Sanada Yukimura - Summer Siege of Osaka Castle

Summer Siege of Osaka Castle

In the next year April 1615, Ieyasu received information that Toyotomi Hideyori was gathering forces to rebuild the castle moat. Toyotomi forces (often referred to as the western army) began to attack contingents of the Shogun's forces (often referred to as the eastern army) near Osaka. On April 29, 1615, a force led by Ban Danemon raided Wakayama Castle, a coastal fortress that belonged to Asano Nagakira, an ally of the Shogun. Asano's men went forth from the castle and drove off the invaders. Ieyasu gathered his vast armies, and attacked the castle again.

Yukimura fought the army of Date Masamune on May 6, 1615. Yukimura's army was outnumbered and he was defeated by Masamune's army. The next day he and a few soldiers assaulted the camp of Ieyasu directly. He closed in on Ieyasu only to have his assault repelled. By early June, the Eastern army had arrived, before Hideyori managed to secure any land to use against them.

On June 2, 1615, at the Battle of Domyoji, 2,600 men from the western army encountered 23,000 of the eastern army. Hideyori's commander at the castle, Gotō Matabei attempted to retreat into the fog, but the battle was lost and he was killed. After this, Tokugawa forces intercepted those of Sanada Yukimura at Honta-Ryo. Sanada tried to force a battle with Date Masamune, but Date's retainer Katakura Shigenaga retreated, as his troops were exhausted; Sanada's forces followed suit.

On June 3, 1615, at the Battle of Domyoji (also known as the battle of the tombs) Sanada Yukimura was in command of the Western army on the right side of Susukida Kanesuke and was engaged by Date Masamune in the area of Emperor Ojin's Tomb and the Konda Hachiman Shrine. Late into the fight Sanada Yukimura made the decision to begin a retreat towards Osaka Castle, as he had already lost a powerful commander earlier in the day. Tokugawa Tadateru, the sixth son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, was given the order to pursue Sanada, but he refused. This action would later lead to his exile to Koyasan. After being allowed to return to the Eastern army, he would die later during another assault on Osaka Castle. Given the time he needed Sanada's forces were able to successfully retreat from the Eastern army.

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