The Siege of Osaka

The Siege of Osaka was a series of battles the Tokugawa shogunate overtook the Toyotomi clan during the late Warring States period in Japan. After these campaigns, Japan officially ended the Warring States period since the Onin war (begin of Warring States period). This means that during this period, the names that glowed are like Imagawa Yoshimoto (今川義元), Takeda Shingen (武田信玄), Uesugi Kenshin (上杉謙信) - the above are the pre-three preeminent daimyos, Oda Nobunaga (織田信長), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豐臣秀吉), Tokugawa Ieyasu (德川家康) - the above are post-three preeminent daimyos, their dreams are all accomplished by the winner, Tokugawa Ieyasu, of this campaign.

The Siege of Osaka
The Siege of Osaka

The Siege of Osaka has two stages: Winter Campaign and Summer Campaign.

Winter Campaign took place in November 1614, about a month. The defensive party was Toyotomi, and the main commander was Toyotomi Hideyori (豐臣秀賴, only son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi). He issued a large sum of money and invited Daimyos to support the Toyotomi family’s name in Osaka Castle. However, there was no Daimyo response but ronins. There are about 100,000 troops on the defensive side. The attacking party is the Tokugawa Shogunate. The main players are Tokugawa Ieyasu and Tokugawa Hideo (德川秀忠, the second general). There are approximately 160,000 troops on the attacking side.

Winter Campaign of the Siege of Osaka
Winter Campaign of the Siege of Osaka

In the end, due to lack of food in the winter, the Tokugawa army deliberately negotiated peace with the Toyotomi army. On December 17th, Osaka Castle was bombarded with the cannon fire at the Tenshu tower. On the second day after the bombardment, the two sides began talks for two days and reached an agreement on the condition that only the Tenshu tower could be left, and Ninomaru and Sannomaru had to be demolished. To fill in the trenches and dispose of the relevant personnel, this ends the Winter Campaign.

Summer Campaign started because of the filled trenches were rebuilt and Tokugawa asked the Toyotomi family to dismiss the ronin. On April 24, 1615, the shogunate issued an ultimatum to Toyotomi, requesting the transfer and dismissal of the ronin. Finally, Toyotomi ignored it. The two sides began to regroup, and the defender in chief is Toyotomi Hideyori. Some roniners have already been fired. There are about 60,000 troops left. The attacking party is led by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the force is about 150,000.

Summer Campaign of the Siege of Osaka
Summer Campaign of the Siege of Osaka

The Toyotomi forces took the initiative to attack. Famous leader Sanada Nobushige (真田信繁, known as the popular name of Sanada Yukimura, 真田幸村, later) was known as the number one warrior of Japan since ancient times. He and another famous leader Mori Katsunaga (毛利勝永) forced Tokugawa Ieyasu to abandon the camp near Tennoji and even wanted to kill himself. However, after all, the enemy’s military strength was disparity, and Sanada Nobushige’s retreat was blocked on the way so he had no choice but fought to death.

The news of the death of Nobushige killed the hope of the Toyotomi Army, and the Tenshu tower immediately fell. On May 8th, Osaka Castle was formally conquered. Tokugawa Hideo’s daughter who was rescued by the Tokugawa army did not help the Toyotomi family to escape from the crisis. Both Toyotomi Hideyori and his mother committed suicide, and some of Toyotomi’s army leaders also died in succession. The result was the victory of the Tokugawa army, the destruction of the Toyotomi family, and the end of the Summer Campaign.

Location Map

Osaka Castle

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