Tenshō Jingo Conflict


Tokugawa Clan

Kai Province

Shinano Province

Hōjō Clan

Date:  Sixth month to 10/29 of Tenshō 10 (1582)

Location:  Various locations in Kai and Shinano provinces

Synopsis:  In the third month of 1582, the Oda decimated the Takeda clan in the Conquest of Kōshū.  In the sixth month, Oda Nobunaga died in a coup d’état in Kyōto.  These events led to a conflict between the Tokugawa and Hōjō clans for control over the former territory of the Takeda clan in Kai, Shinano, and Kōzuke provinces.  Despite lesser resources, the Tokugawa benefited from the support of local clans in Shinano.  After months of fighting, the Tokugawa and Hōjō settled on the basis of mediation by Oda Nobukatsu.  As a condition of the settlement, the Tokugawa garnered control of Kai and Shinano while the Hōjō took over Kōzuke.

Lord:  Tokugawa Ieyasu

Commanders:  Yoda Nobushige, Sanada Masayuki, Kiso Yoshimasa

Forces:  Over 10,000 (2,000 at the Battle of Kurokoma)

Losses:  Unknown

Lord:  Hōjō Ujimasa, Hōjō Ujinao (father and son)

Commanders:  Hōjō Ujinao, Satomi Yoshiyori

Forces:  Over 53,000 (10,000 at the Battle of Kurokoma)

Losses:  Unknown

The Tenshō Jingo Conflict was comprised of a series of conflicts occurring from the sixth month to 10/29 of Tenshō 10 (1582) in the former territory of the Takeda clan in Kai and Shinano provinces.  The conflict was waged by the army of Tokugawa Ieyasu against the forces of Hōjō Ujinao.


In the second and third months of Tenshō 10 (1582), during the Conquest of Kōshū, the Oda clan decimated the Takeda clan.  Oda Nobunaga then appointed Kawajiri Hidetaka to govern the majority of Kai.  This, however, lasted for only a short time.  On 6/2, Akechi Mitsuhide orchestrated a coup d’état that resulted in the death of Nobunaga in the capital of Kyōto.  This event is known as the Honnō Temple Incident.  In its aftermath, Hidetaka was killed in an uprising by local residents of Kai, leaving a power vacuum in the territory.  The Oda then came into conflict with Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hōjō Ujinao as these powers vied for control over the former territory of the Takeda in Kai and Shinano.

From the end of the seventh month of the end of the tenth month, armies led by Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hōjō Ujinao opposed one another in Wakamiko and Shinpu in Kai.  This event, known in early modern accounts as the wakamiko taijin, or Wakamiko Confrontation, symbolized the conflict between clans over the territory left behind by Oda Nobunaga.  In accounts of the Tokugawa clan, it is frequently referred to as the departure to Kōshū (Kai) by Ieyasu.  The Wakamiko Confrontation is also referred to synonymously with the Tenshō Jingo Conflict.

Actions by Tokugawa Ieyasu

At the time of the coup against Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu was staying in Sakai.  He then left the Kinai region and, on 6/4, returned to his base at Okazaki Castle in Mikawa Province.

On 6/6, Ieyasu sent a letter to Okabe Masatsuna, a former retainer of the Takeda who colluded with the Tokugawa during the Conquest of Kōshū by the Oda and became a retainer of the Tokugawa after the fall of the Takeda.  Anayama Nobutada (Baisetsu), a retainer of the Takeda clan, died while fleeing from the Kinai.  Ieyasu then ordered the construction of a castle at Nobutada’s former base at the Shimoyama house in the Kawachi territory of Kai.  This led to the building of Suganuma Castle alongside the Fuji River and the Kawachi Road connecting Kai and Suruga provinces.

Around 6/10, Ieyasu dispatched a retainer named Honda Nobutoshi to visit and request the cooperation of Kawajiri Hidetaka who, as a retainer of the Oda, governed Kai and the Suwa District of Shinano Province.  Ieyasu also sent Yoda Nobushige, a landowner in the Saku District of Shinano, to the Saku District.

From 6/12 to 6/23, Masatsuna, together with Sone Masatada, jointly signed and issued certificates to officially recognize the rights of kokujin in Kai to their landholdings.

On 6/14, Hidetaka murdered Honda Nobutoshi at the Iwakubo house.  According to one account, Hidetaka was suspicious of Nobutoshi and believed that Ieyasu had instigated an uprising with the intention of usurping him in Kai so he killed Nobutoshi.  After kokujin, or provincial landowners, in Kai started an ikki, or uprising, on 6/15, Hidetaka attempted to escape but on 6/18 was killed by the ikki forces.

Among the retainers of the Oda clan governing the provinces of Kōzuke, Kai, and Shinano, Ieyasu confirmed that Kawajiri Hidetaka had died while Takigawa Kazumasu and Mori Nagayoshi fled in defeat.  He then communicated with Hashiba Hideyoshi who eliminated Akechi Mitsuhide at the Battle of Yamazaki on 6/13.

On 6/27, at the Kiyosu Conference to determine the successor to Nobunaga, it is surmised that senior retainers of the Oda clan consented to Ieyasu’s actions.

On 7/7, Hideyoshi dispatched forces to Ieyasu and sent a letter acknowledging that Kōzuke, Kai, and Shinano were secured by the Tokugawa.

