Siege of Koriyama

Siege of Koriyama
Part of the Sengoku period
DateSeptember 1540 to January 1541
LocationYoshida, Aki Province, Japan
Result Mōri victory
Amako clan forces of Mōri Motonari
Commanders and leaders
Amako Haruhisa[1]
Amako Hisayuki†
Kamei Hidetsuna
Kikkawa Okitsune
Kokushou Hisazumi
Misawa Tameyuki†
Takahashi Mototsuna†
Takao Hisatomo
Yonehara Tsunahiro
Yubara Munetsuna†
Mōri Motonari
Awaya Motoyoshi
Awaya Motozane
Katsura Motozumi
Kodama Narimitsu
Kunishi Motosuke
Watanabe Kayou
Relief forces:
Sue Harukata
30,000 8,000
10,000 Ōuchi relief force[2]

Siege of Koriyama (吉田郡山城の戦い Yoshida Kōriyama no tatakai) took place from September, 1540 until January, 1541 in Yoshida, Aki Province, Japan during the Sengoku period. Amago Haruhisa, with 30,000 men, attacked Kōriyama Castle, which belonged to Mōri Motonari and was defended by 8,000 men. When the Ōuchi clan sent an army under the command of Sue Harukata to relieve the siege, the Amako were forced to leave.


By the end of the 1530s, Mōri Motonari had cut ties with the Amako clan (also known as Amago) and realigned himself with the Ōuchi. Taking advantage of the growing weakness of the Takeda clan of Aki, Motonari grew ever more powerful in Aki province. By 1540, the old lord of the Amako, Tsunehisa had nominally retired and turned over the leadership of the clan to his grandson, Haruhisa (also known as Akihisa.)

In that year Amago Haruhisa conceived of a plan to destroy Mōri Motonari and bring Aki province under the sway of the Amago. When a council of the Amako retainers was called to discuss the planned campaign, almost all spoke in favor of the attack. Amago Hisayuki, however, considered the risks to be too great and spoke out against it, but was derided by Tsunehisa as a coward and publicly humiliated. Hisayuki was given the task of engaging the Mōri's ally, the Shishido clan in Aki as part of an initial and concurrent operation of the larger Amago campaign into Aki.[3]

The Amago campaign into Aki Province

The initial phase of the campaign began in June 1540, which involved an attack by the troops of Amago Hisayuki, his son Masahisa and his nephew Kunihisa on the domain of Motonari's ally, the Shishido clan, a foray that was to prove of little effect except to deny Haruhisa of some of his most capable generals and soldiers for the attack on Koriyama Castle.[2] In August Amago Haruhisa had gathered a force of 30,000 and departed Izumo province, moving into the vicinity of Motonari's Yoshida-Koriyama Castle and establishing a headquarters nearby.

Meanwhile, Mōri Motonari had evacuated over 5,000 of Yoshida's citizens inside the walls of Koriyama Castle. The castle itself was defended by around 3,000 soldiers, by which time urgent requests for aid were dispatched to the Ōuchi in Suo Province.[4] Two days after arriving, the Amako launched an attack on Koriyama Castle, which continued for several months.

The Ōuchi relief of Koriyama

The Ōuchi relief army, consisting of 10,000 men led by Sue Harukata,[2] finally departed Suo Province in the 11th month, pausing on Miyajima to offer prayers for victory at the Itskushima Shrine before landing in Aki and marching towards Koriyama Castle. They arrived outside Koriyama in December 1540, four months after the siege had begun. A series of skirmishes ensued between the opposing armies into the following month (January, 1541), which was largely to the detriment of the Amago. By this time the Amago force that had threatened the Shishido arrived and became heavily engaged in an attack by the Mōri and Ōuchi on the Amako's headquarters on Tenjinyama (天神山). In the ensuing action Amako Hisayuki was killed by an arrow and the Amago suffered heavy losses. In the wake of this fight, the Amago retainers, noting the army's dwindling supplies and poor morale, elected to retreat. The Môri and Ôuchi duly pursued but were hindered by snow.


  1. Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. Cassell & Co. p. 209. ISBN 1854095234.
  2. 1 2 3 Yamamoto, Hiroki (2007). Saigoku no sengoku kassen. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan. p. 291. ISBN 978-4642063227.
  3. Rekishi Gunzô Shirizu #49, Môri Senki Gakken, Japan, 1997
  4. Rekishi Gunzô Shirizu, Mori Motonari, Vol 9, Gakken, 1988

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