In 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi sought to unite Japan and carried out the siege of Odawara, which assaulted the base of the Hojo clan at Odawara Castle as well as outposts scattered across the Kanto region.
Hachigata Castle, a prominent outpost that served as the base for the Hojo clan’s rule over the northern Kanto region, was encircled by the large army led by Maeda Toshiie and Uesugi Kagekatsu, both prominent commanders in the Toyotomi forces. These forces totaled 50,000 troops, while the forces fielded by the lord of Hachigata Castle and the Hojo clan numbered just over 3,500. Nevertheless, the defenders are said to have held off the Toyotomi forces in battle for as much as one month.
The Yorii Hojo Festival now recreates the battle between the Hojo army and the Toyotomi army of that time.
To reenact the Warring States period, 500 people in total walk through the town armored as warriors, then participate in a battle that unfolds on the Tamayodo Riverside.
A column of troops, dressed in armor and helmets patterned after those of a variety of ancient warriors, parade through the town shouting battle cries. Then, they head to Tamayodo Riverside on the banks of the Arakawa. There, a ceremony is conducted for the departure of the troops to the field, just as it was performed in the Warring States period; following that, a battle unfolds between the Hojo and Toyotomi forces along the ridge of Hachigata Castle. The two armies set upon each other with swords and spears in rising clouds of dust and echoing roars of cannons. It is truly a sight to behold! The generals even engage in one-on-one combat, setting a thoroughly historic mood throughout.
At the venue, you can also enjoy a variety of cuisine including local dishes gathered from locations linked to the Hojo clan both inside and outside of the prefecture.