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Siege of Otsu

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As part of the opening moves in the Sekigahara campaign, Ishida Mitsunari dispatched an army to reduce the castle of Otsu, situated on the south-western shore of Lake Biwa (Biwako). On 13 October 1600 15,000 men under Mori Motoyasu, Tachibana Muneshige, and Tsukushi Hirokado, supported by ships commanded by Mashita Nagamori, isolated the castle, which was defended by 3,000 men under Kyogoku Takatsugu. Otsu was a formidable defensive position, and initial attempts to force an entry failed. On 20 October an insulting joke on the defender's part (a number of Mori banners were stolen and waved from the castle walls) resulted in an intensification of the attacker's efforts, and on 21 October the castle fell. Kyogoku's efforts, however, had prevented some 15,000 men from participating in the actual Battle of Sekigahara. Takatsugu survived the siege and was later awarded by Ieyasu for his efforts.

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