Komaki Castle 小牧城
donjon
Picture Donated by Raymond W.
Founder Oda Nobunaga
Oda
Year 1563
Type Mountaintop
Condition Reconstructed
Reconstructed 1968 (concrete)
Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Location Komaki, Aichi Prefecture
Map Google Map
Access Komaki Station (Meitetsu Komaki Line), 10 minutes by bus
Website Komaki City: Komakiyama Park
Visited April 1996
Notes Komaki-jo has a very interesting location. In the middle of a huge plain with no relief whatsoever is a large hill called Mt. Komaki. Komaki-jo sits atop this mountain with an incredible view of the whole area. It's the ideal location for a castle. Unfortunately, the top of the mountain/hill is fairly small and most of it is wooded so it's almost impossible to get a picture better than this from the ground. The whole mountain is designated as a National Historic Site.
History

Komaki Castle followed Nagoya Castle (different from modern day Nagoya Castle) and Kiyosu Castle becoming Oda Nobunaga's third castle. After Nobunaga secured Mikawa province (eastern Aichi prefecture) by an alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu, he set his sights on invading the Mino province (Gifu prefecture). To that end he built Komaki-jo in 1563.

It is said that when Nobunaga decided to build Komaki-jo he sensed that his vassals would object to moving so far from their present home of Kiyosu-jo. So that his people couldn't object, he first suggested that they build a castle on top of Ninomiya mountain in Inuyama. Ninomiya mountain is very steep and it would be a difficult place to build a castle. As soon as they objected the Ninomiya plan Nobunaga suggested Mt. Komaki instead. Having just turned down their lord's first plan, they couldn't object to his second idea too so they moved to Komaki without complaint. Nobunaga stayed in Komaki-jo until he defeated Saito Tatsuoki in 1567 and conquered Mino privince. Nobunaga then moved into Gifu-jo.

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  • noopy2476    May 31, 2015 at 05:34 PM
    The Komaki Histrical Museum will be closed from Monday, June 8 until Thursday, October 15 in orde to start construction work for an earthquake-proof building.
  • Eric    March 29, 2014 at 07:28 AM
    Thanks Noopy. It's great to see all the excitement around the new excavations at Komaki Castle. I hope it is made available for everyone to see.
  • noopy2476    March 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM
    The result of 6th excavation study has been published on March 2nd. It says the huge big stone wall has discoverd on the north west side slope. The size is 6 tons of weight. The stone wall height is 3.5m. The big stone wall is showing the dignity of Nobunaga towards the warrior, Saitou Dosan of Mino Inabayama Castle ( Gifu Castle). And also the drainage of stone wall has been discovered . It aims the drain of rain water on the stone wall. It is a box shaped stone drainage, which collects water and permeates it through soil.
  • RaymondW    February 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM
    Thanks for all the regular detailed info about Komaki Castle Ruin. Some of it will be handy when I re-visit Komaki Castle in the future. However, when I visited the place last year, I couldn't find a decent little booklet in either Japanese or English about the castle among the books for sale on the ground floor of the castle keep. There were plenty of very detailed books about Komaki Castle focusing on archaeological excavations, but I reckon Komaki Castle would benefit from having a small booklet around 20 pages or so with some history, labelled photos, and detailed maps of the castle site. Hikone Castle and Sawayama Castle Ruin have such booklets on sale, so they make it much easier for castle fans / history buffs to enjoy visiting those sites. At Komaki Castle, one of the difficulties was knowing exactly where you are on the hill without a map on hand. Of course, there were signs and maps here and there such as at Koguchi F and the site of the Karametemon, but other features were not signposted, particularly the koguchis up on the hill. I think the koguchis and baileys up on the hill could be better signposted for the casual visitor. Since you are involved in promoting Komaki Castle Ruin, I think the suggestions above could improve a castle fan's experience at Komaki Castle.
