Mamabe Castle was built by Mamabe Moriyuki in 1550 as his fortified residence. The Mamabe Clan were vassals of the Nishina Clan who were powerful landholders in Azumi District. Mamabejō consisted of two baileys surrounded by moats and earthen ramparts. The layout was a square or rectangle with the southeast quadrant being cornered off as the main bailey. In 1555 Mamabe Masamitsu became lord of Mamabejō and supported the Takeda Clan. However, the Mamabe Clan would eventually rebel along with their former masters, the Nishina Clan, and this resulted ultimately in the abandonment of Mamabejō and the clan's exodus to Uesugi-controlled territory.
Mamabejō, also called Mamabe-yakata, was the thirteenth and final stop on my "Yakata Tour" of fortified manor house sites in Azumi District. There is an earthen mound which is a segment of dorui (earthen ramparts) with a marker for the site on and an explanation board, which includes a map of the site and what it calls the Jōkamachi (surrounding town around the castle). Out of all of the yakata (medieval fortified manor house) ruins I visited that day, Mamabe-yakata is the largest with multiple baileys, and so it was also called a castle, though I still think "fortified manor house" best describes it. The ôte (main entrance area) was located adjacent to this mound. This is orientated in the opposite direction of the temple, Kinryūji, which now occupies the site. The castle site is a municipal designated historic site. The castle town, according to the map, formerly contained a shrine to Hachiman and a branch shrine of Togakushi.
|English Name||Mamabe Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Ohte, Hori-ato|
|Access||Hitoichiba Station on the Oito Line; 15 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; temple|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Azumino, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 15' 48.38" N, 137° 54' 41.00" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|