Kikkawa Tsuneie

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  • Birth: 1547?
  • Death: 1581
  • Title: Shikibu-shôsuke
  • Distinction: Môri retainer

Tsunie was dispatched to assist Yamana Toyokuni when the domain of the Yamana, Môri allies, were invaded by the Oda in 1580. Although Toyokuni opted to flee rather then face the Oda, Tsuneie occupied Tottori castle and organized a defense. The castle came under attack by Oda forces under Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, who opted to starve the garrison out. To this end, the local villagers were driven within the walls of the castle and all the approaches to Tottori were covered. The defenders held out stoutly against all efforts at storming the walls but soon food stuffs ran so low that they were reduced to consuming all of the horses they had on hand - when these were gone, the defenders began eating grass. Starvation began to have effect Hideyoshi intended: the strength of those inside the castle ebbed and disease broke out. Finally, Tsuneie, after some 200 days, agreed to commit suicide and surrender the castle to spare his men further suffering. The Siege of Tottori is remembered as one of the bitterest engagements of the Sengoku Period.