Siege of Miki

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Siege of Miki
Part of the Sengoku period
The encirclement of Miki by Hashiba Hideyoshi
Date 1578-1580
Location Miki, Harima Province
Result Siege succeeds
Castle falls to Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Forces of Oda Nobunaga Forces of Bessho Nagaharu
Commanders and leaders
Hashiba Hideyoshi Bessho Nagaharu 

The siege of Miki (三木合戦) lasted from 1578 to 1580. Toyotomi Hideyoshi took Miki Castle of Harima Province, located in what is now Miki, Hyōgo, Japan, from Bessho Nagaharu, an ally of the Mōri clan.

Situation in Harima[edit]

The original Shugo (governor) of the province was the Akamatsu clan, with the Bessho clan and Kodera clan as its Shugodai (deputy governor). The Akamatsu clan were one of the most powerful shugo of the previous Shogunate having at one point being the shugo of 4 separate provinces, however, by this time they had already greatly declined in power, and was but a nominal leader holding together a collapsing coalition of clans in Harima.

When Hashiba Hideyoshi entered the province on the order of Oda Nobunaga in late 1576, the Akamatsu clan leader Akamatsu Norifusa decided to simply surrender to the Oda while he still had a decent deal on the table, and soon after the Bessho clan and Kodera clan also submitted.

Bessho rebellion[edit]

Having apparently taken all of Harima without bloodshed, Hideyoshi proceeded to move his base of operations to Himeji, the former residential castle of the Akamatsu, and began preparing for a showdown with the Mōri clan. However during this time, Bessho Nagaharu's uncle Bessho Yoshichika was reported to have felt insulted over having to submit to Hideyoshi, who was born a commoner. He managed to convince his nephew to rebel, and also set up a secret alliance with the Mori clan. Soon after his rebellion, the Kodera clan joined in.

Once the first shot was fired, Hideyoshi was suddenly in a dangerous position, trapped between the powerful Mori clan in the front and rebelling clans behind him. He decided to lay siege to Miki castle, hoping to destroy the source of the rebellion.

The siege[edit]

Hideyoshi's force gradually took out the Bessho clan's outlying castles and eventually surrounded them in Miki Castle. However, the Bessho held out for an extraordinarily long time, at first due to a large stock of food, and then secret resupply missions by the Mori Navy, though these ended long before the siege would. They attempted to break the siege on a few occasions. During one of these attacks on the much larger Oda forces, Bessho Harusada, the younger brother of Nagaharu, was killed.

After nearly three years since the beginning of the rebellion, Miki castle finally surrendered. Bessho Nagaharu committed seppuku and his uncle Bessho Yoshichika, the instigator of this rebellion, was killed by his own soldiers.