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Battle of Azukizaka (1564)

Coordinates: 34°55′49.1351″N 137°10′41.8717″E / 34.930315306°N 137.178297694°E / 34.930315306; 137.178297694
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Battle of Batogahara
Part of the Sengoku period
Date15 February 1564
Location34°55′49.1351″N 137°10′41.8717″E / 34.930315306°N 137.178297694°E / 34.930315306; 137.178297694
Result Matsudaira victory
Ikkō-ikki monks Matsudaira clan and Jōdo-shū monks
Commanders and leaders
Honda Masanobu
Natsume Yoshinobu
Hachiya Sadatsugu
Matsudaira Motoyasu
Sakai Tadatsugu
Ishikawa Kazumasa
Honda Shigetsugu
Kōriki Kiyonaga
Amano Yasukage
Ōkubo Tadayo
Sakakibara Yasumasa
Honda Tadakatsu
Battle of Azukizaka (1564) is located in Aichi Prefecture
Battle of Azukizaka (1564)
Location within Aichi Prefecture
Battle of Azukizaka (1564) is located in Japan
Battle of Azukizaka (1564)
Battle of Azukizaka (1564) (Japan)

The Battle of Azukizaka (小豆坂の戦い, Azukizaka no tatakai) or Battle of Batō-ga-hara (馬頭原の戦い, Batō-ga-hara no tatakai) took place on 15 February 1564, when Matsudaira Motoyasu (later renamed Tokugawa Ieyasu), sought to destroy the growing threat of the Ikkō-ikki, a league of monks, samurai, and peasants who were strongly against samurai rule.


Tensions between warriors and the Ikki had been escalating in Mikawa as the Ikki resisted samurai efforts to tax their temples. Fighting broke out in 1563 when Suganuma Sada, a Matsudaira retainer entered the Jōgū-ji temple in Okazaki and confiscated its rice to feed his own men. In retaliation the monks attacked Suganuma's castle and retrieved the rice back to Jōgū-ji where they barricaded themselves. When Motoyasu sent messengers to their temple to investigate the disorder they were executed. In another incident, Ikki samurai attacked a merchant in the temple town of Honshō-ji. Motoyasu launched a raid against the temple but was defeated.


The Matsudaira residence was in the castle of Okazaki
The Jōdo monastery of Daiju-ji enjoyed the patronization of the Matsudaira clan and assisted Motoyasu at Azukizaka

On 15 February 1564, Motoyasu had decided to concentrate his forces in eliminating the Ikki from Mikawa and had sought the help of warrior monks from the temple of Daiju-ji with whom he enjoyed good relations. In the Ikki ranks were some of Motoyasu's vassals, like Honda Masanobu and Natsume Yoshinobu, who had turned over to the Ikki rebellion on religious sympathy.

The battle was fierce and Motoyasu took the field personally, issuing challenges to enemy samurai and fighting in the front line where he received several bullets that pierced his armour but failed to wound him.[1][2]


Motoyasu's brave conduct in the battle convinced many of the samurai turncoats in the Ikko to switch sides and the Ikkō were defeated. Nevertheless, the battle did not spell the end of the Ikki in Mikawa, Motoyasu continued his campaign to pacify the Mikawa province from the Ikki.[citation needed]


Throughout most of history, it was thought that this war of suppression was a sign of Tokugawa Ieyasu religious intolerance towards Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism which observed by Ikkō sect.[3]

However, this view were challenged by Watanabe Daimon from Bukkyo University institute, who argues the prime motivation of this suppression were purely secular. There are two theories as for the Ikkō uprising broke out in Mikawa. The first was the violation of the privilege of non-entry (Ieyasu violated the privilege of non-entry held by Ikkō sect temples. While the second was the monopoly of economical commerce, transportations, and other authority orders by Ieyasu in that territory, which previousl held by the Ikkō sect temples.[3]

Considering the second one, Daimon argues this was the most likely explanation of this war, as now Ikkō sect temples became bases of opposition against the Tokugawa clan jurisdiction. This further complicated the situation by the fact that not only Ieyasu's own vassals, but this religious uprising also brought on other Mikawa local lords such as Kira Yoshiaki and Yoshihiro Arakawa. Thus, the nature of the uprising gradually changed from religious issue into secular rebellions by many enemies of Tokugawa clan. Daimon added that it was natural if Ieyasu would respond accordingly by force.[3]

Daimon also concluded with the fact that three years later after the rebellion suppressed, Ieyasu started to allow the Ikko sect to continue to propagate, as he felt that the situation was already stable enough to allow the Ikkō temples reopened.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 216. ISBN 1854095234.
  2. ^ Turnbull, Stephen R. (1977). The Samurai: A Military History. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co. p. 144.
  3. ^ a b c d Watanabe Daimon (2023). "家康は宗教弾圧の一環として、三河一向一揆と戦ったのか". yahoo.co.jp/expert/ (in Japanese). 2024 渡邊大門 無断転載を禁じます。 © LY Corporation. Retrieved 3 June 2024.


  • Turnbull, Stephen. (1996). Samurai warfare. CASSEL IMPRINT.
  • Turnbull, Stephen. (2003). Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.
  • Turnbull, Stephen. (2008). Samurai Armies 1467–1649. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.
  • Turnbull, Stephen. (2010). Samurai Armies 1467–1649. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.