Shortly after noon Hideaki responded by sending his force of 15,000 men down the mountainside and into the Ōtani lines, which were now hemmed in on two sides. Recognizing that his position was untenable, Yoshitsugu asked one of his retainers to kill him. Mitsunari was beheaded in Kyōto within a month. [10], Ishida wanted to reinforce Mōri at the impregnable Osaka Castle. It still took three years for his shogunate to officially begin, but Sekigahara is often considered the unofficial start. However, Hidetada's forces were bogged down as he attempted to besiege Sanada Masayuki's Ueda Castle against his father's direct orders. At this point, the buffer Ōtani established was outnumbered. His death created a power vacuum; there was no appointed shōgun over the armies. Toyotomi clan loyalists and the lords of western Japan rallied behind Ishida Mitsunari. Each leader assembled a coalition of daimyo and fought a The Battle of Sekigahara has been depicted in a number of works of literature. He and the rest of the residents committed seppuku to avoid capture. 30,000 samurai lost their lives in six hours of fierce fighting on October 21, 1600 when the two great forces clashed on the small plain at Sekigahara. [15], Heavily outnumbered, Ōtani had no choice but to retreat. Katō Kiyomasa and Fukushima Masanori were publicly critical of the bureaucrats, especially Mitsunari and Konishi Yukinaga. The Battle of Sekigahara was a major landmark that determined who would rule the land and is a highlight in Japanese history. As the battle grew more intense, Ieyasu finally ordered his arquebuses to fire at Kobayakawa's position on Mount Matsuo to force a choice. Together, they made up a force of just under 82,000 men. Mitsunari realized the extent of his army’s defections and retreated north into the mountains. Kikkawa's troops formed the front lines of the Mōri army, which was commanded by his cousin Mōri Hidemoto. There is no hard evidence to prove whether Musashi was present or not for the battle. T… [19] Mōri Terumoto and his forces had remained entrenched at Osaka Castle rather than join the battle, and later quietly surrendered to Tokugawa. Meanwhile, Ii Naomasa had engaged Shimazu Yoshihiro in his stationary position. [13], The battle started when Fukushima Masanori, the leader of the Tokugawa advance guard, charged north from the Eastern Army's left flank along the Fuji River against the Western Army's right centre. It took him ten days to capture Fushimi, and in that time Gifu Castle had fallen. Ieyasu's hasty march west forced M… To this end, Ishida's forces headed for Gifu Castle in order to use it as a staging area to move on Kyoto, since it was controlled by his ally Oda Hidenobu.[6]. Kuki Yoshitaka, one of Nobunaga and Hideyoshi top general, fought alongside the western forces, while his son Kuki Moritaka joined the eastern forces, under Tokugawa Ieyasu. The nation had been unified first under Oda Nobunaga, who was assassinated by a traitorous general, and then by his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In doing so, he gained control of many former Toyotomi territories. Since the Tokugawa army departed from Edo, it could only take two roads, both of which converged on Gifu Castle. Both sides panicked and withdrew, but this resulted in both sides being aware of their adversary's presence. The site encompasses the sites of the initial position of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康最初陣地), the final position of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康最後陣地), the position of Ishida Mitsunari (石田三成陣地), the Okayama beacon (岡山烽火場), the grave of Ōtani Yoshitsugu (大谷吉隆墓), the east kubizuka (東首塚), and the west kubizuka (西首塚)[29]. The battle commenced around 8am, when a small contingent of cavalry samurai under Ii Naomasa and his son-in-law, Matsudaira Tadayoshi—who was also Tokugawa Ieyasu’s fourth son—made a sharp attack on the largest of Western contingents, the Ukita … The origins of the Battle of Sekigahara begin with the death of the Toyotomi Hideyoshi in September 1598. Ishida, Yukinaga, and Ekei were some of those who were captured and a few, like Shimazu Yoshihiro, were able to return to their home provinces. At that point Kobayakawa joined the battle as a member of the Eastern Army. By September, Ieyasu had reached the city of Ōyama with some 50,000 men, and the western army had claimed both Ōsaka and Fushimi Castle. [31] The 2008 BBC Docudrama television series Heroes and Villains included an episode which featured the battle. Login with Gmail. Late 16th-century Japan saw the end of the Ashikaga shogunate and the unification of the provinces, a process that began with Oda Nobunaga and was completed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590. Later, a supposed conspiracy to assassinate Ieyasu surfaced, and many Toyotomi loyalists, including Maeda Toshiie's son, Toshinaga, were accused of taking part and forced to submit to Ieyasu's authority. 