Siege of Shōryūji Castle
Date: 9/28 to 9/29 of Eiroku 11 (1568)
Location: Shōryūji Castle to the south of Kyōto in Yamashiro Province
Synopsis: During the march to Kyōto to install Ashikaga Yoshiaki as the fifteenth shōgun, Oda Nobunaga ordered a group of senior commanders to attack Iwanai Tomomichi and his troops based at Shōryūji Castle on the route to the capital. Troops charged out of the castle to engage the Oda forces but suffered a defeat while Tomomichi vacated the base.
The Siege of Shōryūji Castle occurred from 9/28 to 9/29 of Eiroku 11 (1568) at the Shōryūji Castle south of Kyōto in Yamashiro Province. The conflict was waged between the Miyoshi Group of Three and the Oda army in connection with Oda Nobunaga’s march upon the capital to install Ashikaga Yoshiaki as the fifteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu.
In 1565, Ashikaga Yoshiteru (the thirteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu) came into conflict with the Miyoshi Group of Three (Miyoshi Nagayasu, Miyoshi Sōi, and Iwanari Tomomichi) and Matsunaga Hisahide, and was unexpectedly killed in an event known as the Eiroku Incident. At this time, Yoshiteru’s younger brother, Kakukei (later known as Ashikaga Yoshiaki), was a monk at the Ichijō Temple. Upon learning the news, Kakukei fled the temple and, through the offices of Asakura Yoshikage, sought the protection of Oda Nobunaga. In the ninth month of 1568, Nobunaga backed Yoshiaki and commenced a march to Kyōto. After eliminating the Rokkaku clan (who had acted in concert with the Miyoshi Group of Three) at the Siege of Kannonji Castle, the Oda forces advanced toward Kyōto.
Meanwhile, the conflict between the Miyoshi Group of Three and Matsunaga Hisahide intensified. In the absence of coordinated military operations by the opposition, Nobunaga was able to march upon Kyōto without meaningful resistance. His army entered Kyōto on 9/26 and established a base at the Tōfuku Temple on Mount Higashi. On 9/28, he deployed with the aim of subduing forces led by the Miyoshi Group of Three based in assorted castles from the southern portion of Yamashiro Province to Settsu Province. One of the Miyoshi Group of Three, Iwanari Tomomichi, was based in Shōryūji Castle to the south of Kyōto. The Siege of Shōryūji Castle was comprised of an attack by Oda forces on this position to clear the path to the capital.
Course of events
Nobunaga ordered the deployment of Shibata Katsuie, Mori Yoshinari, Sakai Masahisa, and Hachiya Yoritaka of the Mino group to serve as vanguard forces. On 9/28, these four commanders launched an assault on Shōryūji Castle. Iwanari Tomomichi sent a battalion of ashigaru, or foot soldiers, out of the castle to engage the attacking forces, but these forces were defeated while Katsuie and the others took over fifty heads. At this time, Nobunaga had not yet deployed so the heads were brought to the Tōfuku Temple for inspection.
On 9/29, Tomomichi remained holed-up in the castle, but, unable to withstand attacks by Shibata Katsuie and others, he vacated the castle. In 1569, Tomomichi deployed on his own with the Miyoshi forces in the Battle of Hokoku Temple, continuing resistance against Nobunaga until his demise on 8/2 of Tenshō 1 (1573) at the Second Siege of Yodoko Castle.
The fall of Shōryūji Castle enabled the Oda forces to march west on the Kyōkai road from Ōsaka to the capital of Kyōto. Meanwhile, Nobunaga advanced from the Tōfuku Temple to Yamazaki. After this battle, the Oda forces continued west, leading to the Siege of Akutagawa Castle.