Siege of Hitokura Castle


Miyoshi Clan

Settsu Province

Shiokawa Clan

Date:  Eighth and ninth months of Tenbun 10 (1541)

Location:  Hitokura Castle in Kawanishi in Settsu Province

Synopsis:  After the defeat of Hosokawa Takakuni at the Collapse at Daimotsu, Hosokawa Harumoto and his allies from the Miyoshi clan engaged in ongoing operations to subdue the remnants of Takakuni’s army and his allies.  Based on the marriage of Takakuni’s younger sister to Shiokawa Masatoshi, the Miyoshi army laid siege to the base of the Shiokawa at Hitokura Castle, but, owing to the intervention of relatives of the Shiokawa, the Miyoshi lifted the siege prior to the outbreak of fighting.

Lord:  Hosokawa Harumoto

Commanders:  Miyoshi Masanaga, Miyoshi Nagayoshi, Hatano Hidetada

Forces:  Unknown

Losses:  None

Commanders:  Shiokawa Masatoshi, Shiokawa Kunimitsu, Itami Chikaoki (reinforcements)

Forces:  Unknown

Losses:  None

The Siege of Hitokura Castle occurred during the eighth and ninth months of Tenbun 10 (1541) in the environs of Hitokura Castle in Settsu Province.  In this event, the Miyoshi (Miyoshi Masanaga and Miyoshi Nagayoshi) army laid siege to Hitokura Castle occupied by members of the Shiokawa army.  Hitokura Castle was also known as Yamashita Castle.  Owing to intervention by relatives of the Shiokawa, the Miyoshi lifted the siege before the outbreak of hostilities.

After causing widespread chaos across the Kinai, in the eleventh month of 1535, Shōnyo (the high priest of the Ōsaka-Hongan Temple) settled with Hosokawa Harumoto, bringing the Kyōtoku-Tenbun Conflict to an end.  The following year, in the seventh month of 1536, Kizawa Nagamasa launched a surprise attack against the Ikkō-ikki after the religious band raised arms at Nakajima Castle, subduing them.  That same month, after Hosokawa Harukuni was found in his hiding place, he was killed.  The elimination of Harukuni could have contributed to the stability of Harumoto’s governance.  Nevertheless, from the first month of 1536 when Miyoshi Nagayoshi visited Kyōto, signs of conflict were on the horizon.

In the eighth month of 1541, Harumoto ordered Miyoshi Masanaga, Miyoshi Nagayoshi, and Hatano Hidetada to attack Shiokawa Masatoshi at Hitokura Castle in Tada.  According to one theory, the lord of the castle at this time was his son, Shiokawa Kunimitsu.  The younger sister of Hosokawa Takakuni (who died at the Collapse at Daimotsu in 1531) was married to Masatoshi so, in an ongoing search for remnants of Takakuni’s former soldiers, the Miyoshi army surrounded Hitokura Castle.

Relatives of Masatoshi, namely, Itami Chikaoki (the lord of Itami Castle) and Miyake Kunimura (the lord of Miyake Castle), were opposed to this action by the Miyoshi and appealed directly to Ashikaga Yoshiharu (the twelfth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu) in regard to the impropriety of the attack on Hitokura Castle.  The relatives further requested support from Kizawa Nagamasa while  Chikaoki himself headed out to provide urgent support.  Thereafter, the Kizawa, Itami, and Miyake armies amassed at Itami Castle.  After receiving news of the pending intervention, the Miyoshi army lifted the siege and, on 9/29, withdrew to Koshimizu Castle.