Siege of Tenjinyama Castle
Date: Fourth month of Tenshō 2 (1574) to ninth month of Tenshō 3 (1575)
Location: Tenjinyama Castle in Bizen Province (the conflict preceding the siege at Tenjinyama occurred over a wide area of Bizen and Mimasaka provinces)
Synopsis: The Siege of Tenjinyama Castle was the site of the last stand of the Uragami army and their supporters besieged by the Ukita army. It marked the final step in the usurpation by Ukita Naoie of his former lord, Uragami Munekage. The conflict between the Uragami and Ukita, however, occurred in the context of broader struggle over an 18-month period across Bizen and Mimasaka provinces. This featured numerous developments including the formation of an allied resistance to the Mōri, diplomatic roles by Ashikaga Yoshiaki and Oda Nobunaga, and shifting loyalties of the kunishū, or provincial forces, influencing the direction and ultimate outcome of the conflict.
The Siege of Tenjinyama Castle occurred from the fourth month of Tenshō 2 (1574) to the ninth month of Tenshō 3 (1575). This conflict was waged between the combined forces of Uragami Munekage and Miura Sadahiro against the forces of Ukita Naoie who rose from within the Uragami clan to become an independent power and sengoku daimyō. Although the final event occurred at Tenjinyama Castle, for a period of approximately eighteen months, clashes erupted between the opposing camps over a broad area straddling Bizen and Mimasaka provinces.
Independence of Ukita Naoie
Uragami Munekage became independent of his older brother, Uragami Masamune (who was originally a senior retainer of the Akamatsu clan) and raised an army in Bizen Province. With the support of Mōri Motonari, he gradually gained power and, after surpassing his older brother, cut ties with the Mōri and became a sengoku daimyō. In 1567, at the Battle of Myōzenji, the Uragami clan defeated Mimura Motochika of Bitchū and, in 1568, decimated the Bizen-Matsuda clan, further expanding their influence. By this means, the Uragami became a daimyō family controlling land across four provinces including almost all of Bizen along with portions of Mimasaka, Bitchū, and Harima.
In the course of these battles, Ukita Naoie arose as a prominent figure within the Uragami family. With the Osafune and Oka clans under his command, after eliminating the Matsuda clan, Naoie invaded Bitchū and pressed ahead to the territory held by the Mimura clan (who received protection from the Mōri). From around this time, however, Naoie unilaterally contacted Ashikaga Yoshiaki, the fifteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu, asserting his independence. In 1569, Uragami Munekage encroached on the landholdings of Akamatsu Masahide, and, after Ashikaga Yoshiaki demanded Oda Nobunaga support Masahide, Naoie had already pledged allegiance to the shōgun and, as the leader of the Bizen forces, declared his separation from the Uragami clan.
In the seventh month, Naoie commenced military operations. First, in northern Bizen, he fought against the kunishū, or provincial forces, from Mimasaka including the Haga and Harada under the command of the Uragami, emerging victorious. Next, in Mimasaka, he converged with the forces of Miura Sadahiro (who aimed to revive the Mimasaka-Miura clan) to attack Takada Castle defended by Kagawa Hirokage, a retainer of the Mōri clan. Hirokage, however, broke the siege and the Ukita forces withdrew. Later, in Harima, Akamatsu Masahide suffered a loss to forces led by Kuroda Yoshitaka, and, prior to the arrival of reinforcements from the Oda army, he surrendered at the Battle of Aoyama-Kawarakeyama, leaving Naoie isolated. Naoie avoided further conflict and promptly surrendered to the Uragami army, apologizing for his indiscretions. Following consultations between Munekage and Amago Katsuhisa, Naoie was pardoned of his crimes. Munekage and Katsuhisa understood that harming Naoie would be interpreted as a clear expression of their will to oppose the shōgun and Oda Nobunaga, so they sought to take the most peaceable measures possible. Although Naoie was unable to overthrow the Uragami clan, by this point in time, he had in fact achieved independence from his former lord. While the relationship between the Uragami and the Ukita families was strained, it had not collapsed entirely, and was temporarily restored to confront the mutual threat posed by the Mōri clan.