  • noopy2476    February 05, 2013 at 02:06 PM
    1.The historic sites Mt. komaki area ~Komakiyama Castle built by Oda Nobunaga The piled-up stones built by Nobunaga in Otemichi(main road) The 4th trial archaeological excavation was carried out to confirm the condition of the ruin site from the entrance of Otemichi(main road) to the castle-tower from 2004 to 2007. As a result it was confirmed that the earthen-wall (behind of this guide board) was newly built by Ieyasu to reinforce the defense at the time of the Komaki-Nagakute battle. Otemichi built by Nobunaga was found under the current Otemichi. And it was piled-up soil and new road was constructed along the earthen-walls by Ieyasu. Otemichi built by Nobunaga was trod down by passengers. there are a drain at the center of the road and there are natural stones size of human head piled-up with three tier at the both side of the 5m width road. The stone piled-up at the Nobunaga era was a waist-high low fence, so we guess that the aim was not to defense but to reinforce the both side of the piled-up road not to defense. It is said that the Komakiyama Castle built by Oda Nobunaga in 1563 was only temporary fort, but as a result of this excavation, we confirmed that it was a full-scaled castle for a long living. 2.The historic sites Mt. komaki area ~Komakiyama Castle built by Oda Nobunaga The step-type stone wall at the Castle-tower We confirmed that there was a stone-wall at the time of Nobunaga era in the south-west side of castle-tower’ s inclined base. There are only a few big stones, a part of which is exposed to on the inclined surface, but in the underground there are a lot of cracked stones under the big stones. So we confirmed that there was a full-scaled stone-wall with cracked stone base. As it was the first stone-wall at the time of Nobunaga-Hideyoshi era, their technique of stone-wall construction was probably immature, so we guess they made a step type stone-wall which was piled-up with a few big stone at a few meters high. It is different from high stone wall of modern castle of Edo Period. It was not so strong stone-wall as a defensive feature. But retainers or residents who lived the foot of the mountain might be frightened at the sight of standing stone-wall on the top of the mountain as like those of Azuchi Castle which Nobunaga built afterward in order to show dignity of the ruler.. 3.The historic sites Mt. komaki area ~Komakiyama Castle built by Oda Nobunaga Exposed big stones for the stone wall It was known that a few big stones were exposed on the north-west side steep slope. And as a result of excavation, it was confirmed that there were many stones continuously under the ground from the west side to the north-west side and to the north-east side. The stone remained at the west side of the steep slope is the biggest one, Three big stones, about 1.3m high, about 1.9m wide, remained continuously. Comparatively many stones remained from the west side to the north-west side. But at the north side the piles of stones fell in several places. It was supposed that the stone wall was built in accordance with the shape of the mountain. 4.The historic sites Mt. komaki area ~Komakiyama Castle built by Oda Nobunaga The point of the strategic importance of the defense: Koguchi (gate)-a Koguchi-a was investigated to confirm the condition of Hori(moat)-Ⅰ(the south side of this guide board) which separates the castle keep and the west side Kuruwa, Dorui (earthen-wall)-A located the east side of Hori-Ⅰ, Dorui-E located the west side of it, and Dobashi(earthen-bridge). Hori-Ⅰis ended by the Dobashi ,and it is about 6.5m wide. The bottom of the moat is flat, and it is 2.5~3m high from Dobashi to the bottom, about 6.5m high from Dorui-A, about 2.3m high from Dorui-E. An angle of the slope of the moat is 40~50 degrees. It is confirmed that this place is the pivot of the defense guarded with earthen-walls and moats. This Koguchi was built by Oda Nobunaga. But the Dobashi was blockaded at the time of the Komaki-Nagakute Battle. According to the miniature model of Mt. Komaki made at the Edo period, a high earthen-wall was continued until the north side. The current earthen-wall was low, because it was scraped off to built 「Sousikan」in the Kuruwa 003 and the current road was made at Meiji era when Mt. Komaki was temporary designated prefectural park. It is supposed that the soil scraped off the earthen-wall was spread in the Kuruwa and Dobashi, Hori, Dorui-E. It was confirmed that there was the stratum which deposited to 2.6m in the moat.
  • noopy2476    November 29, 2012 at 01:23 PM
    On December 1st, from 11:30 and 13:30, the explanaion of alchaelogical survey result will be given at the entrance of Komaki Casle by Ms Ono, a member of Komaki Cit Board of Education. Above all, it will be referred to the ruins of stone walls which would be prove that Komaki Casle would be a prototype of Japanese early modern castle.
