Eiroku Incident

永禄の変

Miyoshi Clan

Ashikaga Yoshiteru

Kyōto

Date:  5/19 of Eiroku 8 (1565)

Location:  The Nijō Palace in the Nakagyō District of the capital of Kyōto

Outcome:  An army of 10,000 Miyoshi and Matsunaga forces arrived at the Nijō Palace on the pretext of presenting a claim to the shōgun, after which the army attacked the palace from all sides during an incident in which many died including Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the thirteenth shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu, after attempting a valorous defense.

Commanders:  Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, Miyoshi Nagayasu, Miyoshi Masayasu, Iwanari Tomomichi, Matsunaga Hisamichi

Forces:  10,000

Casualties:  Unknown

Commanders:  Ashikaga Yoshiteru

Forces:  Several hundred

Casualties:  Wiped out

The Eiroku Incident occurred on 5/19 of Eiroku 8 (1565) when forces led by Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, the Miyoshi Group of Three (Miyoshi Nagayasu, Miyoshi Sōi (Masayasu) and Iwanari Tomomichi) along with Matsunaga Hisamichi launched an attack and killed Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the thirteen shōgun of the Muromachi bakufu, at the Nijō Palace in the capital of Kyōto.  The name of the incident is derived from the Eiroku era (1558-1570) in which it occurred.

Course of events

In preparation for a rebellion by the Miyoshi and Matsunaga, for a period of several years, Yoshiteru reinforced defenses at Nijō Castle, constructing moats and mounds on all sides of the palace grounds.  According to the diary of Luís Fróis, a Jesuit missionary from Portugal residing in Japan at the time, on the day before the attack, on 5/18, Yoshiteru initially fled the palace to avoid a disaster by leaving Kyōto.  However, senior officials close to Yoshiteru opposed the loss of authority by the shōgun, and, along with Yoshiteru showed a willingness to die in battle, convincing Yoshiteru to stay so he reluctantly returned to the palace.

On 5/19, in an effort to surround the palace prior to the completion of renovations to the gates and fences, the Miyoshi and Matsunaga assembled 10,000 forces at the Kiyomizu Temple under the pretext of worship.  The army then pressed forward toward the palace to request an intermediary for purposes of making a claim to the shōgun.  While a servant of the shōgun named Shinji Haruie delivered the written claim, the infantry forces among the Miyoshi and Matsunaga commenced an attack on the gates from all four sides of the palace.  Although it was widely rumored that Matsunaga Hisahide led this attack, he was actually in Yamato Province on this day so did not directly participate.  Nevertheless, even if he did not lead the attack, he implicitly authorized the assassination of Yoshiteru, the shōgun.

The forces inside the palace made a valiant effort to ward-off the attack.  Just over ten or so soldiers including Isshiki Teruki and Ueno Terukiyo killed several tens of Miyoshi forces.  During the attack, Shinji Haruie apologized inside the palace for allowing the enemy forces inside and then committed seppuku in the presence of his lord.  Yoshiteru exchanged a final drink of sake with each of his close associates and then, accompanied by thirty of his retainers, rushed into battle.  Jibu Fujimichi and his younger brother, Fukuami (who had earlier taught Yoshiteru) and Yoshiteru himself first wielded naginata (glaives) and then swords in ferocious combat; however, owing to the numerical superiority of the attacking forces, by noon, Yoshiteru, along with many of his retainers, either perished in the battle or killed themselves, including: Shinji Fujinobu, Arakawa Harunobu, Arakawa Terumune, Hikobe Harunao, Hikobe Terunobu, Sugihara Harumori, Ogasawara Tanemori, Numata Mitsunaga, Hosokawa Takayoshi, Takeda Terunobu, and Settsu Itochiyomaru.  Yamashina Tokitsugu, who was in Kyōto on the day of the event, noted in his diary on that date that many servants of the shōgun had died in the battle, and that the shōgun himself took his own life around noon.  Meanwhile, an official of the bakufu named Ise Sadasuke who was close with the Miyoshi clan did not assist Yoshiteru and, instead, was secretly transported out of the palace by hiding in a six-legged Chinese-style chest that was used to keep valued possessions of the Muromachi bakufu.

Yoshiteru’s natural mother, Keijuin (the daughter of Konoe Hisamichi and formal wife of the twelfth shōgun, Ashikaga Yoshiharu), also took her own life.  Yoshiteru’s formal wife (the daughter of Konoe Taneie) was sent to the Konoe home, but Yoshiteru’s cherished consort, Kojijū (the daughter of Shinji Haruie) was killed.

