Chikuma Kushiki Castle
Next to the Kamihata-Amidadō (上波田阿弥陀堂) temple and Hata Shrine in Hata, Chikuma, is a signpost marking that a medieval temple used to stand there called Saikōji (西念寺) (the current Niōmon (Guardian Deva Gate) at Hata Shrine houses the Deva King sculptures of the sub-temple of Saikōji called Nakutakuji). That temple was attached to a fort controlled by the Kushiki Clan, Kushiki Castle. Kushikijō was also likely a branch fort of Hatayamajō on the nearby mountain. Little information is available but it seems that Kushikijō consisted of three baileys: shukuruwa (main bailey) and a second and third bailey to the east. The garrison perhaps consisted of twenty mounted warriors.
Besides that its history is largely shared with neighbouring Hatayamajō. It was constructed in 1462, according to the records of Hata Village, along with Hatayamajō, under the orders of the Ogasawara, governors of Shinano. Very nearby is another site, Awajijō, but that was an Edo Period yakata and their histories are disparate.
I found no ruins of Kushiki Castle. It may be that there are trench ruins somewhere behind or on agricultural land but I didn't see how I could avoid trespassing so I contented myself with having found the signpost for Saikōji. Although, there is a road behind the fields where there is a sign board for the castle there next to a clump of trees, but I missed this. Most of the site now contains houses and a temple.
|English Name||Chikuma Kushiki Castle|
|Year Founded||15th century|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Endou Station on the Kamikouchi Line; walk 15 minutes|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; temple|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 11' 33.65" N, 137° 50' 31.52" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|