The early history of the castle is not well known but it may have been built by the first of the Minato branch of the Ando family, Ando Kanosue, around 1436. When Ando Shigesue, the last of the Minato branch of the Ando, died the lands were absorbed by the Hiyama branch of the Ando clan. There was some rebellion among those loyal to the Minato Ando, but it was suppressed when the Ando Chikasue, the head of the Hiyama Ando, finally moved from Hiyama Castle to Minato Castle joining the two branches. Even though Chikasue moved to Minato, the clan's home base was still centered at Hiyama Castle. After the passing of Chikasue, rebellion again erupted with his son Akita Sanasue. This rebellion was put down and and Akita Sanasue firmly held both lands. He moved the family base from Hiyama to Minato Castle and renovated it in 1599. Sanasue was moved to the Shishido domain (Ibaraki) in 1602 and was replaced by Satake Yoshinobu. Satake started to build a new castle, Kubota Castle, in 1604. Since Minato Castle was a flatland castle, it was quickly developed over so that 400 years later there are no discernible remains.
There is nothing to see here except a couple of signs, but since it's so close to the station it makes for an easy stop when you visit Akita. It's actually one of the "Three Famous Ando Castles" in Akita including the two mountaintop castles Wakimoto Castle (Next 100 Top Castles) and Hiyama Castle. Originally I had plans to visit all three but heavy rains lessened the appeal of mountain castles.
|English Name||Minato Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Tsuchizaki Sta. (Ou Main Line), 3 min walk|
|Visitor Information||Park, open any time|
|Time Required||10 mins|
|Location||Akita City, Akita Prefecture|
|Coordinates||39° 45' 26", 140° 4' 18"|
|Visits||May 10, 2018|
|Added to Jcastle||2018|