The BATTLE OF SEKIGAHARA ( Shinjitai : 関ヶ原の戦い; Kyūjitai : 關ヶ原の戰い, Sekigahara no Tatakai) was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 ( Keichō 5, 15th day of the 9th month) that preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate .
* 1 Background * 2 Prelude * 3 Troop deployment
* 4 Battle
* 4.1 Fall of the Western Army * 4.2 Late arrivals
* 5 Aftermath
* 5.1 Rise of the Tokugawa Shogunate * 5.2 Seeds of dissent from Sekigahara
* 6 Kokudaka of daimyōs * 7 Miyamoto Musashi * 8 In popular culture * 9 References * 10 Bibliography * 11 Further reading * 12 External links
Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified
Katō Kiyomasa and
Fukushima Masanori were publicly
critical of the bureaucrats, especially
Later, a supposed conspiracy to assassinate Ieyasu surfaced, and many
Toyotomi loyalists, including Toshiie's son, Toshinaga , were accused
of taking part and forced to submit to Ieyasu's authority. However,
Afterwards, Ieyasu summoned the help of various supporters and led
them northward to attack the Uesugi clan. Many of them were at that
moment besieging Hasedō though.
Mitsunari, in his home
Sawayama Castle , met with
Ōtani Yoshitsugu ,
Mashita Nagamori , and
Ankokuji Ekei . Here, they forged the alliance,
and invited Mōri Terumoto, who actually did not take part in
Sekigahara, to be its head. Thus formed what came to be referred to as
the Western Army. Mori seized Osaka Castle for their base of
operations, since most of Tokugawa’s forces had vacated the area to
attack Uesugi. The battle Japanese arquebus of the
Ishida wanted to reinforce Mori at the impregnable Osaka Castle. This
would let Mitsunari control the traditional capital city of
Since Tokugawa and his army were departing from Edo, they could only
take two roads, both of which converged on Gifu Castle. Tokugawa
marched on Gifu while Ishida was delayed at
Fushimi Castle . This
fortress was a halfway point between Osaka and
Tired from a day's march and their gunpowder wet from the rain,
Ishida and his forces stopped at Sekigahara. "Ishida deployed his
troops in a strong defensive position, flanked by two streams with
high ground on the opposite banks." His right flank was reinforced by
Kobayakawa Hideaki on
On October 20, 1600, Tokugawa learned that Ishida had deployed his troops at Sekigahara in a defensive position. They had been following the Western Army, and benefited from considerably better weather. At dawn of the next day, Tokugawa's advanced guard stumbled into Ishida's army. Neither side saw each other due to the dense fog caused by the earlier rain. Both sides panicked and withdrew, but this resulted in both sides being aware of their adversary's presence.
Ishida held his current defensive position and Tokugawa deployed his own forces. He sent his allies' forces in a line to the front, and held his own troops in reserve. Around 8:00am, wind blew away the fog, and both sides noticed their respective adversary's positions. Last-minute orders were issued and the battle began.
Initially, Ieyasu's eastern army had 75,000 men, while Mitsunari's western army numbered 120,000. 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. Even though the Western forces had tremendous tactical advantages, Ieyasu had already been in contact with many daimyō in the Western Army for months, promising them land and leniency after the battle should they switch sides.
Tokugawa's forces started the battle when Fukushima Masanori, the leader of the advanced guard, charged north from Tokugawa's left flank along the Fuji River against the Western Army's right center. The ground was still muddy from the previous day's rain, so the conflict there devolved into something more primal. Tokugawa then ordered attacks from his right and his center against the Western Army’s left in order to support Fukushima's attack.
This left the Western Army's center unscathed, so Ishida ordered this unit under the command of Shimazu Yoshihiro to reinforce his right flank. Shimazu refused as daimyōs of the day only listened to respected commanders, which Ishida was not.
Recent scholarship by Professor Yoshiji Yamasaki of Toho University has indicated that the Mori faction had reached a secret agreement with the Tokugawa 2 weeks earlier, pledging neutrality at the decisive battle in exchange for a guarantee of territorial preservation, and was a strategic decision on Mori Terumoto's part that later backfired.
