The Battle of Kyoko-ji Temple (教興寺の戦い)

The Battle of Kyoko-ji Temple was fought between Nagayoshi MIYOSHI and Takamasa HATAKEYAMA near Kyoko-ji Mura, Takayasu County, Kawachi Province (present-day Kyoko-ji, Yao City, Osaka Prefecture) on May 19 and 20, 1562. It is also referred to as Kyoko-ji Kassen. It was the biggest battle fought during Sengoku period (period of warring states) in Kinai region.


It was the last battle of the series of battles fought between the Miyoshi's government and the Kawachi Hatakeyama clan, both seeking for supremacy in Kinai region. The Miyoshi's government was an emergent power which brought down the Hosokawa's Kanrei (top ranked job in Muromachi era to support shogun and control the government) system by a revolt. The Kawachi Hatakeyama clan was an old power, one of Sankanrei (three families in the post of Kanrei) and relatives to the Hosokawa clan, but had been opposed to the Hosokawa clan for long. The battle was led by Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, a resourceful general of the emerging power, and Takamasa HATAKEYAMA, a brave general of the old power. It was a big battle in which all the brigades were mobilized, and Nagayoshi MIYOSHI successfully got rid of the opposing old powers in Kinai region by winning this battle. Nagayoshi MIYOSHI became Tenkabito (person becoming the ruler of the country), taking control of Kawachi Province and Izumi Province, while becoming influential in Yamato Province and Kii Province. However he lost Masanari MIYOSHI and Yoshikata MIYOSHI, who were both influential among his family, in this battle, so the Miyoshi's government had difficulties lying ahead..

The Situation Before the Battle

The Hatakeyama clan had reigned as shugo (provincial military governor) of Kawachi Province since the early Muromachi Period. The Hatakeyama clan had been frequently oppressed by Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, shugo of the neighboring Settsu Province as well as Awa Province, Awaji Province and Sanuki Province.

Takamasa Hatakeyama, the family head of the Hatakeyama clan, was a brave general, but the Hatakeyama family itself was disrupted by the Sengoku mood shift, so controlling the vassals was difficult. Consequently, Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, the warring lord of the neighboring province, often interfered in Hatakeyama's domestic affairs. Miyoshi Nagayoshi even affected the choice of shugodai (deputy military governor) which was the head of the vassals.

On May 5, 1551, Naganori YUSA, who was resourceful shugodai considered as an actual landed daimyo of Kawachi, was assassinated. Then Kawachi Province fell into disorder, but in 1552, a relative to Naganori YUSA, Munefusa (Naomasa) YASUMI who was the adopted son of a powerful local lord in Katano City, Kawachi Province, the Yasumi clan, killed the assassinators including Katatsugu KAYAFURI and gained power. Munefusa YASUMI became shugodai (the acting Military Governor), but Munefusa YASUMI and shugo Takamasa HATAKEYAMA began to clash. In 1559, Takamasa HATAKEYAMA asked for Nagayoshi MIYOSHI's support to compete with Munefusa YASUMI who had support from powerful local lords.

On this occasion, Munefusa YASUMI's Imoriyama Castle was attacked by Nagayoshi MIYOSHI, and the castle became Nagayoshi MIYOSHI's. In 1560, Takamasa HATAKEYAMA and Munefusa YASUMI were reconciled, but it gave Nagayoshi MIYOSHI an excuse to attack the Hatakeyama clan. Takamasa HATAKEYAMA started to exercise improved discipline among kokujin ryoshu (local samurai lords), and united powerful warlords such as Munefusa YASUMI and Naomitsu YUKAWA to compete with Nagayoshi MIYOSHI.

In 1562, Yoshikata (Shotei) ROKKAKU proposed a military alliance to launch a pincer attack on Nagayoshi MIYOSHI. There was a hidden motive by Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA to restore the authority of the Muromachi bakufu. It can be said that the Rokkaku clan and the Hatakeyama clan, both old powers, started to fight back against the emerging Miyoshi clan.

The military strength

Unlike the battle of Kumeda, Miyoshi's army which recovered from its off-balanced position, had an advantage. When Hatakeyama's army attacked Imoriyama Castle where Nagayoshi MIYOSHI lived, Hatakeyama's military strength overwhelmed Miyoshi's. Yoshitoki MIYOSHI, however, mobilized local lords in Settsu and Tanba Province, issuing a manifesto. As a result, Miyoshi's side rectified its numerical inferiority, and when Hatakeyama and Miyoshi confronted at Kyoko-ji Temple, Miyoshi's side had the upper hand. Hatakeyama, however, had Saikashu and Negoroshu (group of armed people and armed priests in Negoro-ji Temple) with 4000 matchlock guns, which was a menace to Miyoshi.