'Sekigahara': A bold attempt to portray one of Japan's most decisive battles, Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan (2011), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Sekigahara&oldid=997132304, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Articles needing additional references from October 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles needing additional references from October 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Tokugawa gains nominal control of all Japan. Back in Edo, Tokugawa Ieyasu received news of the situation in the Kansai region and decided to deploy his forces. That night, the main body of the western army withdrew from Ōgaki and took up advantageous positions at Sekigahara. Even though the Western forces had tremendous tactical advantages, Ieyasu had already been in contact with many daimyo in the Western Army for months, promising them land and leniency after the battle should they switch sides. Cannon use during the winter siege of Osaka. "[26] Musashi is reticent on the matter, writing only that he had "participated in over six battles since my youth".[27]. During the Heian era (794–1192) the emperor ruled Japan from the city of Kyoto. [13], This left the Western Army's centre unscathed, so Ishida ordered this unit under the command of Shimazu Yoshihiro to reinforce his right flank. After Ieyasu defeated Mitsunari in Sekigahara, Kodain-in received several women from the Western army at her home. Ōtani's forces had dry gunpowder, so they opened fire on the turncoats, making the charge of 16,000 men mostly ineffective. [28] It is unlikely Adams himself was at the battle, although some fictional accounts have entertained the possibility. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. He kept the Mōri army at bay, and since Ishida had no more support, he was defeated. Mitsunari’s strategy was to have Ukita, Shimazu, and Ōtani soldiers hold Ieyasu’s army in the valley until he gave the signal for the Kobayakawa and Mōri clans to descend on that army from the mountains, effectively trapping Ieyasu and his men on all sides. [33] The 2017 video game Nioh includes a mission related to the battle and features heavily fictionalized versions of the events leading up to it. Shima Sakon was shot and fatally wounded by a round from an arquebus[18] and Ōtani Yoshitsugu committed suicide. [8] However, Uesugi Kagekatsu, one of Hideyoshi's appointed regents, defied Ieyasu by building up his military. Ryōtarō Shiba wrote a three volume historical novel called Sekigahara on it in the 1960s. What Mitsunari did not know, however, was that Hideaki had secretly communicated to Ieyasu that he would fight for the Tokugawa when the time came. They had been following the Western Army, and benefited from considerably better weather. When Ieyasu officially condemned him and demanded that he come to Kyoto to explain himself, Kagekatsu's chief advisor, Naoe Kanetsugu responded with a counter-condemnation that mocked Ieyasu's abuses and violations of Hideyoshi's rules, and Ieyasu was infuriated.[9]. He hoped to use them to force his rival generals to join his cause. Afterwards, Ieyasu summoned the help of various supporters and led them northward to attack the Uesugi clan. Nangu. Sekigahara was second only to the Battle of Okinawa in being the largest armed conflict between two opposing armies to take place on Japanese soil. Both daimyō had been slighted by Mitsunari and so resolved to defy his orders at Sekigahara. The film recounts the Battle of Sekigahara, a six-hour battle in 1600 that brought an end to the Warring States era in Japanese history, as well as the political struggles that led up to it. [11] He had some former Toyotomi daimyō engage with the Western Army, while he split his troops and marched west on the Tōkaidō towards Osaka. The Battle of Okinawa (Japanese: 沖縄戦, Hepburn: Okinawa-sen), codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa by United States Marine and Army forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. Myles Hudson was an Editorial Intern at Encyclopædia Britannica. However, the final years of Hideyoshi's reign were troubled. When Mitsunari's soldiers threatened to take Hosokawa's home, Hosokawa Gracia was killed to protect her honor by a family soldier named Ogasawara Shōsai. For Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada on the PlayStation 4, a GameFAQs message board topic titled "Battle of Sekigahara". Sekigahara was the largest samurai battle in Japanese history, and was the largest battle fought on the mainland of Japan. [8] Rumours started to spread stating that Ieyasu, at that point the only surviving contemporary ally of Oda Nobunaga, would take over Hideyoshi's legacy just as Nobunaga's was taken. Ieyasu’s army of nearly 89,000 soldiers entered the valley from the Nakasendō in the east with Fukushima Masanori at the vanguard; Ii Naomasa commanded a key division of shock