Battle of Okitanawate

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Battle of Okitanawate
Part of Sengoku period
Date May 3,[1] 1584
Location Near Shimabara
Result Arima-Shimazu victory
forces of Shimazu Yoshihisa
Arima clan
forces of Ryūzōji Takanobu
Commanders and leaders
Shimazu Iehisa
Arima Harunobu
Kawakami Tadakata
Ryūzōji Takanobu 
6,300[2] 25,000-50,000[3]

The Battle of Okitanawate (沖田畷の戦い?) was fought on May 3 of 1584 between the combined forces of the Shimazu and Arima clans, and the Ryūzōji army.

Ryūzōji Takanobu was attacking a number of independent clans close to his territories. In 1582 he attacked the Arima clan and Arima Harunobu decided to ask the help of Shimazu Yoshihisa. Yoshihisa sent an army in December of that year but not much progress was made until 1584 when the army was reorganized and commanded by the able Shimazu Iehisa, younger brother of Yoshihisa. The allies put Shimabara under siege and Takanobu marched to relieve the castle with his main army.

On May 3 the Shimazu-Arima army entrenched on a hill in front of Shimabara and received the attack of the Ryūzōji who were well armed with muskets, including high calibre ones. They attacked the hill in three columns, one advancing along the road, another advancing along the hills and a third along the beach.[4] The third column was driven back by the Arima which attacked them from troops carried in boats, armed with arquebuses and a few cannons. The other columns assaulted the hill but were defeated. Takanobu died in the fighting, killed by a Shimazu retainer called Kawakami Tadakata.