Siege of Hanakuma Castle


Ikeda Clan

Hanakuma Castle

Settsu Province

Araki Clan

Date:  3/2 to 7/2 of Tenshō 8 (1580)

Location:  In and around Hanakuma Castle in the Yatabe District of Settsu Province

Synopsis:  Over the course of his rebellion against Oda Nobunaga, Araki Murashige came under siege, first at Arioka Castle, then Amagasaki Castle, and, finally, Hanakuma Castle.  At Hanakuma, Murashige was surrounded by forces under Ikeda Tsuneoki and his sons, along with forces from the Saika group of Kii Province.  After the besieging army breached the castle defenses, Murashige fled again, finding protection with the Mōri clan in Ōmi Province.

Commanders:  Ikeda Tsuenoki (commander-in-chief), Ikeda Motosuke, Ikeda Terumasa

Forces:  Unknown but included additional forces from the Saika group of Kii Province

Losses:  Unknown

Commanders:  Araki Murashige, Ōkawara Tomomasa, Araki Motokiyo, Kawarabayashi Echigo-no‐kami

Forces:  Unknown

Losses:  Unknown

The Siege of Hanakuma Castle occurred from 3/2 to 7/2 of Tenshō 8 (1580) during the Azuchi-Momoyama period in the Yatabe District of Settsu Province.  This conflict was waged between forces led by Ikeda Tsuneoki (and his sons) and Araki Murashige in the course of Murashige’s rebellion against Oda Nobunaga. 


Araki Murashige was a senor retainer of Oda Nobunaga with a history of betraying the Ikeda clan who supported Nobunaga.  After rebelling against Nobunaga, Murashige holed-up in Arioka Castle, and firmly resisted the Oda army for an extended period in the Siege of Arioka Castle.  Senior retainers including Nakagawa Kiyohide and Takayama Ukon betrayed Murashige and sided with the Oda, resulting in an overwhelmingly unfavorable situation for Murashige.  He managed to ward-off Mami Shigemoto and his men, briefly causing the Oda to retreat, but his supplies began to run low, and anticipated reinforcements from the Mōri failed to materialize, driving Murashige into a corner. Murashige crafted a plan to send his men into battle, and then retreat, and if that did not go well, then to vacate Amagasaki and Hanakuma castles and plead for forgiveness.  Instead, on 9/2 of 1579, he fled Arioka Castle with five or six associates on a boat under cover of darkness to Amagasaki Castle (formerly known as Daimotsu Castle) occupied by his eldest son, Araki Muratsugu.

Course of events

After being ousted from Amagaski, Murashige fled next to Hanakuma Castle.  According to one source, at this time, Araki Motokiyo served as the lord of Hanakuma.  Based on another source, the lord was Ōkawara Tomomasa while Motokiyo served under him.

At the time that he entered Hanakuma, Murashige was under pursuit by Oda forces.  Ikeda Tsuneoki and his eldest son, Ikeda Motosuke, established a position on Mount Suwa; his eldest son, Ikeda Terumasa, set-up a camp in the forest near the Ikuta Shrine; and reinforcements from the Saika Group of Kii Province gathered on Mount Ōkura.  Together, these forces surrounded Hanakuma Castle.

On 3/2 of Tenshō 8 (1580), the Araki army burst-out of Hanakuma Castle to attack the forces led by Ikeda Terumasa near the Ikuta Shrine.  Meanwhile, other Ikeda forces attacked the castle, and, in the midst of violent clashes, Tsuneoki, acting as the commander-in-chief, killed five or six of the enemy soldiers himself.  These initial bouts, however, did not result in victory after each side pulled back.

On 7/2 of the same year, soldiers (or possibly scouts) in the army of Ikeda Terumasa dressed in camouflage scattered members of the garrison defending Hanakuma.  These units were then joined by soldiers under Ikeda Motosuke, converged with others under Tsuneoki, and together engaged in fighting near the main entrance to the castle.  A detached unit invaded the castle from the rear gate, assaulting from behind the Araki troops defending the main entrance.  Next, reinforcements from the Saika group of Kii joined the battle and succeeded in breaching the castle defenses.  Murashige then went into exile under the protection of the Mōri clan and Hanakuma Castle was abandoned.

Apart from the rebellion by Araki Murashige against Oda Nobunaga leading to the sieges at Arioka, Amagasaki and Hanakuma castles, in the third month of 1580, based upon an Imperial order, Nobunaga and Kennyo (the eleventh generation head) of the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple, entered into a settlement.  Nevertheless, the Ikkō-ikki (adherents of the Ishimaya-Hongan Temple) supporting Kyōnyo (Kennyo’s eldest son) continued the resistance owing to their opposition to the settlement with Nobunaga and pending removal from the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple.  There is a theory that the Ikkō-ikki converged with the Araki forces to continue the resistance against Nobunaga.  This is based on the fact that the conditions of settlement between Nobunaga and Kennyo included vacating Ishiyama-Hongan Temple, Amagasaki Castle, and Hanakuma Castle, while during the Battle of Ishiyama, ikki forces in the western portions of Settsu Province who were not always cooperative with the Hongan Temple took advantage of the rebellion by Murashige to resist which included joining with Araki forces holed-up in the castle.

There are assorted theories concerning the year of construction of Hanakuma Castle, which may have been in 1568, but in each case the castle was completed in a short period of time.  The castle featured prominent defensive walls, but it is surmised that the conflict at Hanakuma was not the beginning nor the end of the main conflict.