The chain of command
Regarding the chain of command, Miyoshi made family members commanders of each unit (made of local clan), so the orders by the supreme commander Nagayoshi MIYOSHI were delivered well. Compared to Miyoshi's, Hatakeyama's chain of command was not unified, as various leaders of local clans and samurai lords joined the force independently. In the course of the battle, Miyoshi obviously topped first and Hatakeyama had to keep pace. It is considered that Miyoshi, with an unified chain of command, gained the initiative and Hatakeyama, with a disordered chain of command, had to be one step behind.

Miyoshi's side
Nagayoshi MIYOSHI - stayed at Imoriyama Castle as the supreme commander.

Izawa Yamato no kami (governor of Yamato Province) - conveyed Nagayoshi MIYOSHI's strategy to each unit. Nagayoshi's key retainer.

Yoshioki MIYOSHI - went to the front as the front-line supreme commander. Nagayoshi's legitimate child.

Hisahide MATSUNAGA - assisted Yoshioki MIYOSHI as the front-line adjutant general.

Masayasu MIYOSHI - led kokujin-shu (powerful families in a province) from Settsu Province. Nagayoshi's clansman.

Nagayuki MIYOSHI - assisted Masayasu MIYOSHI.

Nagamasa IKEDA - leader of kokujin-shu from Settsu Province. Masanaga MIYOSHI's son-in-law.

Chikaoki ITAMI - leader of kokujin-shu from Settsu Province.

Yasunaga MIYOSHI - temporarily led kokujin-shu from Awa Province. Nagayoshi's uncle.

Nagafusa SHINOHARA - assisted the late Yoshikata MIYOSHI and temporarily assisted Yasunaga MIYOSHI.

Masayasu SOGO - led kokujin-shu from Sanuki Province. Yoshikata MIYOSHI's child. Nagayoshi's nephew.

Motonori KOZAI - assisted Masayasu SOGO.

Motomasa SANGAWA - leader of kokujin-shu from Sanuki Province. Morikata YASUTOMI - leader of kokujin-shu from Sanuki Province. Tomomichi IWANARI - led kokujin-shu from Yamashiro Province. Nagayoshi's son-in-law.

Fuyuyasu ATAGI - led fudai (hereditary vassals) and hatamoto unit as well as kokujin-shu from Awaji Province at the battlefront. Nagayoshi's younger brother.

Shinsuke MATSUYAMA - led fudai and hatamoto unit at the battlefront, assisting Fuyuyasu ATAGI.

Munekatsu NAITO - led kokujin-shu from Tanba Province. Previously called Nagayori MATSUNAGA. Hisahide MATSUNAGA's younger brother.

Hatakeyama's side
Takamasa HATAKEYAMA - went to the front as the supreme commander. Shugo of Kawachi Province and Kii Province.

Naomitsu YUKAWA - led Yukawashu and kokujin-shu from Kii Province. Shugodai of Kawachi.

Takakiyo YUSA - led fudai and hatamoto unit. The late shugodai, Naganori YUSA's relative.

Morikiyo SAITO - assisted Takakiyo YUSA.

Munefusa YASUMI - leader of kokujin-shu from Kawachi Province.

土橋種興 - led Saikashu, Negoroshu and kokujin-shu from Izumi Province.

鈴木重興 - leader of Saikashu. Assisted 土橋種興.

Kazumasa TSUDA - leader of Negoroshu. Assisted 土橋種興.

Junsei TSUTSUI - leader of kokujin-shu from Yamato Province.

澤房満 - one of the three generals in Uda.

Noriie AKIYAMA - one of the three generals in Uda.

Yoshino Minbu-taifu (senior ministerial assistant of popular affairs) - one of the three generals in Uda.

The Situation of May 19, 1562

There are historical materials saying that they had periodic showers which started in the night of May 18. It is said that Miyoshi's army was waiting for the rain because Yoshitaka MIYOSHI was shot by Saikashu or Negoroshu in the battle of Kumeda.

After the Battle

Miyoshi's army, catching the momentum, invaded into Yamato Province to attack Hatakeyama's rump. Knowing the defeat of the Hatakeyama clan, the Rokkaku clan receded to Omi Province and tried to make peace with Miyoshi.

The Miyoshi clan became more powerful because an old power, the Hatakeyama clan collapsed and the Rokkaku clan also gave in. There was no opposing powers to the Miyoshi clan in Kinai region anymore, and then Yamato Province as well as Kawachi Province became under the Miyoshi clan's control. The Miyoshi clan became influential as far as to the northern Kii Province.

[Original Japanese]