Misaka Castle and the Battle of Kurokoma

In the middle of the sixth month, the Ōmura Group (dogō, or small-scale landowners from Kurashina in the Yamanashi District led by Ōmura Tadataka (Saneimon-no-jō) and Ōmura Tadatomo (Iga-no-kami) of the Jōkoji Castle defending the portion of the Nakasen Road to Kōfu in Kai (the Karisaka gateway)) holed-up in the Ōno fortress and reverted to the side of the Hōjō clan.

In addition, Ōi Kanemoto of the hereditary family of Shinto priests serving the Kaina Shrine (located in Hashitate in Ichinomiya in Fuefuki near the Kamakura Road between Kai and Sagami provinces) also affiliated with the Gohōjō clan.

The Gohōjō constructed Misaka Castle at the mouth of the Fuji River in the Minami-Tsuru District of Kai.  This location was formerly used by the Takeda clan to send smoke signals.  After Hōjō Saemon set-up a base at Misaka Castle, Satomi Yoshiyori, based on the alliance between the Satomi and the Gohōjō, sent reinforcements to join the 10,000 troops from the Hōjō at the Misaka Ridge.   Torii Hikozaemon, a retainer of the Tokugawa, took a position at Oyama Castle to confront the Gohōjō.  

On 8/12 of Tenshō 10 (1582), Hōjō Ujitada based at Yamura Castle traversed the Misaka Ridge and invaded Kurokoma.  Torii Mototada, who was defending Kōfu, intercepted the Gohōjō forces at Kamikurokoma and defeated the Hōjō army.  The Gohōjō retreated to Misaka Castle.  This is known as the Battle of Kurokoma.  

Settlement between the Tokugawa and the Gohōjō

Comparing the Tokugawa and Gohōjō clans at the time of this conflict, the Gohōjō, in terms of resources and numbers of mobilized soldiers, were in a superior position vis-à-vis the Tokugawa.  At the Battle of Kurokoma, however, the Tokugawa gained an advantage with support of influential families in Shinano.  As a result, each side concluded that a continuation of the conflict would result in undesired losses so they became receptive to end the hostilities.

In the tenth month, Oda Nobukatsu and Oda Nobutaka recommended the warring parties to reconcile.  On 10/29, with Nobukatsu serving as the mediator, the Gohōjō and Tokugawa reached a settlement based on the following conditions: (i) Tokuhime, the second daughter of Ieyasu, become the formal wife of Hōjō Ujinao (which occurred on 8/15 of Tenshō 11 (1583), and (ii) the Tokugawa take control of Kai and Shinano while the Hōjō govern Kōzuke along with a mutual pledge of non-interference.


Following the settlement, in Kai, Anayama Katsuchiyo received recognition of his rights to the Kawachi territory in Kai while Torii Mototada was positioned in the Gunnai territory formerly held by the Oyamada clan.  He established a main base at Tsutsujigasaki in the Kuninaka territory in the central portion of Kai and Hiraiwa Chikayoshi and Okabe Masatsuna were dispatched to exercise governance.

Even after the settlement in the tenth month of 1582, conflict persisted between the Tokugawa clan and local powers in Shinano.

After the withdrawal of Daidōji Masashige who was aligned with the Gohōjō, Yoda Nobushige was assigned to Komoro Castle.  One after another, local clans came together under Nobushige while those who did not favor Nobushige supported the Ōi clan serving as the lords of Iwao Castle in the Saku District of Shinano on the side of the Gohōjō.

In the eleventh month of 1582, Yoda Nobushige attacked Maeyama Castle in Shinano and crushed Tomono Nobumori, Tomono 君臣, and Tomono Sadanaga of the Maeyama-Tomono clan.  Sadanaga’s younger brother, Tomono Nobuyuki, fled to Bushū-Hachiōji (Musashi Province).  In the following month, Suwa Yoritada settled with Ieyasu, but Yoda Nobushige lost his life during an assault against Ōi Yukiyoshi at Iwao Castle.  Afterwards, Yukiyoshi was convinced by Shibata Yasutada to vacate Iwao Castle.

With respect to the Numata territory in Kōzuke, the Sanada clan joined forces with the Uesugi clan to oppose the Tokugawa, taking control of the Chiisagata District in Shinano and the Agatsuma and Tone districts in Kōzuke.  This escalated into the First Battle of Ueda between the Sanada and Tokugawa clans.  The Uesugi maintained control over four districts in the northern portion of Kōzuke.  With the exception of the territories of the Uesugi and the Sanada, the Tokugawa governed all of Kai and Shinano provinces while the Hōjō received the southern districts of Kōzuke.

In 1590, after decimating the Gohōjō clan in the Conquest of Odawara, Toyotomi Hideyoshi transferred the Tokugawa clan to the Kantō, separating them from their former territory.  Hideyoshi then positioned daimyō in the Toyotomi lineage in Kai and Shinano.  The Toyotomi administration conducted land surveys across Japan while promoting a policy to separate the roles of soldiers and farmers.  While the governance of the Toyotomi became more secure, in 1598, Uesugi Kagekatsu was moved to Aizu in Mutsu Province.

After the Battle of Sekigahara in the ninth month of 1600, Kai and Shinano became domains under the direct jurisdiction of the Tokugawa clan headed by members of the family.