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Battle of Shizugatake
Battle of Shizugatake

Battle Information
Date May 1583
Location Shizugatake, Omi Province, near Lake Biwa
Result Toyotomi victorious
Forces
Toyotomi army Shibata army
Commanders
Hideyoshi Toyotomi Katsuie Shibata
Notable Officers
Kiyomasa Kato
Masanori Fukushima
Kiyohide Nakagawa
Hidenaga Toyotomi
Yoshiaki Kato
Nagayasu Hirano
Takenori Kasuya
Katsumoto Katagiri
Yasuharu Wakisaka
Yoshitsugu Otani
Toshiie Maeda
Morimasa Sakuma
Katsuhisa Shibata
Katsutoyo Shibata
Katsumasa Shibata
Toshinaga Maeda

The Battle of Shizugatake was a decisive battle between Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Katsuie Shibata.

Before the BattleEdit

This is Hideyoshi's second battle after Nobunaga's assasination by Mitsuhide Akechi.

BattleEdit

In May, 1583, Katsuie Shibata coordinated a number of simultaneous attacks on Shizugatake, a series of forts held by Hideyoshi's generals among whom was Kiyohide Nakagawa. Morimasa Sakuma attacked on orders from Katsuie, and Nakagawa was killed, but the fortress' defenses held. On hearing this Katsuie immediately ordered Sakuma Morimasa to withdraw his troops as they were dangerously over extended and isolated from Katsuie's own force. Morimasa, however did not heed his lord's orders and made camp, planning to launch another offensive.

It was understood that Hideyoshi was at least 4 days' march away during Sakuma's attack. However, as soon as Hideyoshi learned of Sakuma's actions he led his men on a forced march through the night and reached Shizugatake within a day and a half. Hearing that Hideyoshi was coming with reinforcements, Morimasa ordered his men to break the siege lines and prepare to defend themselves. By this time it was too late and Hideyoshi's forces easily smashed through the defenses.

Hideyoshi's army pushed Morimasa's forces into a rout and pursued them back to Katsuie's fortress at Kitanosho Castle in Echizen province. They seized the castle but not before Katsuie set the keep on fire, killed his family and committed suicide.

AftermathEdit

Hideyoshi's chief seven generals in this battle earned a great degree of fame and honor, and came to be known as the shichi-hon yari or Seven Spears' of Shizugatake. Among these generals were men who would later become some of Hideyoshi's closest retainers, such as Kiyomasa Kato.

NotesEdit

  • Oichi died alongside Katsuie Shibata after the battle.

SourcesEdit

  • Sansom, George (1961). "A History of Japan: 1334-1615." Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Turnbull, Stephen (1998). 'The Samurai Sourcebook'. London: Cassell & Co.
  • Black, Jeremy (2008) . "Great Military Leaders and their Campaigns" Thamsen & Hudson Ltd , London

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