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Sakuma Morishige, also known as Daigaku, served as a samurai and held mastery over Gokiso Nishi Castle, which is now known as Biyo Shrine in Nagoya City, during the Sengoku (Warring States) period. Initially, he served under Oda Nobunaga’s younger brother, Nobuyuki, and later directly under Nobunaga himself. His presence is documented in the Shincho-Koki, the Chronicles of Lord Nobunaga, where he is noted to have attended the funeral of Oda Nobuhide, Nobunaga’s father, in 1552.

Before the Battle of Ino in 1556, where Nobunaga clashed with his brother, Nobunaga erected Fort Nazuka in Nishi-ku, Nazuka, Nagoya City, placing Sakuma Morishige in charge. During this conflict, Sakuma notably claimed the head of Hashimoto Juzo, a general under Oda Nobuyuki, earning him significant rewards.

Prior to the pivotal Battle of Okehazama in 1560, Morishige was appointed as the castellan of Marune Castle, located in Nagoya City’s Midori Ward. This castle served as a crucial border post in the defense against the forces of the Imagawa clan. It was Sakuma who first alerted Nobunaga to the fortress being under attack.

Marune Castle found itself besieged by the forces commanded by Matsudaira Motoyasu, who would later gain renown as Tokugawa Ieyasu. At the time, Ieyasu was still a hostage of the Imagawa clan until his liberation following the demise of Imagawa Yoshimoto. Employing the newly introduced matchlock guns, which had swiftly gained favor among the samurai class, Ieyasu launched repeated attacks on the small castle. Tragically, on June 11, 1560, Morishige was struck by a bullet and killed instantly. The castle subsequently fell to Ieyasu and the advancing Imagawa forces. Shortly after this event, Oda Nobunaga and his troops would defeat Imagawa Yoshimoto, granting Ieyasu the freedom to return to his hometown of Okazaki.

 


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