Seven Generals (七将)

The Seven Generals (or "Nanasho") are the feudal lords who were reared by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI from an early age and famous as the brave generals.

Masanori FUKUSHIMA (lord of Kiyosu-jo Castle in Owari Province)

Kiyomasa KATO (lord of Kumamoto-jo Castle in Higo Province)

Terumasa IKEDA (lord of Yoshida-jo Castle in Mikawa Province)

Tadaoki HOSOKAWA (lord of Miyazu-jo Castle in Tango Province)

Yoshinaga ASANO (lord of Kofu-jo Castle in Kai Province)

Yoshiakira KATO (lord of Matsuyama-jo Castle in Iyo Province)

Nagamasa KURODA (lord of Nakatsu-jo Castle in Nakatsu Province)

These are the seven generals.

Some sources include Iemasa HACHISUKA (lord of Tokushima-jo Castle in Awa Province) and Takatora TODO (lord of Uwajima-jo Castle in Iyo Province).

Attack on Mitsunari ISHIDA

April 27, 1599
Toshiie MAEDA, one of the five regents of Hideyoshi and a mediator between the Militarist Faction (including Masanori FUKUSHIMA and Kiyomasa KATO who rose to power using their military forces) and the Civilian Faction (including Mitsunari ISHIDA and Nagamasa ASANO who rose to power through their statesmanship) died. Without any mediator, the feud between the two factions turned violent.

The Seven Generals, with long-harbored resentment, schemed to defeat Mitsunari by heading their armies to Kiyomasa KATO's residence near the Osaka-jo Castle and attack Mitsunari together. Mitsunari perceived their scheme and fled with his chief vassal Kiyooki SHIMA (also known as Sakon SHIMA) to the residence of his ally Yoshinobu SATAKE (Ukyo no daibu).

Having noticed that Mitsunari had fled, the Seven Generals started to raid each one of the feudal lords' residences near the Osaka-jo Castle, and the army of KATO headed for Satake's residence.

Now, Mitsunari decided to take refuge in the residence of his political opponent Ieyasu TOKUGAWA in Fushimi.

Sneaked out of Satake's residence in female attire, a band of Mitsunari and Sakon arrived at Tokugawa's residence in Fushimi--Reported on their arrival by Masanobu HONDA, Ieyasu decided to give refuge to Mitsunari to increase military capability during the internal trouble of the Toyotomi.

Ieyasu flatly rejected the request by the Seven Generals in the next morning to extradite Mitsunari, saying 'Over my dead body'. Ieyasu forced Mitsunari to promise to retire in exchange for being saved from extradition, and had his second son Hideyasu YUKI send Mitsunari to his home caste, Sawayama-jo Caste.

All the Seven Generals took the leading role in the Eastern army in the Battle of Sekigahara, which broke out about one and half years later.

[Original Japanese]