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Battle of Honnoji

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Battle of Honnoji
Incident at Honnoj

Battle Information
Date June 21, 1582
Location Kyoto
Result Akechi victorious, Nobunaga dead.
Forces
Oda army Akechi army
Commanders
Nobunaga Oda Mitsuhide Akechi
Notable Officers
Nobutada Oda
Katsunaga Oda
Ranmaru Mori
Sadakatsu Murai
Hidemitsu Akechi
Shigetomo Akechi
Sadayuki Atsuji
Junkei Tsutsui
Fujitaka Hosakawa
Tadaoki Hosakawa
The Battle of Honnoji, also known as the Incident at Honnoji, was Mitsuhide Akechi betrayal and murder of his lord Nobunaga Oda.

Before the BattleEdit

By 1582 Nobunaga Oda controlled most of central Japan, including Kyoto and the strategic Tokaido and Nakasendo roads to the east. Following the fall of the Ishiyama-Honganji, Nobunaga Oda had begun to extend his influence westwards for the first time. Two of his most skilled and expirienced retainers began seperate but parallel campaigns in this direction. Hideyoshi Hashiba started the pecification of the southern coast of western Honshu on the Inland Sea, while his comrade in arms Mitsuhide Akechi pursued similiar goals on the northern edge of the Sea of Japan.

Much of Hideyoshi's campaigning was carried out against the Mouri family, and the Summer of 1582 was to find Hideyoshi sitting patiently in front of the Mouri's castle of Takamatsu, which a dammed river was slowly but very surely flooding. The defiance of the Mouri had forced Hideyoshi to request reinforcments from Nobunaga Oda, who had hurried to send them on ahead under Mitsuhide Akechi, intending to follow personally shortly afterwords.[1]

BattleEdit

This left Nobunaga Oda perilously unguarded and that night Akechi's army wheeled round and marched back to Kyoto to attack Nobunaga at Honnoji temple where he was staying. The temple was set on fire and overwhelmed by superior numbers, Nobunaga Oda committed seppuku and his body was consumed with flames.[2]

During the same time, Having to fail to save his father Nobutada Oda retreated to Nijō Castle were he was besieged by Akechi troops and was also forced to commit Seppuku.[3]

AftermathEdit

Mituhide Akechi's night attack on the Honnoji temple in Kyoto was a decisive battle in Japanese history for it succeded on bringing the death of Nobunaga Oda.[4]

TriviaEdit

  • Some accounts state that Nobunaga's wife Noh died in the temple with Nobunaga or tried to escape and was caught by Akechi retainers.

SourcesEdit

  1. Samurai Commanders 2 1577-1638, Stephen Turnbull pg.8
  2. Samurai Commanders 2 1577-1638, Stephen Turnbull pg.8
  3. Samurai Sourcebook, Stepehn Turnbull pg.69
  4. Samurai Source book, Stephen Turnbull pg.231

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