  • noopy2476    October 31, 2012 at 09:39 AM
    The Komaki - Nagakute Battle Panoramic Version of Komaki Historical Museum In Tensho 10 Period (1582) powerful Nobunaga Oda was killed at the age of forty-nine by Mitsuhide Akechi at Honnoji in Kyoto while in the process of bringing the whole country under control, Akechi Mitsuhide was Nobunaga Oda's retainer. After his death, surviving retainers would start to fight over succession to his position as head of the family. Hideyoshi Hashiba directly defeated the rebel Mitsuhide Akechi at Yamasaki battle. First of all, Hideyoshi Hashiba put forward Nobunaga's grandson Sanboushi as successor and suggested that he would be Sanboushi's guardian. Hideyoshi Hashiba became Sanboushi's guardian at meeting in Kiyosu. But Nobunaga's third son Nobutaka stood against Hideyoshi's plan. At the battle of Shizugadake, the forces of Nobutake and his retainer warlord Katsuie Shibata were defeated by Hideyoshi Hashiba. Hideyoshi Hashiba began the step by step process of unifying the country. Opposing this process, Nobunaga's second son Nobukatsu began to fear. Hideyoshi was gradually increasing power. Nobukatsu needed the help of long time Oda family ally with Ieyasu Tokugawa. Ieyasu Tokugawa had emerged a fight against Hideyoshi Hashiba in the near future. Therefore, he got a good reason to fight Hideyoshi Hashiba by joining with Nobukatsu. Thus the battle Komaki - Nagakute was fought between Hideyoshi's army and combined troops of Ieyasu Tokugawa and Nobukatsu Oda. In the Tensho Period (1584) Ieyasu Tokugawa and Nobukatsu Oda moved from Kiyosu castle to set up base at Komaki castle. Aggression continued on both side. On March 13th, Hideyoshi's retainer Tsuneoki Ikeda who was lord of Ohgaki castle took Inuyama castle. This victory was to keep his base in Mino province. Ikeda called his son in law who was the lord of Kaneyama castle to bring together a 3,000 men force. On his own initiative, Ikeda led his troops to the Hachimanbayashi area in Haguro. They were met by combined forces of Ieyasu and warlords Tadatsugi Sakai and Yasumasa Sakakibara army. Ieyasu Tokugawa faction proved victorious in defeating the Ikeda/Mori army which was loyal to Hideyoshi Hashiba. March 21st, Hideyoshi Hashiba heard about his warlord Ikeda unit’s loss and left Ohsaka with 30,000 troops. He headed to Inuyama castle. . Employing siege warfare, Hideyoshi Hashiba surrounded Komaki castle with fortress in Komatsuji, Oguchi, Uchikubo, Iwasakiyama, Futaebori, Aotuka, Tanaka, Sotokubo, and Haguro. He also moved his own headquarters to the Gakuden area. In response, Ieyasu Tokugawa ordered his retainer Yasumasa Sakakibara to fortify the area surrounding Komaki castle by raising earthworks and digging moats more deeply. They also set up fortresses in Kanisimizu, Kitatoyama, Utatsu and the Taraga area to defend the Hideyoshi Hashiba front. Both sides had been silently watches each other maneuver for a while. On April 4th, at Tsuneoki Ikeda has at Hideyoshi's side, suggesting a surprise attack on Okazaki , which was where Ieyasu Tokugawa had been living. Tsuneoki Ikeda emerged that Ieyasu and his troops could be easily taken surprise and suddenly defeated. Hideyashi Hashiba never fully believed in Ikeda's idea,but finally consented to the plan On April 7th, Hideyoshi Hashiba organized his army four unit, the first unit with 6,000 troops led by Tsuneoki and Motosuke Ikeda, the second unit and third unit with 3,000 troops each were led by Nagayoshi Mori and Hidemasa Hori respectively with 8,000 men was led by Hidetsugu Miyoshi, the entire forces 20,000 in all, left for Okazaki castle via the Nagakute area. By the evening, lord of Hideyoshi's movement had reached Ieyasu by local famer, thanks to local farmer in Shinogi area. Ieyashu Tokugawa immediately ordered Ujitsugu Niwa lord of Iwasaki castle to march his 4,500 troops attack to Okazaki castle. In the middle of night on April 8th, Ieyasu Tokugawa and his main force on 9,300 men followered a guide man, Zenzaemon Munetada Ezaki, through Kachigawa area and across the Shonai River to Obata castle. Ieyasu Tokugawa was very pleased with the name "Kachigawa " viewing it as a good omen for coming battle, and so rewarded Ezaki by giving the guide his military commander's fan as a gift. On April 9th, in the early morning, Ikeda's invasion unit was on the way to Okazaki castle, the unit passed near Iwasaki castle intending to disregard it, but Ujitsugu Niwa's brother of lord of Iwasaki castle Ujisige Niwa began