After the end of the cessation of hostilities with the Uragami, the Ukita army moved the primary battlefield to Bitchū, and, in the twelfth month, when Mōri Motokiyo, Kumagai Nobuharu, and Mimura Motochika closed-in on Bitchū-Saita Castle governed by Ueki Hideharu (aligned with the Ukita), Togawa Hideyasu deployed, causing injuries to Mimura Motochika and killing Hoita Sanechika en route to victory, compelling the Mōri and Mimura armies to retreat.
Revival of the Mimasaka-Miura and encirclement of the Mōri
Meanwhile, in Mimasaka, following the withdrawal of the Ukita army, the Amago Revival Army led by Yamanaka Yukimori joined the attack on Takada Castle. In the tenth month of 1569, members of the Akashi and Okamoto clans associated with the Uragami family and from the Osafune clan associated with the Ukita family joined the besieging forces. In 1570, Kagawa Hirokage was finally ousted and Miura Sadahiro recovered his former territory. Next, the Miura army proceeded to recapture a group of outlying castles such as Terahata Castle and, within the same year, succeeded in regaining a degree of power. One of the influential members of the revitalized Mimasaka-Miura was an elder named Maki Naoharu. To protect their territory from the Mōri clan, he actively exchanged letters and forged alliances with powerful families opposed to the Mōri, including those led by Ōtomo Yoshishige, Uragami Munekage, and Amago Katsuhisa.
Through restoration of the Miura clan, from 1570, the allied powers united in their opposition to the Mōri engaged in a heightened level of activity. Ōtomo Yoshishige had already lured Murakami Takeyoshi of the Noshima navy away from the Mōri. Uragami Munekage sent tributes via Imai Sōkyū to Oda Nobunaga in a bid to cultivate better relations, while requesting the support of Shinohara Nagafusa under the command of Miyoshi Yoshitsugu along with the Kōzai navy of Sanuki Province, aiming to attack Kojima which was not yet under his control in Bizen. Furthermore, recovered his territory in Tajima Province with the aid of Oda Nobunaga, Yamana Suketoyo expressed an interest in forming a united front with the Amago Revival Army. In Inaba Province, upon the wishes of Suketoyo, Yamana Toyokuni inherited the headship of the Inaba-Yamana clan. In this way, an array of clans including the Ōtomo, the Uragami, the Amago, the Ukita, the Mimasaka-Miura, the Yamana, and the Miyoshi joined forces to encircle the Mōri.
Settlements with the Mōri of Aki
Thereafter, conflict intensified between the Uragami, the Ukita and the Noshima navy on one side and the Mōri and Mimura on the other side. From the second month of 1571, the Noshima navy openly rebelled against the Mōri and, after positioning troops at Motobuto Castle. In the fourth month, Kobayakawa Takakage responded by attacking the castle. Takakage then allocated troops to Awaya Narikata and dispatched the contingent to Bizen-Kojima, but, during a battle there in the fifth month, Narikata’s forces were defeated by the Urgami and the Awa navy led by Shinohara Nagafusa (under the command of the Miyoshi clan) who rushed-in reinforcements.
In Bitchū, Shō Katsusuke occupied the base of the Mimura clan at Matsuyama Castle and colluded with the Ukita. At the same time, the Ukita forces invaded the territory of the Mimura and captured Kōzan Castle. In the ninth month, a clash occurred again at Bitchū-Saita Castle between Uragami and Ukita forces serving as reinforcements to Ueki Hidesuke (Hidenaga’s son) on one side and the Mōri and Mimura forces on the other. The Uragami and Ukita forces prevailed while Shō Motosuke (the older brother of Mimura Motochika) was killed in action. During this period, in the midst of intensifying attacks against the Mōri, Mōri Motonari lay ill, whereupon he dispatched Ankokuji Ekei as a messenger to Ashikaga Yoshiaki in Kyōto and requested mediation of the conflict with the Ōtomo, the Uragami, and the Miyoshi. Yoshiaki, however, rejected the inclusion of the Miyoshi in the negotiations, so the effort failed. On 6/14 of Genki 2 (1571), Motonari died before Ekei returned from his mission. The Mōri clan was inherited by Motonari’s eldest grandson, Mōri Terumoto.
