Battle of Hetsugigawa

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Kyûshû Campaign
Takajô -


In 1586 the Shimazu had driven deeply into the Otomo domain and threatened Funai, prompting Toyotomi Hideyoshi to dispatch a contingent of reinforcements under Chosokabe Motochika and Sengoku Hisahide with orders to stand on the defensive. Sengoku and Otomo Yoshimune decided to ignore Hideyoshi's injunction and attempt the relief of Toshimitsu, an Otomo castle under siege by Shimazu general Niiro Tadamoto. Despite Chosokabe's protests, the allies made for Toshimitsu, only to find that Niiro had brought it down. They were then drawn into a battle with the Shimazu army under Shimazu Yoshihiro and Iehisa and were fooled into attacking by a feigned retreat. The allies were defeated in a bloody affair on the river banks and put to flight. In the aftermath of the battle, Chosokabe retainer Tani Tadasumi was sent to the Shimazu to collect the body of Chosokabe Nobuchika - Motochika's eldest son. His loss, chief among many suffered by the Chosokabe on that day, was to have far-reaching consequences for that family. In the meantime, Funai fell shortly after the Chosokabe and Sengoku withdrew from Bungo and, for a moment in time, Shimazu Yoshihisa was master of all Kyushu.