to fire guns in self-defense. After a battle, Ikeda unit defeated Niwa's men. The same morning, Miyoshi's unit was trailing at the rear of Hashiba's forces, while Miyoshi's unit was taking breakfast in the Hakusan woods, a Tokugawa unit attacked with gunfire, and Miyoshi's completely collapsed. The commander Hidetsugu Miyoshi tried to escape, but he had no horse. The Kinoshita brothers looked at him, and gave him their horses. Hidetsugu Miyoshi could then escape, but the immediately Kinoshita brothers were killed in battle. The third unit, led by Hidemasa Hori immediately carried news of Miyoshi's loss ahead to Ikeda and Mori. Hidemasa Hori urged Ikeda and Mori to retreat and regroup before starting to fight again. Hori's unit set up at Hinokigane and struck a serious blow against Tokugawa's forces. When Hidemasa Hori pursued Tokugawa, he was very surprised to see the gilt fan of the Tokugawa commander's battle standard which had been left on the top of Mt Irogane.Warlord Hori was very surprised to see the gilt of Tokugawa and returned southward to join together with the Ikeda unit. Looking at Tokugawa's situation, his force of 9,300 soldiers included the advance guard of Naomasa Ii with his 3,000 troops, the main force of Tokugawa with 3,300 troops and the reserve corps of Nobukatsu Oda with his 3,000 troops. Tokugawa's whole force moved by way of Obata castle, Inokoshi, Ohmori,Inba, Honji, and through Ichinosaka to Mt Irogane for a war council. Ieyasu Tokugawa decided to move into the Fujigane area before the Hori and Ikeda units could come together. Ieyasu Tokugawa moved to the Hotokeganemaeyama area from the Hashiba side of Fujigane area. Ikeda's unit made camp in the Tanojiri area, along with Motosuke Terumasa Ikeda brothers camped with 4,000 troops alongside Nagayoshi Mori's 3,000 at Gifudake. Tsuneoki Ikeda had his 2,000 men camp in the Koubehazama area. The battle between combined forces Ieyasu- Nobukatsu Oda's 9,300 men and the Hideyoshi Hashiba faction's 9,000 men, Ikeda/Mori unit, broke out. Mori's men attacked Tokugawa's left side, which was a week point. But a group led by Naomasa Ii responded with firing 300 guns at the Mori unit from a three story gun tower. Warlord Nagayoshi Mori was shot dead at the age of 27. Tsuneoki Ikeda was also pierced by a spear and fell off his horse. He was then beheaded by Denpachiro Nagai. On hearing of his father's death, Motosuke Ikeda rushed to the enemy and was killed in battle. Thus, the Butsugane battle was finished by noon on April 9th. Tokugawa's force's won a landslide victory in the battle. Ieyasu Tokugawa quickly returned to his Komaki base by way of Obata castle. . Hideyoshi Hashiba heard about the progress of the battle at his headquarters in Gakuden at noon on April 9th. He left for Okazaki with large force, but it was too late and the battle was already finished. When his troops came near Ryusenji area, he returned to Gakuden. The historic Battle of Komaki - Nagakute between Ieyasu Tokugawa and Hideyoshi Hashiba had been the climax long standing hostility in the area surrounding Komaki castle was a step toward a lasting peace.
  • noopy2476    October 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM
    “Discovery of Indian ink written Chinese letters on the stone wall of the Komakiyama Castle” The third archaeological excavation discovered two tiers of stone wall at the north-west slope of Honmaru of the Komakiyama Castle. And also it discovered the three Chinese letters written in Indian ink on the surface of one of the stone wall as follows; 1. Size and weight of stone: 60cm (length) x 35cm (width) x 20cm (height) 2. Material: Churt natural stone from Mt. Komaki 3. Place: Behind the stone wall loaded small stones 4. Place of Ink written letters: on the center of flat front surface, written in vertical direction with cursive style. 5. Number of letters: three 6. Written space: 12cm (length) x 6 cm (width) 7. Readable: Sa-Ku-Ma The meaning of discovery is as follows; 1. The oldest Indian ink written letter on the surface of stone wall. There was hearsay that those of the Azuchi Castle were the oldest until now. This discovery shows the Komakiyama Castle’s Indian ink written letters is 13 years older than the Azuchi Castle’s. 2. The meaning of letters “Sakuma” shows the person’s name who constructed the main part of stone wall of the Komakiyama Castle. 3.”Sakuma” means the name of Sakuma clan. Sakuma clan is represented by Sakuma Nobumori, who was one of famous retainer of Nobunaga.