In 1572, Ashikaga Yoshiaki took the lead in promoting a mediation, having Yanagisawa Motomasa prepare a proposal for a ceasefire between the Mōri (excluding a role for the Miyoshi) on one side and the Ōtomo and Uragami on the other. Meanwhile, Mōri Terumoto initiated counterattacks against the opposition forces. In the third month, he aimed to draw Gotō Katsumoto, the lord of Mitsuboshi Castle in Mimasaka, into the Mōri camp by sending him reinforcements when Katsumoto was engaged in clashes against Uragami Munekage after a falling out. Under pressure from Ukita Naoie in Bitchū, the arrival of Kikkawa Motoharu and Kobayakawa Takakage led to the conduct of military operations. Exposed to the threat of the Mōri, in the sixth month of 1572, Naoie requested Ashikaga Yoshiaki to mediate a settlement with the Mōri, and Yoshiaki quickly responded, sending a letter to the Mōri to request the opinion of Terumoto and the dispatch of Anokuji Ekei to Kyōto but Terumoto disapproved so the negotiations failed to materialize and the Mōri refused to withdraw. Thereafter, Terumoto pursued a course that was contrary to peacemaking, showing interest in subjugating the opposition in Bizen. In the ninth month, Terumoto himself deployed on horseback, converging with the forces with the intention of attacking various castles in Bitchū occupied by the Ukita including Hibata, Kamo, and Kawazugahana castles. In Mimasaka, he assumed an offensive posture, consolidating military power, supplying provisions and funds to those at Mitsuboshi Castle, and calling upon Takeda Takanobu from Inaba Province to deploy.
Early in the tenth month, however, Terumoto changed direction, responding to settlement negotiations. Thereafter, settlements were quickly achieved with respect to Bizen/Bitchū and Aki as well as Buzen/Bungo and Aki. With respect to Bizen/Bitchū and Aki, this resulted in a ceasefire between the Uragami and the Ukita clans on one side and the Mōri and the Mimura on the other side. With respect to Buzen/Bungo and Aki, this resulted in a ceasefire between the Ōtomo and the Mōri in northern Kyūshū. Reasons for the change in Terumoto’s approach are uncertain, but the letters from the shōgun appeared to cause a stir within the Mōri family. Jikuun Eshin, the diplomatic monk who preceded Anokuji Ekei, went so far as proposing the son of Uragami Munekage be sent to the shōgun as a hostage in pursuit of a settlement and warned that whether a settlement could be reached depended upon the will of the lords so those involved should act prudently. A faction seeking peace who sought to avoid aggravating the situation with those in Bizen appeared to also have been involved. However, perhaps because steps were taken according to the wishes of the Uragami and the Ukita, the contents of the peace deal between Bizen/Bitchū and Aki were clearly disadvantageous to the Mōri. In addition to transferring twelve strongholds captured by the forces in Bizen, the base at Mitsuboshi Castle which the Mōri had endeavored to support had to be destroyed. Based on this settlement, the Ukita recovered castles from the Mōri without the need to fight. Meanwhile, the Uragami took advantage of the withdrawal of the Mōri to restore relations with Gotō Katsumoto. Kobayakawa Takakage, however, was, in particular, dissatisfied with this outcome, denouncing the Uragami and Ukita as guilty of double-dealing, and, after the settlement, allowed Takeda Takanobu to continue occupying Mimasaka. By means of this settlement, the encirclement of the Mōri began to ease, including resistance by the Noshima navy which had been subject to punishment by the Mōri, blocking them from transporting rice and other staples necessary for living.
License to govern three provinces
From 1573, there were no direct clashes between the Mōri against the Ōtomo and Uragami, but resistance to the Mōri continued among the Yamana clans of Tajima and Inaba provinces, the Amago Revival Army supported by the Ōtomo and Uragami, and the Mimasaka-Miura clan. In Inaba, Yamanaka Yukimori and Maki Naoharu, along with the Hino forces from Hōki, attacked castles aligned with the Mōri. Meanwhile, the Mōri responded by quickly approaching Ukita Naoie and, in the tenth month, Mōri forces entered Okutsu and Saihara in Mimasaka, demonstrating their alliance with Naoie.
