Siege of Dakeyama Castle

嶽山城の戦い

Hatakeyama Clan

Kawachi Province

Hosokawa Clan

Years:  Kanshō 1 (1460) to Kanshō 4 (1463)

Location:  The mountain fortress of Dakeyama Castle in the southern portion of Kawachi Province

Outcome:  After a siege lasting over two years, Dakeyama Castle fell and Hatakeyama Yoshinari fled, while the bakufu army marched triumphantly back to Kyōto.

Commander:  Hatakeyama Yoshinari

Forces:  Unknown

Casualties:  Unknown

Commanders:  Hosokawa Nariyuki, Hosokawa Nariharu, Hosokawa Tsuneari, Hosokawa Mochihisa, Yamana Koretoyo, Hatakeyama Masanaga, Jōshiin Kōsen, Tsutsui Junei

Forces:  Unknown

Casualties:  Unknown

The Siege of Dakeyama Castle occurred for over two years from 12/19 of Kanshō 1 (1460) to 4/15 of Kanshō 4 (1463) at Dakeyama Castle in Kawachi Province.  The battle was triggered by a rebellion by Hatakeyama Yoshinari against the Muromachi bakufu during which he fought the bakufu army from Dakeyama Castle.  This was related to  the Battle of Goryō in 1466 that served as the opening to the Ōnin-Bunmei War.

Prior course of events

In 1454, a succession struggle erupted within the Hatakeyama clan while Hatakeyama Mochikuni was serving as the military governor of Kawachi, Kii, and Etchū provinces.  Mochikuni’s son, Hatakeyama Yoshinari, came into conflict with his nephew, Hatakeyama Yasaburō (later known as Masahisa).  With the support of Hosokawa Katsumoto (the deputy shōgun) and Yamana Sōzen (the head of the samurai-dokoro in charge of military and security for the bakufu), the band of retainers backing Yasaburō forced Mochikuni into retirement and expelled Yoshinari to Iga Province.  Ashikaga Yoshimasa (the eighth shōgun), however, devised a plan to engage Yoshinari to resist Katsumoto and Sōzen, whereupon he made Sōzen retire and restrained Katsumoto.  He then enabled Yoshinari to come to the capital and toppled the faction supporting Yasaburō.  By incorporating the Hatakeyama clan into his ruling party, Yoshimasa headed toward direct Imperial rule.

Nevertheless, the relationship between Yoshimasa and Yoshinari gradually deteriorated.  While seeking to eliminate Yasaburō, Yoshinari deployed to Yamato Province, but Yoshimasa took a dim view of Yoshinari’s intervention in a dispute among kokujin, or provincial landowners, in Yamato without his consent.  Furthermore, in 1458, Sōzen came back from retirement, and developments in favor of the faction backing Yasaburō including Katsumoto worked to the disfavor of Yoshinari.  In 1459,  Yasaburō and kokujin from Yamato in Yasaburō’s faction, including Jōshinin Kōsen and Tsutsui Junei (siblings) and Hashio Munenobu were pardoned by the bakufu.  After Yasaburō died later that year, the faction backed his younger brother, Hatakeyama Masanaga, creating an even more dire situation for Yoshinari.

Escalation of hostilities

In the fifth month of 1460, this faction engaged in battle against the Hatakeyama army at the Negoro Temple in Kii Province.  As retribution for defeat by the Hatakeyama army, Yoshinari dispatched forces from the capital of Kyōto to Kii.  On 9/16, the Muromachi bakufu issued an order for Masanaga to serve as the head of the Hatakeyama clan in lieu of Yoshinari.  Rejecting this order, on 9/20, Yoshinari fled to Kawachi Province, while Masanaga headed to Yamato on 9/9 until the tenth month in an effort to clean-up against the faction supporting Yoshinari.  The replacement of Yoshinari with Masanaga was the result of Katsumoto’s maneuvers along with Yoshimasa’s distrust of Yoshinari.  After ordering on behalf of the bakufu the elimination of Yoshinari, Katsumoto summoned family members including Hosokawa Shigeyuki, Hosokawa Nariharu, Hosokawa Tsuneari, and Hosokawa Mochihisa, and assorted daimyō including Yamana Koretoyo (shugo daimyō of Bingo, Aki, and Yamashiro provinces) and sent them to Kawachi.  Masanaga, Jōshinin Kōsen, and Tsutsui Junei also went to Kawachi, whereupon Yoshinari holed up in Dakeyama Castle in southern Kawachi.

The battle at Dakeyama Castle

On 12/19 of Kanshō 1 (1460), the bakufu army commenced attacks against Dakeyama Castle, but Yoshinari and his supporters waged a vigorous defense, repelling the attack.  On 5/12 of Kanshō 3 (1462), the attacking forces only toppled a secondary base at Kontaiji Castle, showing little results.  During the siege, an event known as the Chōroku-Kanshō Famine occurred, while opponents of Kōsen such as Ochi Iehide cooperated with Yoshinari, serving to further prolong the conflict.  On 4/15 of Kanshō 4 (1463), Dakeyama Castle was finally toppled, after which Yoshinari fled to Mount Kōya, and then Kii, and finally to Yoshino in Yamato Province.  The bakufu army returned triumphantly to Kyōto after which, in 1464, Katsumoto transferred the role of deputy shōgun to Masanaga.

Katsumoto, operating through Masanaga, succeeded in suppressing the Hatakeyama clan, fueling an expansion of his faction.  However, after having cooperated with Katsumoto, Sōzen grew weary of him.  In 1465, Sōzen conspired with Yoshinari and Shiba Yoshikado to overthrow the Katsumoto faction.  With the support of Sōzen and Yoshikado, in 1466, Yoshinari rebelled, marched to Kyōto, and aimed to oust Masanaga.  This triggered the Battle of Goryō, serving as the opening chapter in the ensuing Ōnin-Bunmei War waged over the following eleven years.