  • noopy2476    September 17, 2012 at 09:05 AM
    Guide Manual for Komakiyama Castle 1. Welcome speech Good morning. Welcome to Komakiyama Castle. I am your volunteer guide. My name is ……………… . It is my pleasure to welcome you all and to guide you to the many attractions of Komakiyama Castle. Mt. Komaki is 86-meter high hill mountain in the Nohbi Plains and covers an area of about 20-hectares (50 acres). Mt. Komaki is a symbolic place for citizens of Komaki city and one of the places of recreation and relaxation. Although its height is only 86-meters, it is not easy to climb this mountain as there are steep steps on the way to the top of the mountain. Therefore, please walk slowly at your own pace and mind your step. And follow me, safety first! History of Komakiyama Castle Komakiyama Castle played an active part as a leading actor twice in Japanese civil war history of the 16th Century. These took place in the Eiroku (1558-1569) and Tensho (1573-1591) periods. Foundation of the Komakiyama Castle was in the 6th year of the Eiroku Era, 1563. On that time, Oda Nobunaga, a powerful thirty-year old feudal warlord, built Komakiyama Castle as well as Komakiyama Castle town. A recent archaeological excavation established that Komakiyama Castle and the surrounding town existed in the area of Komakiyama through the discovery of full-scale castle stone walls and ruins. After Nobunaga secured Mikawa province (eastern Aichi prefecture) through an alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu, he set his sights on invading Mino province (Gifu prefecture). To that end he built Komaki-Castle in 1563. After moving to Komaki Castle, Nobunaga took control of Inuyama Castle and brought Owari Province under his rule. After that, he launched a massive campaign in Mino Province. In the 10th year of the Tensho Era, 1567, four years after building Komaki Castle, he conquered Saito Tatsuoki of Inabayama Castle , and changed its name to Gifu Castle, and moved his base there. As a result, Komaki Castle was abandoned and the castle town was deserted. The second time Komakiyama Castle appeared on the stage was the famous Komaki-Nagakute Battle of the 12th year of the Tensho Era, 1584. Tokugawa Ieyasu, 43- years old, returned Komakiyama Castle to good condition for use as his headquarters to counter Hashiba Hideyoshi, 49- years old, who built the Inuyama Gakuden fortress. From the remains of this then restored castle on Komakiyama we can see today that it was a full-scale fortress, because Komakiyama was the commemorative place where Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated Hideyoshi. As a result he cherished Komakiyama very much. The ruins of the Castle provide us with important insights into the history of Japanese castles. Komakiyama was given divine protection by Tokugawa family and treated respectfully as a sacred mountain during the Edo Period. Today we are going to explore the two periods of Komakiyama Castle, taking a close look at the remains of the stone wall and double ramparts.  (The whole of Komaki mountain was designated as a National Historic Site in 1927, and after that, the Tokugawa Family, who owned the castle site, transferred its ownership to the municipality of Komaki in 1930.) (Next year, 2013, commemorates 450 years since the construction of Komakiyama Castle by Oda Nobunaga.) The castle tour will take about one hour and a half including a visit to the Komaki City Historical Museum on the top of Komakiyama. Please follow me. 2. From the entrance of the main route to the castle tower. This is the front entrance to the Komakiyama Castle. It is said that the main gate was here though the ruins of the gate have not been found yet. This main route was 5 meters wide, so people could ride through on horseback. We proceed from this entrance to the Komaki Historical Museum. (a bit of a steep slope) You can find one or two meter- high mounds on both sides, I think. Can’t you? These are the ruins of ramparts. On your left side you can see a stone monument. This is the gravestone of the 9th feudal lord of Owari Domain, Munechika Genmei, who was said to be an originator of prosperity of the Owari Clan. He carried out administrative reforms such as reformation of acting administrator, employment of a Komaki administrator, and the excavation of Shinkawa River. The gravestone was moved from Kenchuji Temple at the time of its renovation in the 28th year of Showa Era (1953). Climbing up more, we encounter an intersection of the running course around Komakiyama. Turning to the left at this crossing, we can find an open area surrounded with many cherry trees, which is the perfect place for cherry blossom viewing in the spring. It is called “Cherry Tree Riding Ground”. It is said that the retainers of Nobunaga rode horses around here to practice their horse riding. When we climb up furthermore, we can see a cut through the remains of a rampart on the right hand side. We can see the cross section