What do you think about Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu's military command in the AD 1600 Sekigahara Campaign ?

Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
#1
Too lazy to type a long article about the background and the summary of the story , so just showing pictures and battle maps with some elaboration, hopes that it would stir your interest. If you're interested, please share your viewpoint and let's have discussion.

The overview situation of Japan at the onset of the Sekigahara Campaign.jpg

Blue = Eastern Army (headed by Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Red = Western Army (rallied by Ishida Mitsunari. However, he was really lack of prestige and power to exert much control over his "allies")
Yellow / White = neutral or unknown
Purple = turncoat (Western Army --> Eastern Army)

The Western Army's movement.png

Red = Western Army
Blue = Eastern Army

16th July 1600 : The Western Army's nominal commander-in-chief Mori Terumoto (毛利輝元) entered the Osaka Castle (大坂城)
18th July - 1st August 1600 : Siege of Fushimi Castle (伏見城の戦い)
19th July - 6th September 1600 : Siege of Tanabe Castle (田辺城の戦い)
10th August 1600 : Ishida Mitsunari (石田三成) entered the Ogaki Castle (大垣城)
26th August 1600 : Siege of Anotsu Castle (安濃津城の戦い)

The Eastern Army's movement.png

Red = Western Army
Blue = Eastern Army

25th July 1600 : Oyama Conference (小山評定) held by Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康)
14th August 1600 : The Eastern Army's vanguard reached the Kiyosu Castle (清須城)
2nd September 1600 : Tokugawa Ieyasu moved out from the Edo Castle (江戸城)
4th September 1600 : Tokugawa Ieyasu reached Odawara (小田原)
9th September 1600 : Tokugawa Ieyasu reached the Okazaki Castle (岡崎城)
11th September 1600 : Tokugawa Ieyasu reached the Kiyosu Castle
5-9th September : Siege of Ueda Castle (上田城の戦い)

8. Oda Hidenobu was losing.jpg

The Western Army's "vanguard" Oda Hidenobu was quickly defeated by the Eastern Army's initial offensive, and capitulated on 23rd August 1600.

1. The Eastern Army's advance to Red Hill.jpg

To Sekigahara.jpg

Blue = Western Army
Red = Eastern Army

23rd August 1600 : The Gifu Castle (岐阜城の戦い) fell to the hands of the Eastern Army (the Oda clan finally became history !)
3rd September 1600 : Otani Yoshitsugu (大谷吉継) deployed his troops at the north of Mount Matsuo (松尾山)
7th September 1600 : the Mori army headed by Mori Hidemoto (毛利秀元) deployed his troops at Mount Nangu (南宮山)
14th September 1600 : Kobayakawa Hideaki deployed his troops at Mount Matsuo
14th September 1600 : Tokugawa Ieyasu arrived the Eastern Army's frontline HQ at Akasaka-Okayama (赤坂.岡山)
14th September 1600 : Shima Sakon (島左近) successfully ambushed and defeated the Eastern Army in a minor skirmish at Kuisegawa (杭瀬川の戦い)

9. The confrontation by Kuisegawa.jpg

March to Sekigahara.png

At the morning of 15th September 1600, both the Eastern Army and the Western Army marched to Sekigahara, where was surrounded by an array of mountains.

Both sides' disposition on 15th September 1600.jpg

Red = Western Army
Blue = Eastern Army
Purple = Turncoat (Neutral --> Eastern Army)

Battle of Sekigahara disposition (full size).png

Red = Western Army (over 40% of them had been either neutralized, or "turncoated" already....some even prepared to backstab)
Blue = Eastern Army

=========================

So, anyone have interest for discussion ?
 
Last edited:
Apr 2012
1,026
The Netherlands
#2
I think its really ironic. Mitsunari was primarily a politician and a bureaucrat but he lost Sekigahara because he lost the political battle even though his battle plan seemed to have been fairly decent for a pencil pusher. The Western Army even had a slight upper hand until the defections happened.

Mitsunari was far too divisive of a figure to lead a coalition. The defections and prominent Toyotomi vassals declaring for Ieyasu before the fighting might not have happened if the Toyotomi cause was defended by someone who hadn't schemed against a great deal of the Toyotomi retainers and allies.
 
Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
#3
if the Toyotomi cause was defended by someone who hadn't schemed against a great deal of the Toyotomi retainers and allies.
Too bad Maeda Toshiie (前田利家) died so early. He was the ONLY one had power to rally all other daimyos to curb Ieyasu's swelling ambition. The rest of three "great elders" (Uesugi Kagekatsu, Ukite Hideie, Mori Terumoto) neither had prestige nor experience on par with that "old fox", needless to say other pro-Toyotomi daimyos or Toyotomi retainers.

What made me astonished was Oda Hidenobu's quick defeat....I had no idea why didn't he just defend the Gifu Castle for buying time enabling Mitsunari send the large army to rescue him, but instead sent his numerically inferior troops on the hopeless field battle against the much larger enemy army. Was he really making a foolish choice, or attempted to imitate his grandfather (Oda Nobunaga)'s "gallant success" at Okehazama ?
 
Apr 2012
1,026
The Netherlands
#4
Too bad Maeda Toshiie (前田利家) died so early. He was the ONLY one had power to rally all other daimyos to curb Ieyasu's swelling ambition. The rest of three "great elders" (Uesugi Kagekatsu, Ukite Hideie, Mori Terumoto) neither had prestige nor experience on par with that "old fox", needless to say other pro-Toyotomi daimyos or Toyotomi retainers.

What made me astonished was Oda Hidenobu's quick defeat....I had no idea why didn't he just defend the Gifu Castle for buying time enabling Mitsunari send the large army to rescue him, but instead sent his numerically inferior troops on the hopeless field battle against the much larger enemy army. Was he really making a foolish choice, or attempted to imitate his grandfather (Oda Nobunaga)'s "gallant success" at Okehazama ?
But would Tosiie have done so? His clan did drift towards the Tokagawa camp after his death. Hideaki's adopted father Takakage might also have been a good leader for the western army. He was a veteran commander with a powerful domain and as Mori Teremoto's uncle he might have pressed the Mori into a more active role. His command might also eliminate the Kobayakawa defection entirely as he didn't have the nasty history that Hideaki had with Mitsunari.
 
Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
#5
His command might also eliminate the Kobayakawa defection entirely as he didn't have the nasty history that Hideaki had with Mitsunari.
I doubt it. The relationship between Kobayakawa Takakage and Ishida Mitsunari was not much better as well, shown by their bickering in the military conference during the AD 1592-98 Korean campaign. In fact, Mitsunari's position of "chief executioner" made him inevitably in vehement conflict with those generals. On one hand, he was entrusted by Hideyoshi to accomplish his duty on both administrative and military matters (including report the generals' performance and fault in the Korean expedition), so he must do his best even at the expense of those generals' benefits (otherwise, Taiko-sama would be "displeased" if he stayed too close to those generals) ; on the other hand, some of those generals hated Mitsunari who enforced the authority over them in the name of Hideyoshi, since they thought that it's ridiculous to having a "bureaucrat" pointing nose to "generals", thus were angry and interpreted Mitsunari's "diligence" and "active role" in supervision as "arrogance" and "slanderous".

Not only Kobayakawa Hideaki, but many others had that sort of feeling as well. Maybe Mitsunari was not too good at handling such the troublesome interpersonal relationship in business. But considering his position "sandwiched" between his liege Hideyoshi and those generals who needed to be put in control of Hideyoshi, it was not easy for him for not offending people to get the jobs done efficiently.

Maeda Toshiie's son Toshinaga certainly had to "join the Tokugawa side" because the Maeda clan would be likely to be destroyed if Ieyasu seriously launched the Kaga Expedition ! (Ieyasu claimed that Toshinaga was involved in the case of assassination of Ieyasu, and called for punishment by gathering troops from daimyos, so Toshinaga who was at a leeward had no choice but "surrendered" his mother Lady Matsu by sending her to Edo as a gesture of reconciliation, showing submission to Ieyasu in exchange of the Maeda clan's survival)

After finishing off the Maeda Clan, Ieyasu changed his attention to the Uesugi Clan, thus generated the Aizu Expedition which subsequently triggered Mitsunari's declaration of war and the Sekigahara Campaign.
 

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