Fukushima's attack was slowly gaining ground, but this came at the cost of exposing their flank to attack from across the Fuji River by Ōtani Yoshitsugu , who took advantage of this opportunity. Just past Ōtani's forces were those of Kobayakawa Hideaki on Mount Matsuo.
Kobayakawa was one of the daimyōs that had been courted by Tokugawa.
Even though he had agreed to defect to Ieyasu's side, in the actual
battle he was hesitant and remained neutral. As the battle grew more
intense, Ieyasu finally ordered arquebuses to fire at Kobayakawa's
FALL OF THE WESTERN ARMY
Heavily outnumbered, Ōtani had no choice but to retreat. This left the Western Army's right flank wide open, so Fukushima and Kobayakawa began to roll it up. Thus Ishida's right flank was destroyed and his center was being pushed back, so he retreated.
Ishida’s only remaining forces were on Mount Nangu. However, these forces were there for a reason. Kikkawa Hiroie was one of the commanders on the mountain. Kikkawa's troops formed the front lines of the Mōri army, which was commanded by his cousin Mōri Hidemoto. Earlier, when Hidemoto decided to attack the Tokugawa forces, Hiroie refused to comply, stating he was busy eating and asked to be left alone. This in turn prevented the Chōsokabe army, which deployed behind the Mōri clan, from attacking. When Ishida arrived, Kikkawa betrayed him as well. He kept the Mōri army at bay, and since Ishida had no more support, he was defeated.
The Western Army disintegrated afterwards, and the commanders
scattered and fled. Some, like
Both sides had forces that did not arrive at Sekigahara in time to participate due to other battles.
Ieyasu's son Hidetada led another group through Nakasendō . However, Hidetada's forces were bogged down as he attempted to besiege Sanada Masayuki 's Ueda Castle against his father's direct orders. Even though the Tokugawa forces numbered some 38,000, an overwhelming advantage over the Sanada's mere 2,000, they were still unable to capture the strategist's well-defended position.
At the same time, 15,000 Toyotomi troops were being held up by 500
Hosokawa Yūsai at Tanabe Castle in present-day Maizuru ,
RISE OF THE TOKUGAWA SHOGUNATE
Present day Sekigahara battlefield memorials
Following the public execution of
At the time, the battle was considered only an internal conflict between Toyotomi vassals. However, after Ieyasu was named Shogun in 1603 by Emperor Go-Yōzei , a position that had been left vacant since the fall of the Ashikaga shogunate 27 years earlier, the battle was perceived as a more important event. In 1664, Hayashi Gahō , Tokugawa historian and rector of Yushima Seidō , summarized the consequences of the battle: "Evil-doers and bandits were vanquished and the entire realm submitted to Lord Ieyasu, praising the establishment of peace and extolling his martial virtue. That this glorious era that he founded may continue for ten thousands upon ten thousands of generations, coeval with heaven and earth."
SEEDS OF DISSENT FROM SEKIGAHARA
While most clans were content with their new status, there were many clans, especially those on the western side, who became bitter about their displacement or what they saw as a dishonorable defeat or punishment. Three clans in particular did not take the aftermath of Sekigahara lightly:
Mōri clan , headed by
Mōri Terumoto , remained angry toward
Tokugawa shogunate for being displaced from their fief, Aki , and
being relocated to the
The descendants of these three clans would in two centuries collaborate to bring down the Tokugawa shogunate, leading to the Meiji Restoration .
KOKUDAKA OF DAIMYōS
○ = Main daimyōs who participated in
Battle of Sekigahara
● = Daimyōs who defected
DAIMYō KOKUDAKA (TEN THOUSANDS)
DAIMYō KOKUDAKA (TEN THOUSANDS)
Wakisaka Yasuharu ● 3.3 Tanaka Yoshimasa ○ 10.0
Legend has it that the rōnin Miyamoto Musashi was present at the battle among Ukita Hideie's army and escaped the defeat of Hideie's forces unharmed. Musashi would have been around 16 years of age at the time. There is no hard evidence to prove if Musashi was present or not for the battle. According to one account, the Musashi yuko gamei, "Musashi's achievements stood out from the crowd, and were known by the soldiers in all camps." Musashi is reticent on the matter, writing only that he had "participated in over six battles since my youth".
IN POPULAR CULTURE
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* The battle of Sekigahara is depicted at the beginning of the 1954