of the rampart there. The pass goes on to a three- way junction. The main pass winds and climbs up to the right along this rampart. When we go ahead a little, about 30 meters, we can see a dried moat. From now on this main path winds up to the right and left until it reaches the top of mountain. Take care of yourself and watch your step. 3. Stone Wall of the Main Path As the result of a trial archaeological excavation during 16th to 19th years of the Heisei Era (from 2004 to 2007), the remains of 5 meter wide main path were found under the rampart. According to the excavation report, the rampart of the Eiroku Era Komakiyama Castle built by Oda Nobunaga was made higher by Iyesu to reinforce the defense against Hideyoshi’s force by piling up earth on the Eiroku Era rampart around the time of the Komaki-Nagakute Battle. At present, the remains are buried back in their original state. The remains of the main path at the time of the castle constructed by Nobunaga are as per the picture and explanation of the guide board. On both the mountain side and the valley side of the main path stone walls or piled-up stones were constructed. At a time when most of the castles were constructed with ramparts only, it is thought that Komakiyama Castle was constructed by advanced methods. Turning to the first left curve and going ahead to the place around the bottom of the next right curve, there is a 1.2 meter diameter hole. We cannot see the depth of the hole, because it was filled up with earth and sand. But there are the remains of piled-up stones around the hole, and it is thought that the hole might be the remains of a well dating back to the time of the Eiroku or Tensho Era Castle. Furthermore, proceeding up the winding path, you will come up to a small vacant lot on the left hand side. This is the remains of a place for a residence and warehouse. There are the remains of about 90 Kuruwa (plots or premises) on Komakiyama. 4. Dobashi and Koguchi The entrance of the castle was called Koguchi and lettered “虎口” in Chinese Character (Tiger mouth) but lettered “小口” (Small mouth in Chinese Character) in the old days. This entrance was arranged not to be seen from the outside of the castle. It was placed in L-shaped banks or L angled layouts on both side banks to intercept the enemy’s direct break through. There was also a deep head band shaped trench around the mountain to intercept the enemy. And at the intersection point of the path to the top and the trench, there was narrow earthen bridge shaped in the form of an actual wooden bridge. That was called the Dobashi (Earth Bridge). There were two “Dobashi“s in this castle. One was on the “Ohote-michi” path and another was on the way from Cherry Park to the Castle tower historical pavilion. Two “Koguchi”s were constructed at the same spots. 5. In front of the Castle tower Historical Museum Thank you following me on a slightly hard walk. We are approaching the Castle tower historical pavilion. Here, I would like to show you a special stone before entering the Castle tower Historical Museum. In front of Tokugawa Yoshichika’s bronze statue This is Tokugawa Yoshichika’s bronze statue. Look at the stone base of this statue. You can see many signs of wedge cutting as the result of attempts to crack this stone into more pieces. This stone was abandoned here when Nagoya castle was constructed. Many stones were carried away from Komakiyama and Iwasakiyama to Nagoya to construct Nagoya castle. You can find the cut mark of a small circle with a cross inside on the top of this stone. This marking indicates the mark of the clan (Domain’s mark; Ikeda, now Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture) which tried to carry the stone out from this area. Rocks of Komakiyama consist of “Chert” type rock (scientific name) and this statue base stone is “Granite” type rock, so it is believed to be carried from Iwasakiyama. Arriving at Komakiyama Historical Museum This is the Castle tower and it is now used as a historical pavilion of Komaki city. This is very popular and called “Komaki castle”. Komaki Historical pavilion was constructed in 1968 (43rd year of Showa) by Mr.Shigeru Hiramatsu who placed his private possessions within. He is from Ichinomiya city, Aichi prefecture. This castle building is imitative of Hiunkaku Pavilion of Nishi Honganji Temple in Kyoto. There is a family crest “Mitsugashiwa on the Roof of tile” on the Karahafu shaped roof of the castle. That is the family crest of the Hiramatsu family. There was no castle tower here in the Eiroku-Era or the Tensyou-Era. Anyway, this is the top of the Komakiyama and it’s 85.9 meters in altitude. 6. 