Background

Rise of the Miyoshi

Miyoshi Motonaga served as the head of the Miyoshi clan who were deputy military governors of Awa Province in Shikoku.  Motonaga engaged in battles around the Kinai Region owing to a struggle within his lord’s clan (the Hosokawa) to determine the next deputy shōgun based in the capital of Kyōto.  Motonaga served as the greatest contributor to the cause of Hosokawa Harumoto, enabling Harumoto to become the deputy shōgun.  In a reversal, Harumoto then began to view Motonaga as a threat and, in the summer of 1532, Motonaga was attacked by Harumoto acting in concert with members of the Ikkō-ikki religious band in the Battle of Iimori Castle in Kawachi Province.  Once cornered in the Kenpon Temple in Sakai in Izumi Province, he killed himself – an event known as the Kyōroku-Tenbun Conflict.         

After the death of Miyoshi Motonaga on 6/20 of 1532, his eldest son, Nagayoshi, inherited headship of the clan at the age of ten.  While initially acting under the direction of Hosokawa Harumoto, he moved his base to Koshimizu Castle in Settsu Province and steadily expanded his power.  This ultimately led to a showdown with Harumoto.  In 1549, after Nagayoshi killed Miyoshi Masanaga, a member of the same family and close associate of Harumoto at the Battle of Eguchi, Harumoto, together with Ashikaga Yoshiteru (the thirteenth shōgun) and Ashikaga Yoshiharu (Yoshiteru’s father and the twelfth shōgun), fled from the capital to Sakamoto in Ōmi Province under the protection of Rokkaku Sadayori (Harumoto’s father-in-law and the military governor of Ōmi).  This event marked the end of the Hosokawa administration in Kyōto and the advent of the Miyoshi administration. 

Meanwhile, Nagayoshi proceeded from Kyōto to Settsu, toppling Itami Castle in the third month of 1550.  During this time, Yoshiharu began construction of Nagao Castle on Mount Higashi but suffered from ill health, and, in the fifth month of 1550, died in Anō to the south of Sakamoto.  Yoshiteru entered Nagao Castle in the sixth month while an army led by Harumoto and Sadayori advanced toward the east of the capital.  In response, on the side of the Miyoshi, forces commanded by Miyoshi Nagayasu and Sogō Kazumasa entered Kyōto, giving rise to a stalemate.  However, in the eleventh month, Nagayoshi led a large army from Settsu to attack Nagao Castle, causing Yoshiteru to withdraw to Katata in Ōmi Province.

In 1551, retainers of the bakufu including Ise Sadataka (the secretary of the mandokoro (a senior organ in the bakufu to adjudicate financial and territorial matters)) and Shinji Kenkō (who opposed the anti-Miyoshi forces led by Yoshiteru and close associates such as Ueno Nobutaka) brought out Yoshiteru in an attempt to compel a settlement with Nagayoshi.  After this plan was exposed, however, they fled to Kyōto and surrendered to the Miyoshi.  In 1552, after the death of Rokkaku Sadayori, his successor, Rokkaku Yoshikata, mediated a settlement between Yoshiteru’s faction and the Miyoshi.  Yoshiteru left Kutsuki in Ōmi and returned to Kyōto.  Upon receiving him in Kyōto, Nagayoshi became a direct retainer of the shōgun as a member of the otomoshū (a close confidant of the shōgun who accompanied him to events) in lieu of his former role as a retainer of the Hosokawa  Therefore, rather than achieve control of Kyōto, the Miyoshi were incorporated into a political organ of the bakufu serving as retainers of Yoshiteru. 

Meanwhile, after earlier fleeing to Wakasa, Hosokawa Harumoto regained his power, invaded Tanba, and approached the capital from the east.  Initially, Yoshiteru resisted the advance, but, in 1553, under the direction of close associates in the anti-Miyoshi faction such as Ueno Nobutaka, Yoshiteru joined with Harumoto and opposed Nagayoshi.  However, after Nagayoshi quickly came to Kyōto from an encampment in Settsu, Yoshiteru was forced to withdraw and went again to Kutsuki.  Members of the Miyoshi faction as well as retainers of the bakufu who feared their landholdings would be seized returned to Kyōto and the bakufu collapsed.  Thereafter, Nagayoshi exercised governance over the Kinai region from Akutagawayama Castle in Settsu Province as a power who did not recognize the authority of the Ashikaga shōgun family.