In the eleventh month, Munekage traveled to Kyōto and met Oda Nobunaga. Munekage garnered support from Nobunaga to mediate a peace with Bessho Nagaharu (who Munekage was fighting against in Harima) and obtained a license recognizing his rights to the provinces of Bizen, Harima, and Mimasaka. In the twelfth month, the Mōri dispatched Anokokuji Ekei to Kyōto and requested Nobunaga to respond to the Amago Revival Army, whereupon Nobunaga issued a license including a rejection of a request from Yamanaka Yukimori for mediation through Shibata Katsuie. He agreed to the deployment of troops to Tajima by Hashiba Hideyoshi in the second month of 1574. Furthermore, in Kyōto, after Ekei learned that Nobunaga had granted a license to Munekage to the three provinces, he warned the Mōri that this action was in preparation for an advance into Aki. In 1574, in the absence of reinforcements from Hideyoshi, the Amago Revival Army continued to conduct operations in the Sanin region meaning that Nobunaga had scrapped his promise with the Mōri.
With respect to maneuvers toward Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Uragami Munekage took the initiative. Although Ukita Naoie had received recognition from the bakufu for the independence of his landholdings, Munekage gained the upper hand by working through Oda Nobunaga. After Nobunaga ousted Yoshiaki, he issued a license recognizing the rights of the Uragami to three provinces, resulting in a likely rejection of the independence of the Ukita clan by the central authorities. Naoie was surprised at the unexpected actions of Munekage who dismissed the settlement with the Mōri that was finally agreed through the mediation of Yoshiaki. In an effort to oppose Munekage who was backed by the Oda, Naoie strengthened his alliance with the Mōri.
Course of events
Ukita Naoie and the kunishū (provincial forces)
Prior to open hostilities with Uragami Munekage, Naoie anticipated that Miura Sadahiro would ally with the Uragami so, in the third month of 1574, to sever this alliance, he made an effort to lure the Mimasaka kunishū located near the provincial borders of Bizen and Mimasaka. He succeeded in gaining allies among Harada Sadasuke and Harada Yukisuke (father and son), landowners in the Kume District. He then had Sadasuke and Hanabusa Motohide storm Iwaya Castle near the Miura territory. In one day, the attacking forces took the castle and, after ousting the Ashida family, Naoie sent Hamaguchi Iemoto to serve as the chamberlain, placing the castle under his direct control. Soon thereafter, on 4/5, Munekage expressed his thanks to a retainer of the Miura named Maki Kiyofuyu (the grandson of Maki Naoharu) for Miura Sadahiro agreeing to ally with him and indicated in a letter that he would newly allocate territory, making clear that Sadahiro would join the Uragami camp. On 4/18, the Uragami and Ukita forces first clashed on Mount Tai in Bizen, in which the Ukita prevailed.
With respect to the revolt by Naoie, Munekage was initially optimistic. In a letter addressed to Yasutomi Morisada of Sanuki in the fifth month, he confidently announced that his forces were winning each day. In the sixth month, however, the Uragami army was defeated in a battle on Mount Takao, leading to a series of losses. Meanwhile, Naoie lured away the Yugu forces from Mimasaka, attracting to his side the Kanno and Numamoto clans. Further, he ousted the Osaka clan for refusing to ally with the Ukita and succeeded from an early stage in taking control of the routes between Mimasaka and Bizen provinces. As a result, the battlefield situation turned in favor of the Ukita.
Concerned that the kunishū joined the Ukita camp, during the ninth and tenth months, Munekage responded by taking steps to forge solidarity among the kunishū under his command by allocating to them at once the revenue from taxes and levies and well as the lands designated to cultivate rice in support of the military. Perhaps owing to the results of these measures, as well as the contributions of Ishikawa Gensuke and Hanabusa Yozaemon, the Uragami army achieved a series of victories including at battles in Mimasaka-Toyota and Bizen-Tottori at the end of the tenth month. After the Uragami army began to put-up stiff resistance from Tenshinyama Castle and a group of outlying castles, the Ukita army could no longer attack at will and the battle lines turned into a stalemate.