troops. One of the most important battles in the history of Japan it marked the end of the power struggle that began with the death of the Warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi who had risen far from his peasant beginning but because of them could not claim the title of Shogun. Mitsunari ordered Shimazu Yoshihiro to move his troops forward, but the daimyō insisted on moving when he felt it was appropriate and refused to budge. Shortly thereafter Ieyasu moved his left flank forward to engage with the Ōtani soldiers and directed nearly 20,000 men from his right flank to directly assault Mitsunari’s position, which was behind a series of fortifications adjacent to the Shimazu clan. Ieyasu had begun to march east from Ōsaka as planned, but he tasked two of his eastern allies with quelling Uesugi and moved slowly in order to watch the movements of the western army. Ieyasu installed Toyotomi Hideyori at Ōsaka Castle so that the Toyotomi vassals of the defeated coalition would look more favorably upon Ieyasu’s bloody campaign. Thus Ishida's right flank was destroyed and his centre was being pushed back, so he retreated. The Battle of Sekigahara (Shinjitai: 関ヶ原の戦い; Kyūjitai: 關ヶ原の戰い, Hepburn romanization: Sekigahara no Tatakai) was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 (Keichō 5, 15th day of the 9th month), this battle was the biggest and one of the most important battles in Japanese feudal history, that preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. Subsequently, Ieyasu began to receive hostages, nobles who were involved with the Mitsunari army, such as Maeda Matsu, whose son, Maeda Toshimasa, was involved in the Western army, while her other son, Maeda Toshinaga, was an ally of the Eastern army. However, these forces were there for a reason. ○ = Main daimyōs who participated in Battle of Sekigahara. [a] Ishida himself was later executed. Kobayakawa Hideaki and his soldiers were positioned on the slopes of Mount Matsuo just south of the Ōtani forces, while Mōri Hidemoto and his vassals waited with Chōsokabe Morichika on Mount Nangū southwest of Ieyasu’s rear guard. The Battle of Sekigahara: The History and Legacy of the Battle that Unified Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate chronicles the events that led to one of the most important conflicts in Japanese history. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In a turn of fate, Yoshitaka committed seppuku before the news reached him. The battle ended in the victory of Ieyasu. [6] The rain was relevant in that the bulk of both armies were equipped with matchlock rifles (tanegashima), which required dry gunpowder to fire. His inaction concerned Ōtani Yoshitsugu, who rotated half of his men to face Hideaki in anticipation of betrayal. Sekigahara is a -player game depicting the campaign in the year 600 that founded the Tokugawa Shogunate. The ground was still muddy from the previous day's rain, so the conflict there devolved into something more primal. https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Sekigahara, Kids Web Japan - The Battle of Sekigahara. The Battle of Sekigahara (関ケ原の戦い, Sekigahara no Tatakai) is largely considered to be one of the most decisive battles in the late Warring States period. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a prominent general under Oda Nobunaga. Following Tokugawa's victory, his son successfully guaranteed Yoshitaka's safety from Ieyasu. [20] Some among the 15,000 troops respected Hosokawa so much they intentionally slowed their pace. Ishida Mitsunari, grasping the opportunity created by the chaos, rose up in response and created an alliance to challenge Ieyasu's supporters. In games, GMT Games produced the 2011 block wargame Sekigahara: Unification of Japan, which attempts to reflect the patchy loyalties of the armies involved by having randomized cards represent the loyalty of specific armies; players know which of their units are "reliable" but their opponents are not necessarily sure. [12] Ishida could not risk leaving a force that could attack his rear, so he marched on it. His right flank was reinforced by daimyō Kobayakawa Hideaki on Mount Matsuo. Statue of Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Tōshō Shrine in Nikkō, Japan. Clan Tokugawa ruled Japan as the Shogunate until 1868 when Emperor Meiji reformed Japan (for those of you who have seen the movie The Last Samurai, you might remember him). Nobunaga unified much of Japan under his rule after defeating the Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiaki and ending the Ashikaga shogunate; however, he was betrayed by Akechi Mitsuhide and died at the Honnō-ji Incident of 1582. [13] Knowing that the Tokugawa forces were heading towards Osaka, Ishida decided to abandon his positions and marched to Sekigahara. Seeing this, Western Army generals Wakisaka Yasuharu, Ogawa Suketada, Akaza Naoyasu, and Kutsuki Mototsuna switched sides, turning the tide of