Restoration of the authority of the shōgun

During this period, however, it was difficult for Nagayoshi to exercise control over the capital of Kyōto while opposed to the shōgun and without depending upon the political organs of the Muromachi bakufu.  Moreover, even after Yoshiteru remained in exile in Kutsuki in Ōmi, the Miyoshi were subject to continuing attacks by the Rokkaku and Hatakeyama clans, and there were no signs of being able to fully stabilize control of the capital.  Finally, in 1558, after an attack by Yoshiteru and Rokkaku Yoshikata (the military governor of Ōmi), the two sides reached a settlement and Nagayoshi attained the role of a shōbanshū for the bakufu as an associate of the shōgun in the palace.

Around this same time, a number of key members of the family  were lost.  In 1561, Sogō Kazumasa (a younger brother of Nagayoshi) died of illness.  In 1562, Miyoshi Jikkyū (a younger brother and leader of the Awa group) was killed in action against Hatakeyama Takamasa at the Battle of Kumeda.  In 1563, Nagayoshi’s eldest son, Miyoshi Yoshioki, died of illness at the age of twenty-two.  In 1564, Nagayoshi lost another younger brother named Atagi Fuyuyasu, forced to kill himself after being called to Iimoriyama Castle.  Approximately two months later, Nagayoshi himself died of illness.

Meanwhile, Yoshiteru aimed to restore the authority of the bakufu, mediating battles on behalf of sengoku daimyō across the country and appointing individuals to serve as officials of the bakufu.  Yoshiteru was opposed by Ise Sadataka, the official in charge of the administration of domains and general affairs of powerful noble families known as the mandokoro.  In 1562, Matsunaga Hisahide cornered and killed Sadataka in Sugisaka in Ōmi Province.  Yoshiteru then appointed Settsu Harukado (Yoshiteru’s younger cousin) to serve as the official in charge of the mandokoro, giving influence to the shōgun that did not formerly exist and strengthening the authority of the bakufu as a new political administration led by the shōgun.

These developments, however, caused a sense of crisis on the part of the Miyoshi clan with respect to Yoshiteru.  After his death, Nagayoshi was succeeded by his nephew, Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, but the real power in the Miyoshi family was held by Matsunaga Hisahide and the Miyoshi Group of Three.  Together, these power-brokers aimed to fully remove Yoshiteru by force, devising a plan to assassinate the shōgun.

Relationship of the Miyoshi and the shōgun prior to the event

The relationship between Yoshiteru and the Miyoshi family including Miyoshi Nagayoshi and Miyoshi Yoshioki is a central issue behind this event and Yoshiteru’s efforts to strengthen the bakufu.  The shōgun family and the Miyoshi family engaged in an ongoing series of military conflicts spanning from the Tenbun era (1532-55), through the Kōji era (1555-58), and to the beginning of the Eiroku era (1558-70).  During this period, in the third month of 1551, an incident occurred in which Shinji Kenkō, a retainer of the shōgun family, confronted and slashed Nagayoshi.  Under one theory, the trouble with Nagayoshi arose from a dispute concerning the recognition and guarantee, by the bakufu, of ownership of Katamitsu’s inherited domain.  Meanwhile, a rumor circulated of terrorism sponsored by the bakufu, namely, that Katamitsu had received a secret order from the shōgun to assassinate Nagayoshi.

Late in 1558, the shōgun family and the Miyoshi family settled their differences, establishing a direct master-servant relationship between the families.  Thereafter, the Miyoshi family supported the shōgun family, forming a cooperative arrangement between them.  This enabled the two families to get along peacefully until 1565.  This occurred despite invasions by the Rokkaku and Hatakeyama (daimyō families residing in the environs of Kyōto) against Iimoriyama Castle in Kawachi and in Kyōto itself from 1561 to 1562, along with the killing of Ise Sadataka (the official in charge of the administration of domains and general affairs of powerful noble families known as the mandokoro) and the deaths by illness of Hosokawa Harumoto, Miyoshi Yoshioki, and Miyoshi Nagayoshi.  The sudden outreach by Yoshiteru to the Miyoshi and his efforts in regard to the bakufu may have been part of a broader scheme by Yoshiteru to divide the Miyoshi and the Ise and to isolate Ise Sadataka in the midst of various unexpected rumors concerning the Miyoshi and Ise families.

