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1570 : THE RIVERSIDE SUMMER OF OMI

 

Omi map

The monument of 1570 Anegawa battle, and Anegawa's beautiful autumn in 2003.
The Oda clan was against the Asai, Asakura and warrior-monks of Mt. Hiei in this battle.

Click here for a detailed and complete map of Japan.
Click here for big photographs of the actual location of Anegawa battle.
Click here for more details of this war, plus biography & pictures of Asai Nagamasa.

 

It began on July 30, 1570.

Oda Nobunaga didn't start it either.

In 1568, Oda's enemy was the Asakura clan or more precisely their chief Asakura Yoshikage, who had refused the invitation to pay homage to the Ashikaga Shogun that Oda Nobunaga sponsored and installed in Kyoto. Oda got out to 'punish' him for insubordination.

Out of the blue, Oda's brother in-law Asai Nagamasa of Omi marched against him, too, in a showy loyalty to the Asakuras -- the Asai clan used to be the Asakura's ally before Nagamasa married Lady Oda Oichi, Nobunaga's sister.

For political, personal, and especially military reasons Oda Nobunaga got scarily mad at this unpredictable desertion of Asai (even according to the times' standard, it was something no one had guessed before). Only by miracle (this miracle had a name: Toyotomi Hideyoshi -- click here for the detailed story and pictures) he could escape premature death since Asai's defection had put the 10,000 Oda soldiers within a circle of most hostile enemies from three directions at once.

 

Asai, Asakura and warrior-monk of Honganji

Lord Asai Nagamasa of Omi (1545-1573), Lord Asakura Yoshikage of Echizen (1533-1573),
and a Buddhist warrior-monk of Mt. Hiei. Above Asai and Asakura are the crests of their clans,
but the one above the monk isn't such a thing -- it's just some sort of charm typical of the sect.

 

Now in 1570 Oda brought 20,000 soldiers, while his ally Tokugawa Ieyasu led 8,000. Tokugawa's army was always much smaller than Oda's, but it wasn't an unequal partnership; individually, his soldiers were much better than Oda's, and Oda acknowledged this fact. So there they went, to Omi again to whack Asai Nagamasa for what he had done.

Asai and Asakura got around 10,000 men each, plus hundreds of warrior-monks who always fought for anybody (except Oda Nobunaga -- click here for story and pictures). Tokugawa took the Asakuras while Oda faced Asai's men. The latter knew this might be their last battle on this sorry planet, so they really did their best, and numbers didn't help Oda Nobunaga much in the fiercest combat in the entire history of the Omi province.

In Anegawa, Oda won, and a thousand or so of lives were lost in Asai's side, but Tokugawa Ieyasu did more than Oda Nobunaga there -- he even had to help Oda extricating himself from the never-say-die Asais.

The uncharacteristic laxity of Oda's get repeated again in the battle of Otsu in 1571, and in Oda's choice to lay siege on Odani without, practically, doing anything to destroy it.

It's not just about military prowess. Oda seemed to lack his usual 'Tazmanian devil' soul in this series of wars, since he cared much about his sister and nieces (there were 4 little girls born to Lady Oichi), and it influenced his pace and appetite.

Only after Toyotomi Hideyoshi managed to get a short ceasefire, went into the Asai clan's stronghold Odani, talked Asai into delivering his wife and kids, Oda Nobunaga could exhale and resumed his usual thoroughness.

Asai Nagamasa gave his beloved family to Toyotomi only when defeat was already closing him in. Then he committed suicide.

 

STORY & PICTURES OF THE ASAI CLAN'S TRAGEDY INVOLVING ODA NOBUNAGA'S SISTER CLICK HERE
STORY & PICTURES OF THE BLOODY WARRIOR-MONKS OF MT. HIEI CLICK HERE

 

 

NEXT : THE BATTLE OF MIKATA PLAINS 1573 VERSUS TAKEDA SHINGEN NEXT

 

 

THE ODA ARMY & NAVY

ODA NOBUNAGA'S WARS

 

BIOGRAPHIES & PICTURES OF ODA NOBUNAGA'S ENEMIES
Takeda Shingen   Uesugi Kenshin   Asai Nagamasa   Imagawa Yoshimoto   Warrior-Monks

 

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2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Nina
Wilhelmina

 

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