Siege of Odawara (1590)

The third siege of Odawara (小田原征伐, Odawara seibatsu) occurred in 1590, and was the primary action in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign to eliminate the Hōjō clan as a threat to his power. The months leading up to it saw hasty but major improvements in the defense of the castle, as Hideyoshi's intentions became clear. Thus, despite the overwhelming force brought to bear by Hideyoshi, the siege saw little actual fighting.

Siege of Odawara
Part of the Sengoku period
Hachimanyama deep Horigiri moat.jpg
Later Hōjō era`s Odawara Castle
DateMay - August 4, 1590
Result Siege succeeds; Toyotomi victory
Toyotomi mon.png Toyotomi clan
Tokugawa family crest.svg Tokugawa clan
Japanese Crest Houjou Uroko.svg Later Hōjō clan
Commanders and leaders
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Oda Nobukatsu
Maeda Toshiie
Uesugi Kagekatsu
Honda Tadakatsu
Sakai Ietsugu
Kobayakawa Takakage
Gamō Ujisato
Sanada Masayuki
Ukita Hideie
Hosokawa Tadaoki
Kuroda Kanbei
Ii Naomasa
Hori Hidemasa
Mogami Yoshiaki
Hōjō Ujimasa 
Hōjō Ujiteru 
Hōjō Ujikuni
Hōjō Ujinao
Hōjō Ujitada
Hōjō Ujimitsu
Naoshige Chiba
Hōjō Ujitaka
Matsuda Norihide
Narita Ujinaga
Army of the Tōkaidō: 170,000
Army of the Tōsandō: 35,000
Navy: 10,000–20,630
220,000 total
82,000 total

The SiegeEdit

The massive army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi surrounded the castle in what has been called "the most unconventional siege lines in samurai history." The samurai were entertained by everything from concubines, prostitutes, and musicians to acrobats, fire-eaters, and jugglers. The defenders slept on the ramparts with their arquebuses and armor; despite their smaller numbers, they discouraged Hideyoshi from attacking. So, for the most part, this siege consisted of traditional starvation tactics. Only a few small skirmishes erupted around the castle, as when a group of miners from Kai Province dug under the castle walls, allowing men under Ii Naomasa to enter.[1]

After three months, the sudden appearance of Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle took away the Hōjō defenders' will to resist and they surrendered.[2]

In addition to taking Odawara Castle, Hideyoshi also defeated the Hōjō at their outposts at Hachiōji Castle, Hachigata castle, and Shizuoka in and near the southwestern part of the Kantō region. Included Shimoda fortress at Ize province, where Hideyoshi's naval forces defeated the Izu suigun. However, at Oshi castle, the defenders surrendered after hearing word that their lord had been defeated at Odawara.

The Chiba clan, allies of the Hōjō in Shimōsa, also saw Sakura Castle fall to Honda Tadakatsu and Sakai Ietsugu of the Tokugawa army during the campaign. Chiba Shigetane, daimyō of the Chiba, surrendered the castle to the besieging forces on the condition that his clan would not be abolished. While the Chiba were consequently divested of all of their holdings, many of their senior members were taken into service by Tokugawa retainer Ii Naomasa, thanks to aid he had received many years earlier from the clan during the occupation of Takeda Katsuyori's Tsutsujigasaki Castle.[3]


Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of Hideyoshi's top generals, was given the Hōjō lands. Though Hideyoshi could not have guessed it at the time, this would turn out to be a great stepping-stone towards Tokugawa's attempts at conquest and the office of shogun.

The tea master Yamanoue Sōji was at the service of the Odawara lords. He was sentenced to death by torture.

In popular cultureEdit

The siege of Odawara is the climax of Hideyoshi's story in the video game Samurai Warriors 2. Due to the sheer size of Odawara Castle in the game, it is divided into two stages, the eastern side besieged by the Tokugawa, Chōsokabe (in Xtreme Legends only), Shimazu, and Date armies, and the western side besieged by the Toyotomi main army.

In the Sengoku Basara Season 2 anime, Odawara Castle was the setting for the fight between Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Date Masamune. Hideyoshi was killed in the castle at Masamune's hands. Afterward, Ishida Mitsunari went to the castle to grieve his master's demise.


  1. ^ Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co. p. 241. ISBN 9781854095237.
  2. ^ "石垣山一夜城歴史公園" (in Japanese). 小田原観光. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  3. ^ Chiba-ki, Takayama Kiyotaka
  • Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan: 1334–1615. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Takayama, Kiyotaka (1893). Chiba-ki (千葉記). Tokyo: Keizai Zasshisha.

External linksEdit