Even during this period of calm, the shōgun family may have frequently plotted against the interests of the Miyoshi.  As soon as the Mōri, a daimyō family from Aki Province, ceased operating in line with Yoshiteru’s wishes, the eldest son of the clan, Mōri Takamoto, mysteriously died.  Later, while Ashikaga Yoshiaki stayed with the Asakura family, there was concern among the family that their lord’s family would be poisoned from the capital.  During the Eiroku era, the bakufu maintained friendly relations with missionaries, and it is surmised that the shōgun family may have secretly obtained poison from overseas and used it against the Miyoshi.  Under this theory, in particular, Miyoshi Nagayoshi may have been treated with new medicines extracted from opium or coca leaves brought from the continent.  Owing to these poisons, Nagayoshi may have become an invalid.  Meanwhile, Miyoshi Yoshioki was poisoned to death, leaving the Miyoshi family to be led by an immature lord, while Mōri Takamoto died.  The mysterious losses of influential persons opposed to the bakufu bred animosity and suspicion toward the shōgun family so that, finally, a commitment was made to overthrow the shōgun by force.  However, the foregoing remains a theory and is not based on primary sources.

Alternatively, the Miyoshi and Matsunaga may have proactively intended to resolve the division of the Ashikaga shōgun family dating from the Meiō Political Incident in 1493 when the family split between supporters of Ashikaga Yoshitane and Ashikaga Yoshizumi, respectively.  Or, the Miyoshi and Matsunaga may have actually brought a claim to the palace and requested the intermediary, but owing to a dispute with the intermediary or the excessive nature of the claim, the visit may have escalated into a clash with the bakufu forces, in which case the killing of the shōgun was not premeditated by the visitors.  In any event, either of these theories also gives rise to unresolved issues and the true intentions of the Miyoshi and Matsunaga remain uncertain.

Aftermath of the event

Immediately after the death of Yoshiteru, Matsunaga Hisahide and others killed his younger brother, Ashikaga Shūkō, head priest of the Rokuon Temple.  Yoshiteru’s other younger brother, Ashikaga Kakukei (later known as Yoshiaki), who had been at the Ichijō Sub-temple on the grounds of the Kōfuku Temple in Yamato Province, was incarcerated.  Two months later, however, Kakukei managed to escape with the assistance of former retainers of Yoshiteru, including Isshiki Fujinaga and Hosokawa Fujitaka.  The next year, Kakukei adopted the name of Ashikaga Yoshiaki and returned to secular life.  After traveling through Yashima in Ōmi, he requested help from Asakura Yoshikage, the military governor of Echizen Province.  Meanwhile, the Miyoshi Group of Three backed a younger cousin of Yoshiteru named Ashikaga Yoshimi (later known as Yoshihide) in Awaji Province from the lineage of the former Sakai kubō, and then entered Tonda in Settsu Province.  Although the authority of the Muromachi bakufu had been restored through the administration of Yoshiteru, immediately after the Eiroku Incident, the servants and officials who served in the administration headed to the location of his bitter rival, Miyoshi Nagayasu, to make a courtesy visit, demonstrating the fragility of Yoshiteru’s governance.  According to Ōta Gyūichi, a senior retainer of Oda Nobunaga who wrote the Nobunaga Chronicles, Yoshiteru was killed for plotting a rebellion against the Miyoshi family.

Burning of the Tōdai Temple

While the Miyoshi Group of Three maneuvered in support of Ashikaga Yoshihide, following the death of Nagayasu, they came into conflict with Matsunaga Hisahide, who wielded influence as the head of house affairs.  This then led to another plot backing their lord, Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, to expel Hisahide.

Around this time, Hisahide was endeavoring to pacify Yamato Province after declaring himself the military governor through his own power.  Originally, the Kōfuku Temple held the authority of the military governor of Yamato, and a priest there named Tsutsui Junshō became a sengoku daimyō and pacified the province.  After a sudden death, Junshō was succeeded by an immature Tsutsui Junkei.  In 1559, Nagayoshi ordered Hisahide to invade Yamato, whereupon he took away the territory of the Tsutsui clan and the title of military governor from the Kōfuku Temple.  The Group of Three then secretly joined forces with Junkei and the Kōfuku Temple in a bid to eliminate Hisahide.

At that moment, it became known that Kakukei had escaped from the Kōfuku Temple and fled to Echizen Province, so the Group of Three asserted that Hisahide, as the military governor, was responsible for the escape.  This inflamed tensions not only with Hisahide but also Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, the head of the Miyoshi clan, who came into conflict with the Group of Three.  Consequently, a plan was devised to subjugate the Group of Three.