battle. [14], Ishida's only remaining forces were on Mount Nangu. In October the western armies besieged a few eastern strongholds, but they were unable to progress past Gifu, which had fallen to the Tōkaidō army. The battle field of Sekigahara is located on the border of Shiga and Gifu prefecture. The Battle of Sekigahara was the turning point in the Japanese Unification Wars (1550–1615). Tired from a day's march and their gunpowder wet from the rain, Ishida and his forces stopped at Sekigahara. Hideyoshi had risen from humble roots – his father was an ashigaru (foot-soldier) – to become the ruler of Japan. The screen depicts the battle that took place in 1600 at Sekigahara in Mino Province (today’s Gifu). [23], At the time, the battle was considered only an internal conflict between Toyotomi vassals. Ieyasu's son Hidetada led another group through Nakasendō. With Mitsunari’s coalition shattered, Ieyasu was able to capture Sawayama and Ōsaka castles in a matter of days. [30] Tokyo Broadcasting System aired a television miniseries about the subject in January 1981, also entitled Sekigahara [ja], loosely based on Shiba's novel series. Hideyoshi quickly avenged his master and consolidated control over Japan afterward, with the aid of his brother Hidenaga. Directed by Masato Harada. [22], Following the public execution of Ishida Mitsunari, Konishi Yukinaga, and Ankokuji Ekei, the influence and reputation of the Toyotomi clan and its remaining loyalists drastically decreased. He sent his allies' forces in a line to the front, and held his own troops in reserve. He then directed his son, Tokugawa Hidetada, to move northwest along the Nakasendō road with 36,000 men. Sekigahara was the biggest, the bloodiest, the most violent and most important of all samurai battles, fought between the factions of a nation divided in two, East and West. With Jun'ichi Okada, Kôji Yakusho, Kasumi Arimura, Takehiro Hira. This made up the bulk of what would later be called the Eastern Army. When Hideyoshi died, Ieyasu relocated to Fushimi Castle, Hideyoshi’s magnificent palace in Kyōto, and approved several political marriages to cement alliances between his clan and neighbouring ones. The Battle of Sekigahara was the last major conflict between the western and eastern armies. Masanori followed close behind to support Naomasa. This was especially evident amongst the loyalist bureaucrats, who suspected Ieyasu of agitating unrest amongst Toyotomi's former vassals. Characteristics of Sengoku Period armies. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. This battle divided the power of Japan half and decided who was the last winner of Sengoku Period. Ieyasu also saw that Hideaki had yet to move. The Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 was a big battle that decided Tokugawa's soon-to-be position as the shogun of Japan after his victory with the Eastern forces. It … This in turn prevented the Chōsokabe army, which deployed behind the Mōri clan, from attacking. Ieyasu himself commanded 30,000 men and his subordinates led another 40,000 men. While rivals in the Hojo clan were defeated at the Siege of Odawara in 1590, failures in the invasions of Korea significantly weakened the Toyotomi clan's power and its support from bureaucrats who served in the government. Tokugawa had also sneaked in a supply of arquebuses.Knowing that Ieyasu was heading toward Osaka, Mitsunari decided to abandon his positions and marched to Sekigahara. The Battle of Sekigahara, or the Battle for the Sundered Realm in Japan, is a historical battle in Total War: Shogun 2. Professor Yoshiji Yamasaki of, Learn how and when to remove this template message. He sought to make noble women as political hostages, Hosokawa Gracia, Yamauchi Chiyo, Kushihashi Teru, and other women were targets of Mitsunari's plan. Warlords nationwide divided into east and west camps, led by Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari, respectively. It featured actors Hisaya Morishige, Gō Katō, and Rentarō Mikuni. The battle field is located in Gifu. Fearing a direct attack, some of Mitsunari’s men attempted to raid Ieyasu’s camp on October 20, but neither side inflicted much damage. The battle was fought around a small village called Sekigahara that sat astride a crossroads under the heights of Mt. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Tokugawa Ieyasu took advantage of this situation, and recruited them, redirecting the animosity to weaken the Toyotomi clan. ", "Sekigahara" redirects here. Ieyasu sent 31,000 soldiers southwest down the Tōkaidō road to capture Gifu Castle. The Battle of Sekigahara: The History and Legacy of the Battle that Unified Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate. [14], The Western Army disintegrated afterwards with the commanders scattering and fleeing. Around 8:00 am, wind blew away the fog, and both sides noticed their respective adversary's positions. Essentially, it is a power struggle for the right to rule the land after Hideyoshi 's death. [21] If either of these armies participated in the conflict, it could have ended quite differently. [6] Additionally, Hideyoshi ordered the execution of his heir, the regent, as well as the entire family of his heir in 1595. These tairō were Uesugi Kagekatsu, Mōri Terumoto, Maeda Toshiie, Ukita Hideie, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu responded with a declaration of war. Updates? While the Siege of Osaka of 1615 was a massive, violent epilogue with potential to alter the outcome, the Battle of Sekigahara was the key battle towards the end of this period to decide which dynasty would hold such power. Yoshihiro fell back behind Mount Nangū, passing the Chōsokabe rear guard as they fled and informing them that the battle was going poorly. The film is somewhat notable in being a revisionist reassessment, showing Tokugawa more as an antagonist while Mitsunari is a man of honor and the main protagonist. This fortress was a halfway point between Osaka and Kyoto and was controlled by the Tokugawa ally Torii Mototada. After Hideyoshi's death, Kodain-in (Hideyoshi's chief consort) left Osaka Castle and lived as a castellan in Kyoto. However, after Ieyasu was named shōgun in 1603 by Emperor Go-Yōzei,[24][17] a position that had been left vacant since the fall of the Ashikaga shōgunate 27 years earlier,[6] the battle was perceived as a more important event. [17] Many others did not. The initial invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He was wrong. This forced Ishida Mitsunari to retreat southward in the rain. Earlier, when Hidemoto decided to attack the Tokugawa forces, Hiroie refused to comply, stating he was busy eating and asked to be left alone. Even though the Western army had tremendous tactical advantages, Ieyasu had already been in contact with many of the daimyō in the Western Army for months, promising them land and leniency after the battle should they switch sides. Both the other tairō and several daimyō were troubled by these moves, as they feared that Ieyasu sought to supplant the young Toyotomi heir. On October 21, 1600, two massive Japanese armies, totaling an estimated 200,000 soldiers armed to the teeth with swords, yari (spears), arrows, muskets and cannons, faced off on a battlefield near the town of Sekigahara. At the formal conclusion of the war, Ieyasu stripped profitable lands from those prominent daimyō who opposed him and redistributed them among his allies, among whom were Kobayakawa Hideaki and Kikkawa Hiroie. [34], Paul Davis used the following sources to compile the chapter "Sekigahara, 21 October 1600" in 100 Decisive Battles: From Ancient Times to the Present "Sekigahara, 21 October 1600. Finally, Ieyasu himself set out from his base with 30,000 men, intending for the three groups to reconvene in Mino province. On October 19 Ieyasu entered Gifu at the head of a partially combined eastern army; Hidetada had besieged Ueda Castle against Ieyasu’s orders, which prevented his force from connecting with the other two. His forces charged Ōtani's position, which did not end well for Kobayakawa. A depiction of Japan's 17th Century Battle of Sekigahara where the Army of the East takes up arms against the Army of the West. 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As to why and how it happened ( requires login ) engaged Shimazu Yoshihiro in home... Like never before halt Ieyasu ’ s coalition shattered, Ieyasu was able to capture Fushimi, and from! Shimazu refused as daimyō of the situation in the Kansai region and decided who was the largest samurai in... Of troops from both sides being aware of their adversary 's positions from humble –. Wet from the rain after Hideyoshi 's death the groundwork for the right to rule land... Gained control of many former Toyotomi territories Toyotomi clan the charge of 16,000 men mostly ineffective the Pacific of... Towards Osaka, Ishida wanted to reinforce Mōri at the center, where western. The power of Japan Tokugawa shogunate further east ; Ieyasu 's primary objective had been slighted by and! For this action and other transgressions Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to content. Battle of Sekigahara was the last winner of Sengoku Period them, redirecting the animosity to weaken the clan... Under the Tokugawa forces were there for a reason become the ruler of Japan in 1931 take two,... The following 250 years having informed them that the Mōri clan, from.. Supporters and led them northward to attack the Uesugi clan publicly critical of the of. He attempted to besiege Sanada Masayuki 's Ueda Castle against his father was an ashigaru ( ). And Ankokuji Ekei gain access to exclusive content 8:00 am, battle of sekigawa blew away the,! Of their adversary 's presence September 1598 signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news,,. Hideyori was only 5 years old, necessitating a regency government sides had forces that not...