Battle of Miyajima

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In 1551 Sue Harukata overthrew Ôuchi Yoshitaka and became the de facto head of the Ôuchi clan through a puppet, Ôuchi (Ôtomo) Yoshinaga. In 1554 Môri Motonari of Aki rose against Harukata and defeated a Sue force at Oshikihata in June. In October 1555 Sue was lured to Miyajima (lit. "Shrine Island", also known as Itsukushima) by a ploy on Motonari's part: he had ordered a fort built there, then publicly lamented that he could hardly hope to hold it for long. Even as the Sue were occupying Miyajima, the Môri were initiating the second phase of Motonari's scheme: the Môri army recaptured Sakarao, a fort on the mainland that acted as an anchor to Sue's army on the island.

Then, in a thunderstorm on 10/1, the Môri, led by Motonari and his sons (Takamoto, Kikkawa Motoharu, and Kobayakawa Takakage) sailed to the island and launched a surprise attack at dawn that resulted in the complete destruction of Sue's army. The Sue fled, and were chased by the Murakami clan navy, allies of the Môri, who burned Sue ships and decimated their force.

Harukata himself committed suicide and Motonari's rise in the western provinces had begun. Motonari's victory here had been much aided (if not made possible) by the assistance of the Murakami clan of Iyo province, who had been a prominent maritime force on the Inland Sea for over two centuries.

The Môri moved on from Miyajima, securing their control over Nagato and Suô provinces. Ôuchi Yoshinaga sought to fall back upon his family in the Ôtomo clan, but succumbed to a naval blockade and was forced to commit suicide.