On 12/21 of 1566, an army led by the Group of Three commenced an invasion of Yamato and, together with Tsutsui Junkei, surrounded Tamonyama Castle.  However, the castle was impregnable and the Matsunaga forces defending the castle maintained high spirits, so a stalemate ensued for two years.  Clashes occurred between the opposing forces in and around the capital until the situation gradually turned into a lull.

During these battles, the Group of Three incarcerated Yoshitsugu, but, in the second month of 1567, Yoshitsugu escaped from his captors, reconciled with Hisahide, and joined in battle against the Group of Three.  In response, the Group of Three attempted a large-scale attack and, in the fourth month of 1567, deployed to Yamato.  The Matsunaga army re-entered Tamonyama Castle, while the Group of Three and Tsutsui forces established a base on a mountain behind the Daijō monastery of the Kōfuku Temple.  Finally, the forces came down from the mountain and moved their main base near the Great Hall of the Tōdai Temple, from which to attack Tamonyama Castle.  After both sides launched attacks, fires started in the surrounding area, with portions of the Tōdai and Kōfuku temples, along with the Hanya monastery, engulfed in flames.  On 7/23, the sub-temple with the ordination platform at the Tōdai Temple burned, after which the Matsunaga army set-up a base on the grounds of the fire-devastated structures.  This marked the first instance since the Nara Period that opposing armies established bases on the grounds of the sacred Tōdai Temple.

On 10/10 of 1567, Hisahide launched a full-scale attack against the combined Miyoshi and Tsutsui forces positioned near the Great Hall at the Tōdai Temple.  At midnight of the attack, return fire from the Miyoshi forces caused a blaze at the Great Hall, whereupon the entire grounds of the Tōdai Temple became a battleground.  Although the combined Miyoshi and Tsutsui forces finally retreated,  clashes continued thereafter throughout the Kinai area including in Yamato Province.  In the ninth month of 1568, Oda Nobunaga marched upon Kyōto in support of Ashikaga Yoshiaki, bringing to a close the chaos that ensued from the Eiroku Incident.

At the Tōdai Temple, the Nigatsu and Hokke sub-temples, the Shōsōin (a storehouse), the large south gate, the bell tower, the Tegai gate, and a prayer hall survived the fire, and the damage was not as extensive as in the wake of the Jishō-Juei Conflict that occurred toward the end of the twelfth century.  However, owing to the spread of the fire, the battleground enveloped the Tōdai Temple itself, with clashes occurring inside and outside of the Great Hall.  Moreover, the statue of the Great Buddha incurred direct hits and its head came down the day after the clashes.  In the absence of funds for repairs, the statue remained broken, and it was not until over 120 years later, from 1680 to 1700, that the Great Buddha and the Great Hall were repaired.

The problem of a successor to the shōgun

The Eiroku Incident resulted in the death of Yoshiteru and the loss of the supreme shōgun who served as a pillar of the Muromachi bakufu.  In the case of the Kakitsu Disturbance – an assassination of Ashikaga Yoshinori (the sixth shōgun) – Hosokawa Mochiyuki (the deputy shōgun) immediately held a deliberation to decide upon a successor to Yoshinori.  After the Ōnin-Bunmei War (1467-1477), the deputy shōgun witnessed a dramatic loss of power.  Upon the death of Hosokawa Ujitsuna (the deputy shōgun) in 1563, prior to the Eiroku Incident, a successor to his role was not appointed.  Moreover, around that time, the absence of a shōgun or deputy shōgun was not unusual, while the administrative functions of the bakufu could be sustained by the officials in the capital of Kyōto.

The Eiroku Incident triggered divisions among the bakufu officials in Kyōto, causing a cessation to the conduct of their affairs.  Moreover, the Miyoshi and Matsunaga clans governing the capital backed a different successor to the shōgun than the Asakura clan who held influence in the environs of the capital.  This situation troubled the Imperial Court.  In the fourth month of 1566, upon the recommendation of a high-ranking noble named Yoshida Kanemigi, the Imperial Court appointed Ashikaga Yoshiaki as Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Head of the Imperial Cavalry of the Left Division.

The official position in charge of keeping the horses for the Imperial Court was associated with the Seiwa-Genji clan.  Candidates as successors to the shōgun also frequently held consecutive positions prior to the candidacy.  Concerned in this regard, Yoshihide attempted to rollback the tradition.  At the beginning of the next year, he was appointed Junior Fifth Rank (Lower) and Head of the Imperial Cavalry of the Left Division.  This provided him the status needed to be a candidate for the role of shōgun.

