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Battle of Sakai

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Ôuchi Yoshihiro, the powerful shugo of Suo and Nagato provinces, had been an important Ashikaga adherent in the war with the 'Southern Court', and his greatest contribution came in 1392, when he managed to convince the emperor of the Southern Court to surrender, thus bringing the Nanboku-chô period effectively to a close. Yet Yoshihiro was to rise in revolt against the shogunate as a result of what he considered unfair demands on his resources (the shogun requested that he build him a villa at Kitayama, for instance). To this end, he had carefully made arrangements for support among various other shugo, and then withdrew his forces from Kyoto to the city of Sakai. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu initially attempted to solve the crisis peacefully, but finding Yoshihiro determined to fight, elected to make the first move. He gathered an army composed of the Hatakeyama, Hosokawa, and Shiba clans and made a general advance on Sakai by land while at the same negotiating with the Inland Sea pirates (whose support Yoshihiro had been counting on) to affect a naval blockade. Yoshihiro's rebellion quickly began to come undone, in part due to Yoshimitsu's prompt response and also due to a good deal of promised support from the Kanrei Ashikaga Mitsukane and others failing to materialize. At the same time, Yoshihiro's Iwami and Izumi troops proved incompletely unreliable. Ôuchi resistance was nonetheless stubborn, but in the 12th month of 1399 shogunate troops managed to set fire to the city. Amid an all-out assault by Yoshimitsu's forces, Yoshihiro commited suicide.

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