1st Floor of Komaki Historical Museum; In front of miniature of Komaki castle town. In this corner, we are displaying a historical presentation of Komaki castle and old Komakiyama castle town layout with excavated items and relics. Feudal warlord Oda Nobunaga moved here from Kiyosu castle and founded the castle in 6th year of Eiroku (1563) here. It was a fortification defense against Saitou Dousan, he was the lord of Mino (Now in Gifu). Komaki castle was constructed using many big stones to make stone walls. It is said that the stone walls showed dignity. People looked up to the fortress. And town of that time expanded on south side of the castle and an earth bank (Dorui) was created at the south end of the town as a defense fort. This was the first settlement of modern layout dividing living areas for warriors and citizens. Nobunaga founded the town with a plan of rectangular cross streets and having oblong card shaped housing area on this then wild field. This form was different from that of the Kiyosu castle and there was no another town in the shape of Komaki castle town “Jokamachi” is thought to be the first castle town in Japan. The citizens housing area was a narrow oblong card shape or the ‘bed of eel’ shape, which means the entrance is narrow and the depth is long. Facing homes were of the same ward and back houses were organized as another ward. But, Nobunaga moved to Gifu in 10th year of Eiroku era only 4 years after founding this castle and many citizens moved following Nobunaga. When the Komaki Syukuba machi or the Komaki post town was founded in the east of the Komaki castle town in 1613, the remaining citizens moved there. After that Komaki castle town was abandoned and the site returned to its original uncultivated state. 7.2F, In front of Diorama of the Komaki-Nagakute Battle After Nobunaga died, a struggle developed Hideyosi and Nobukatsu – Ieyasu’s alliance developed to settle the issue of a successor to the Oda family. Soon after, the “Komaki-Nagakute` Battle” occured. So, please enjoy the battle scene with voice guidance and diorama. 8. Looking out from the Balcony How do you like the view or panorama from here? I feel the warring age`s romance when looking west toward Sekigahara. You may not imagine such a time because of present buildings and roads, but imagine, at that time it was uncultivated field. So, you could imagine how sublime the castle town Nobunaga dreamed of was. At that time we could see the Gojo River clearly leading to Kiyosu castle. South, Nagoya-Komaki air port. Around Nagoya station, the TV tower, and Higashiyama sky tower. East, Toukadai, Owarihuji, Hongu-san(mountain) North, Mt. Ontake, Mt. Norikura, Mt. Ena West, Yorou-Ranges, Mt. Ibuki, Mt. Kinka,Gifu-Castle, Kisosansen, 3 River Park, 138 Tower Park. 9. Back of Historical Museum You can see the exposed part of a stone wall, can`t you? It is said that this stone wall was constructed by Nobunaga. This part is facing Mino, Gifu Prefecture and this stone wall was intentionally hung over in a shape of trapezoid like apron stage. It seems it had a special facility of turret because the size of the stone used in the stone wall was the largest among the Komaki Castle slopes. Moreover, a chert stone on the surface of which the letters of Sakuma were written was discovered within the stone wall around here. And it seems this is older than that of Azuchi castle`s stone wall. This chert stone originated on Komakiyama. 10. Front of Tabunoki-tree (Machilus) This is the symbol tree of Komaki City called "Tabunoki" which was decided by the public in 1972. Tabunoki is a typical tree which belongs to the seacoast evergreen forest. So, the closer you approach the sea coast, the more chance you have to see it. And, the only place it grows wild around here is Komakiyama. The reason is that it seems that in ancient times these places were seacoast up to the west foot of this mountain. There are various opinions, but as to the origin of the name Komakiyama, they say that they rolled up a sail when they found Komaki mountain. “Homaki” means roll up a sail. Therefore, we can guess this area was near the seashore. Tabunoki-tree (Machilus) is a kind of camphor tree, the stem and branch of which is so strong against wind that it is said that it endured the famous gigantic typhoon called “Isewan Typhoon”. Around in April to May, fresh young leaves come out and yellowish green flowers bloom. 11. In Front of Rampart(Earthen Wall) The rampart is equivalent of Edo Era`s stone wall or plaster wall. In the age when Komakiyama castle was built ramparts were the main defensive method against an enemy`s invasion. So they piled up earth to make a rampart. 12. In Front of the Rest Room Let’s us take a rest here and sit on bench. I think it is time for us to have a rest as it seems we got tired. There is a recorded voiced guide, you can use it if you like. And a rest room is over there. 13. Front of Castle Town` Model (Please refer to guidance in front of model of 6)
  • noopy2476    September 15, 2012 at 03:22 PM
    2013 marks the 450th anniversary of Oda Nobunaga's construction of Komakia Castle. We, Komaki Voulnteer Guide Group is planning Komakiyama Castle guide tour on October 20 and 21 and November 18th. We are preparing guide manual pamphlet of Komakiyama.