Yoshihide received the support of the Miyoshi clan while Yoshiaki was backed by the Asakura clan, and a march upon the capital to issue an imperial proclamation of the next shōgun appeared close at hand.  However, internal discord in the Miyoshi clan between the Group of Three and Hisahide continued, while the Asakura were contending with the Ikkō-ikki, so neither side was in a position to march upon the capital.  In the case of the Miyoshi, there were bakufu officials in Kyōto opposed to the killing of Yoshiteru that led to resistance toward Yoshihide.  In particular, this movement was strong among the bakufu military (hōkōshū), while some of them were aware of Yoshiaki’s survival and headed toward Echizen Province.  Despite his support by the Miyoshi, Yoshihide confronted an environment that was not conducive to a march upon Kyōto.  Nevertheless, the Miyoshi engaged in garnering support for Yoshihide in return for recognizing the right to land ownership by bakufu officials located in the environs of the capital.

After failing to reach a consensus in choosing between the two candidates, the Imperial Court requested a contribution in the amount of 100 kan mon as a requirement for an appointment as shōgun.  Yoshihide was the first to respond to this request, receiving a reduction by one-half in the amount of the mandatory contribution.  In the second month of 1568, he received an official proclamation as the shōgun in Tonda in Settsu Province.  The situation in Kyōto, however, was unstable so Yoshihide’s entry to the capital was postponed.  In the ninth month, Yoshiaki then marched upon the capital with the support of Oda Nobunaga.  The Oda army expelled the Miyoshi forces under the Group of Three, while Hisahide and Yoshitsugu surrendered to Nobunaga.  Yoshihide fled from Tonda to Awa Province in Shikoku, only to soon die of illness.  The next month,  the Imperial court appointed Yoshiaki to serve as the fourteenth shōgun.

Yoshiaki demanded the punishment of those associated with the imperial proclamation of Yoshihide as the shōgun, upon which Konoe Sakihisa (the kanpaku, or Chief Advisor to the Emperor) and Takakura Nagasō (a State Councilor) fled to the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple for help, Kajūji Haruhide (the Provisional Vice-Counselor of State) was placed under house arrest, and Minase Chikauji (a State Councilor) accompanied Yoshihide to Awa.  Meanwhile, Nijō Haruyoshi, who traveled to Echizen Province to serve as the person in charge of the crowning of Yoshiaki with a cap at his coming-of-age ceremony, was appointed through the support of Yoshiaki to become the next kanpaku (Chief Advisor to the Emperor).  Among the nobility, the Konoe family (the Konoe branch of the Five Regent Houses) maintained marital ties with Ashikaga Yoshiharu and his son, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, acquiring the status of a consort clan.  In contrast, the Kujō and Nijō families (who were rivals of the Konoe for status in the Five Regent Houses) supported Ashikaga Yoshitsuna and his son, Ashikaga Yoshihide, and maintained deep relations with the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple.

When Yoshiharu and Yoshiteru were chased away from Kyōto, the Konoe family would, owing to their relationship, naturally accompany them.  However, in the wake of the Eiroku Incident, Konoe Sakihisa backed Yoshiaki after Yoshiaki’s escape from Nara through the devices of Konoe Yoshitoshi (the younger brother of Konoe Tanie (Sakihisa’s father)), perhaps because Tanie had fallen ill.  Without going to Ōmi or Echizen, Sakihisa reconciled with the Miyoshi Group of Three and changed course in support of Yoshihide.  Fearing an alliance between the Konoe and Miyoshi, Kujō Tanemichi and Nijō Haruyoshi gave their support to Yoshiaki, causing a shift in the balance of power within the noble society.  Moreover, along with the Kujō branch of the Five Regent Houses, the Hongan Temple did not alter its support for Yoshihide, so they accepted the banishment of Sakihisa by Yoshiaki and the role of the high priest changed from the Nijō to the Konoe family.

The confrontation between Yoshiaki and Nobunaga on one side, and Sakihisa and the Ishiyama-Hongan Temple on the other, was a factor leading to the Battle of Ishiyama.  In the course of this conflict, Yoshiaki had a falling out with Nobunaga and then reconciled with the Hongan Temple to form an alliance in opposition to Nobunaga.  Nevertheless, these parties were defeated by the Oda and the Muromachi bakufu extinguished.