Cessation of hostilities and the battle of diplomacy
In a bid to achieve a breakthrough, Naoie sent a letter to Kobayakawa Takakage, while Uragami Munekage also sent a letter to Kikkawa Motoharu, but a decision was made by the Mōri to support the Ukita. After enduring years of fighting against the Ukita, Mimura Motochika of Bitchū opposed this decision by the Mōri. Motoharu and others protested against allying with the Ukita on the basis it undermined their relationship with the Mimura, but the opinions of Takakage and Ankokuji Ekei in support of the Ukita prevailed. In the eighth month of 1574, Mimura Motochika was solicited by Oda Nobunaga with an offer to grant him Bingo Province in addition to recognizing Motochika’s territory in Bitchū. Having observed that owing to the alliance between the Mōri and the Ukita, the relationship between the Mōri and the Mimura deteriorated significantly, Ōtomo Yoshishige appealed to Maki Naoharu (a retainer of the Miura) to entice the Mimura clan to cut ties with the Mōri. With respect to this proposition, with the exception of Mimura Chikanari who advocated for preserving relations with the Mōri, Motochika and the other family members agreed, whereupon the Mimura finally split with the Mōri and allied with the Oda. Concerned for his own safety, Chikanari fled to Bitchū with the assistance of the Mōri. After the separation of the Mimura from the Mōri, the Ukita confronted enemies on three sides, but the Mōri responded swiftly. In the eleventh month, the Mōri quickly assembled forces to conquer the Mimura and sent a major contingent into Bitchū in an event known as the Bitchū hyōran, or Bitchū Conflict. The Mimura army was overwhelmed responding to the Mōri and could not offer reinforcements to the Uragami.
From the eleventh month of 1574, the fighting between the Mōri and Mimura armies in Bitchū intensified. However, there are no records demonstrating that, over the ensuing period of five months, fighting occurred between the Uragami and Ukita families. Although the reasons are uncertain, it is surmised that a ceasefire likely occurred during this time. However, in anticipation of further conflict, both sides made efforts out of view to strengthen their respective positions. In the twelfth month, Uragami Munekage sent a letter to Maki Kiyofuyu who was posted at Takada Castle to inform him of the status of fighting in Bitchū. To create a justification for conquering Munekage, Naoie took custody of Uragami Hisamatsumaru, the son of Uragami Narimune, who had been left in the care of the Kodera clan of Harima Province. Narimune was Munekage’s nephew and lineal heir of Uragami Masamune (Munekage’s older brother) and was assassinated in Emikawa by individuals acting on behalf of Munekage who feared Narimune’s expansion of power in Harima. Naoie sent a letter of thanks to Kobayakawa Takakage for facilitating the transfer of Hisamatsumaru from the Kodera clan.
Battle between the Mimasaka-Miura and the Ukita clan
From the first month of 1575, the conflict intensified between factions located at Iwaya Castle (the front-line base of the Ukita in Mimasaka) with Hamaguchi Iemoto and Hanabusa Motohide on one side and kunishū supporting the Ukita including the Harada, the Numamoto, and the Kanno clans (called the “Iwaya Group”) on the other. On 1/22, the Iwaya Group invaded the Miura territory, occupying Mount Tada in the Ōba District. The Miura responded with Maki Kiyofuyu deploying to launch a nighttime attack that killed several tens of enemy troops and retake Mount Tada. These forces received commendation from Miura Sadahiro.
