with this action, kokujin from Yamashiro and members of the Akazawa army from Makishima Castle holed-up in Yodoko as reinforcements.  However, Motoichi’s younger brother, Yakushiji Nagatada, continued to support Masamoto, splitting from his older brother.  Nagatada, together with Kōzai Motonaga, attacked Yodoko Castle, causing it to fall to the Hosokawa army.  Shinomiya Nagayoshi, who was holed-up in the castle, took his own life, while Motoichi was captured and killed himself in the capital on 9/20.  Meanwhile, Akazawa Tomotsune fled to Yamato Province.

This conflict served as a catalyst for conflict between the Hatakeyama and Hosokawa clans, with battles flaring across Yamashiro, Izumi, Settsu, and Yamato provinces.  Although, in the siege of Yodoko, Yakushiji Nagatada and Kōzai Motonaga aligned with the Hosokawa army, in 1507, they had roles in the assassination of Hosokawa Masamoto, an event known as the Lord Hosokawa Incident.  Further to this killing, Nagatada and Motonaga backed one of Masamoto’s adopted sons, Hosokawa Sumiyuki, but this faction was soon subject to counterattack and, together with Sumiyuki, they were killed in action.  This was followed by a struggle between rival factions supporting  each of Masamoto’s other two adopted sons, Hosokawa Sumimoto and Hokosawa Takakuni, which persisted until the defeat of Takakuni by Sumimoto’s son, Hosokawa Harumoto, supported by Akamatsu Masasuke, in the Collapse at Daimotsu in 1531.

Later lords of Yodoko Castle

Thereafter, servants of the Hosokawa clan governed Yodoko Castle for generations.  In 1559, after Miyoshi Nagayasu unified the Kinai accompanying the transition from the Hosokawa to the Miyoshi administration, Hosokawa Ujitsuna became the lord of Yodoko Castle.  In 1564, after the death of Ujitsuna, Nagayasu’s nephew, Miyoshi Nagatsugu, became the next lord of the castle, followed by a bushō aligned with Matsunaga Hisahide.  In the seventh month of 1566, after Yodoko Castle and Shōryūji Castle were attacked by the army of the Miyoshi Group of Three, an individual with the surname of Kaneko became the lord of Yodoko.  In 1568, after Oda Nobunaga marched upon Kyōto, Yodoko Castle was burned down by Oda forces.