Siege of Miki

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The long siege of Miki castle came about as a result of Oda Nobunaga's push westward against the Mori clan. The lord of Miki, Bessho Nagaharu, had initially supported Nobunaga but broke away following the rebellion of Oda vassal Araki Murashige in 1578. Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, Nobunaga's commander of the westward push, attacked the Bessho domain and began to reduce Miki's outer forts. Miki itself proved a tough nut to crack. Miki was vital to the continued defense of the Ishiyama Honganji in Settsu and the Mori were therefore determined to see that it held. Supplies were shipped in and Bessho held out tenaciously. Even when the Bessho's Hirayama Castle fell in 1579 (resulting in the death of Nagaharu's brother Harusada) and the noose around Miki tightened, the Bessho held out. Yet, in 1580, the gradually thinning stream of Mori supplies became a trickle and then dried up as the Oda were finally able to blockade the castle from all sides. Seeing that further resistance would only doom his men to starvation, Nagaharu agreed to surrender the castle. Nagaharu, his brother Tomoyuki, and advisor Goto Motokuni all commited suicide and the garrison was spared. In a postscript to this battle, Hideyoshi spared Goto Motoaki's young son Mototsugu and placed him in the care of Kuroda Kanbei. Mototsugu, better known as Gotobei, would be one of the most valiant of the defenders of Osaka Castle and the Toyotomi cause in 1614-1615.