  • RaymondW on My Page    September 12, 2012 at 09:03 PM
    I went to this castle last weekend. I had low expectations of this castle ruin site after reading the website’s description and Furinkazan’s comment about it. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found there. Yes, the castle keep is definitely rubbish-looking on the outside and, of course, there was no such castle keep in its day. However, if you enjoy tracking the development and evolution of Nobunaga’s castles, this is an interesting site to visit. In many ways, it is a prototype for his later and grander Azuchi Castle. There are baileys (some overgrown) lining both sides of the long Otemichi (Main Road) running up the hill eventually to the Honmaru. This is just like the design at Azuchi Castle. The main difference is that at Azuchi, the Otemichi and the baileys lining it were all encased in stone, while at Komaki they were mainly just earthenworks for the baileys and stones for the Otemichi. Once you have reached the honmaru, there is a tacky pseudo-castle concrete building which houses a museum. However, on the inside they have made some effort to fit it with wooden paneling, wooden ceiling, and covered the concrete stairs with wood. Almost everything is in Japanese except for four pages in English in a booklet describing the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute. After reading the English explanation, I pressed a nearby button to get the full audiovisual rundown in Japanese about the battle. The museum has only one suit of armour, lots of pottery, and a pretty cool section about the famous battle including a copy of a screen painting showing the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute. Standing on the veranda of the top floor, you can clearly see downtown Nagoya and the pin-prick outline of Gifu Castle perched on Mt. Kinka. Also, you can just make out the hill where Inuyama Castle is located. Just below the fake castle keep in the honmaru are some ishigaki ruins and three piles of stones that the archaeologists have found and stacked up in their 2003 excavation of the area around the honmaru. They will use all the loose stones in the future when restoring the honmaru ishigaki. Located at the base of the hill to the east and north are a series of restored baileys (obi kuruwa), their earthworks, some moats, a well, a cross-section of one part of the earthen embankments to show how they built, and some koguchi (gates) ruins. Up on the hill, there are four more koguchi ruins. Overall, this castle ruin actually had a total of 9 koguchis, but I could only locate 6 of the 9 gate ruins. I guess a re-visit is needed in winter when the undergrowth and weeds have died back. While this castle won’t compete with some of the nearby heavyweights in Aiichi Prefecture like Inuyama Castle, Okazaki Castle, and Nagoya Castle, I reckon this castle is worth a re-rating to 1.5 to 2 stars because it is well signposted in Japanese (except for some of the koguchis), there are enough older sengoku-period-style defensive features to be seen, and the museum, while not great, is pretty informative about its most famous episode: the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute in 1584.
  • noopy2476    September 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM
    On Sept 29th,2012 the takigi-noh theater will be held at Komaki Historic Site. Traditional Noh Theater is put on outdoors with light supplied by open flames. Noh is a traditional form of masked drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many plays have just two characters, and musical accompaniment is provided only by a flautist, several drummers, and a chorus. The festival will reproduce the mysterious beauty of Noh, among the remnants Oda Nobunaga’s ancient fortifications.
  • furinkazan on My Page    October 15, 2010 at 05:38 PM
    After Inuyama, this castle was really disapointing. No possibility to make nice pictures, and not alot to see inside the castle. Nothing in English. Consolation : entryfee is 100yen. I wanted to see both sides of the Komaki\Nagakute Campaign, but i won't recommend visiting this castle.
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Komaki, Aichi Prefecture
Komaki Castle views
donjon main keep
main keep Cross Section of an embankment
Karameteguchi Moat and earthen embankment
Small stone from behind a stone wall. View of the keep from near the top
Bailey 402 Entrance D
Otemichi Entrance F
Dry moat between Bailey 402 and Bailey 403a on the left Earthen embnakment of Bailey 403a
Map of the castle Map of the smaller baileys around the foot of the mountain