In the second month, Uragami Munekage and Okamoto Ujihide sent numerous letters to Maki Kiyofuyu, informing him of assurances from Oda Nobunaga for additional troops in Bizen and that Yamanaka Yukimori (the leader of the Amago Revival Army) would soon come in support to Mimasaka, encouraging the Miura clan. During this period, however, the Uragami family did not engage in direct military operations. From the beginning of the year, the Ōtomo clan, including Yoshishige (Sōrin) and Yoshimune (father and son) along with senior retainers such as Yoshihiro Shigenobu and Shiga Chikanori sent letters to Maki Naoharu, pledging to deploy troops to neaby Akamagaseki and instructing the Uragami and Mimura to work closely together. At this time, the Ukita continued to battle against the Miura but not against the Uragami. At the end of the second month, the Ukita departed Bizen for Bitchū and engaged in discussions with Kobayakawa Takakage in regard to opposition to the Mimura. On 3/16, a retainer of the Miura named Maki Kiyofuyu launched a nighttime attack against Mimasaka-Makiyama Castle governed by the Kamo forces under the command of Iga Hisataka, killing many members of the Kamo en route to capturing Makiyama Castle.
Elimination of the Uragami and Mimasaka-Miura clans
The Uragami and Ukita clans were under a ceasefire, but, in the fourth month, Ukita Naoie offered his service to Uragami Hisamatsumaru as a pretext for ousting Munekage and had his troops resume operations. On 4/12 of Tenshō 3 (1575), Naoie aimed to assault Hikasa-Aoyama Castle defended by Hikasa Yorifusa (one of the outlying castles protecting the main base of the Uragami at Tenshinyama Castle). The Ukita army advanced, engaging in a field battle below the castle. The Hikasa forces prevailed, killing Hara Sukejūrō and others, repelling the Ukita forces. On 5/1, however, the Ukita army attacked Bizen-Sakotani Castle and, around this time, Hikasa Genta (the lord of Inbe Castle aligned with the Uragami) was killed in action and Inbe Castle was attacked. On 5/8, having nearly achieved victory in the Bitchū Conflict, Mōri Terumoto considered sending forces from Bingo to Bizen. On 5/22, the base of the Mimura clan at Matsuyama Castle fell, and when its lord, Mimura Motochika, abandoned the site, Kobayakawa Takakage anticipated that Motochika would rely upon the Mimasaka-Miura to escape so he ordered Mimura Chikanari to lead the vanguard in an invaasion of Mimasaka. On 6/2, Motochika took his own life, and, on 6/7, the last base of the Mimura at Tsuneyama Castle fell. By this means, the Mimura clan was extinguished and the Bitchū Conflict came to an end.
In the seventh month, finding himself cornered, Uragami Munekage attempted to resolve the severing of communications with the Miura by dispatching a senior retainer named Okamoto Ujihide and a kokujin from Mimasaka named Nakajima Takashige to attack, among others, Rengeji and Komatsu castles defended by Numamoto Hisaie, Numamoto Toyomori, and Kanno Ieharu of the Yuge manor in Mimasaka (allied with the Ukita). In these clashes, however, Uragami forces such as Nobuhara Ietsugu incurred injuries en route to losing, revealing to those on the inside and the outside that the army did not have the power to conquer small-scale landowners who resisted them. Thereafter, the Uragami army could not halt the exodus of the kunishū from their forces and were forced to act only on the defensive. Finally, the only option remaining was to hole-up in their main base at Tenjinyama Castle.
From around the eighth month of the same year, beginning, among others, with Akashi Yukikatsu, Okamoto Ujihide and Okamoto Hidehiro (father and son), Nobuhara Kageyoshi, and Ōtahara Nagatoki, along with groups from Tenjinyama who had continued resistance while operating under the the direct command of the Uragami, these forces cut ties with the Uragami clan one after another. By early in the ninth month, Tenjinyama Castle fell, and Uragami Munekage was expelled from his territory. On behalf of Miura Sadahiro of Mimasaka, Maki Kiyofuyu made a proposal (via a retainer of the Ukita named Ebara Hisakiyo) to have Ukita Naoie mediate surrender to the Mōri. On 9/11, Sadahiro vacated his base at Takada Castle and surrendered. As a result of this conflict, Ukita Naoie significantly expanded his territory to include almost all of Bizen, the eastern portion of Mimasaka, and the western portion of Harima.
