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Mori clan: Winter 1545 to Autumn 1546

November 6, 2011

The period between winter 1545 and summer 1546 is not well represented in Mori records.  It is thought that documents were lost in transit between Iwami and Aki, Iwami being subject to Amako raiding during this period.

What is known is that the small Amako raiding part travelled south to continue their raiding into the Mori’s home province of Aki.  Motonari and his councillors elected to ignore the raiders, and sent his son, Takamoto, east with the bulk of the army that had conquered Iwami.  Motonari and the Mori senior retainers had apparently suspected that the Amako armies were thoroughly depleted, and hoped that Takamoto would be able to conquer Izumo with ease.

They were surprised when Takamoto encountered an Amako force, somwhat larger than his own marching west to meet him.

Takamoto retreated back to a defensible river crossing, expecting that the Amako would seek to recapture Iwami.

On the contrary, however, this larger Amako force also turned south to menace Aki province, joining the earlier raiding party near the border with Iwami.

Takamoto marched in pursuit, reinforced by new units of bow and yari ashigaru recruited in Iwami but the Amako force concealed itself in the woodlands of Aki.

During this period, Motonari’s younger son, Motoharu came of age, and was put in charge of newly-recruited yari and bow ashigaru.  He was ordered to maintain a position which would allow him to quickly march in defence of either Aki or Iwami.  It is also believed that this period marked the beginning of a trade agreement between the Mori and Otomo clans.

Mori warships also secured future trading opportunities with the Ammanese warlords and the Indonesian Sultanate.  Although the Mori clan was successfully expanding its economic base, Motonari was concerned at the pace of the war, and was acutely concious that, as Japan descended ever further into chaos, other successfull warlords would be growing their power, while the Mori could still claim overlordship of no more than two provinces.

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