As an outcome of this conflict, Uragami Munekage lost his territory and fled to Harima, while, despite surrendering, Miura Sadahiro did not receive recognition of his rights to Takada Castle. A retainer of the Mōri named Narasaki Motokane entered Takada as the chamberlain. Sadahiro was taken into custody by the Mōri, and then turned over to the Ukita. The Uragami and Mimasaka-Miura clans were eliminated as powers. Many former retainers of the Uragami switched their allegiance to Ukita Naoie while former retainers of the Miura including the Maki family entered into service for the Ukita clan. With respect to the allocation of territory, the former territory of the Uragami was annexed into the Ukita territory with the exception of that land governed by Gotō Katsumoto (the lord of Mitsuboshi Castle) and Sasabe Kanjirō (the lord of Chausuyama Castle) who had not submitted to the Ukita. In the former territory of the Miura, Takada Castle was seized by the Mōri but other castles including Sasabuki and Terhata became the territory of the Ukita. In Bitchū, the Mōri had commanded the Bitchū Conflict so this province came under their direct control while the Ukita receive a portion in the south of the province. The Mōri initially took control of Koshima which was a strategic location for marine shipping but later this was transferred to the Ukita and governed by Togawa Hideyasu.
The settlement between Buzen/Bungo and Aki achieved the primary objective of Ōtomo Yoshishige (as the leader of the alliance opposed to the Mōri) to expel the Mōri forces from Kyūshū. Therefore, promises made to the Mimasaka-Miura and others to deploy troops to Akamagaseki were empty, and Yoshishige did not ultimately engage in any actions that would breach the settlement. Owing to the lack of action by the Ōtomo, Murakami Takeyoshi distanced himself from the Ōtomo and restored relations with the Mōri. Yamanaka Yukimori (the leader of the Amago Revival Army) who had promised to send troops to Mimasaka confronted difficult circumstances with the betrayal of the Yamana clans of Tajima and Inaba to the Mōri so was not in a position to send a portion of his troops to Mimasaka. To the contrary, in the fifth month of 1576, Wakasaoniga Castle was attacked, and after losing their base in the western region, the Amago Revival Army fled in defeat to Kyōto. Along with the decimation of the Uragami and Mimasaka-Miura clans that had persistently resisted the Mōri in the western region, the opposition alliance against the Mōri collapsed.
After hearing of the defeat of Uragami Munekage, Oda Nobunaga summoned Araki Murashige who had been sent in the middle of the ninth month to suppress the Echizen Ikkō-ikki and quickly sent him to Harima. He commandered hostages from Harima kunishū including Kodera Masamoto, Bessho Nagaharu, and Akamatsu Hirohide and ordered Murashige to build a residence for Munekage who had retreated to Harima. In 1576, after being ousted from Kyōto, Ashikaga Yoshiaki entered Tomo in Bingo Province and founding the Tomo bakufu. The Mōri and Ukita clans allied with the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple, forming the third encirclement of Nobunaga. The Ukita forces invaded Harima, advancing to Mount Hachiman. The Mōri navy took action, and owing to the decline of the Miyoshi, seized control of the seas near Harima without visible resistance, sailing to Ōsaka Bay. In the seventh month, at the First Battle of Kizugawaguchi, the Mōri destroyed the Oda navy and forced a closer relationship with the Hongan Temple.
As an outcome of this conflict, Uragami Munekage and Miura Sadahiro were defeated and Ukita Naoie (who controlled Bizen and Mimasaka) submitted to the Mōri, upon which the encirclement of the Mōri promoted by Ōtomo Yoshishige (Sōrin) completely collapsed. Free of threats from the surrounding area, the Mōri could at once march their troops east. In Harima, Miki Michiaki (the lord of Aga Castle), Akamatsu Masanori (the lord of Kōzuki Castle), Uno Masayori (the lord of Chōsuisan Castle), and Akamatsu Hirohide (the lord of Tatsuno Castle) allied with the Mōri. This cast a large shadow over the operations of the Oda to lure to their side the powers in Harima which had been proceeding smoothly, causing a continuation of the Ishiyama War between the Oda clan and the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple.