Hei Yorikuni first built a castle on this site around 1063. Asakura Takakiyo defeated the Hei and made his son, Yasutaka, lord of the castle. Yasutaka took the surname of Yagi and the Yagi clan continued to rule for over 300 years. The Yagi were allied with the Yamana as one of the Yamana's four top lords. For Nobunaga's incursions into the Hyogo area, Hashiba Hideyoshi established his base at the original Himeji Castle and battled on multiple fronts at the same time. In his second attempt (1577 and 1580) Yagi Castle fell to Hideyoshi. In 1585, Bessho Shigemune, became the new lord of the castle under Nobunaga. Shigemune died in 1591 and his son Yoshiharu became the new lord of the castle. Yoshiharu sided with the Western lords for the Battle of Sekigahara. After the battle, he was removed from Yagi Castle and the castle was abandoned.
The original castle built by Hei was at the top of the mountain and was mainly comprised of moats and earthen embankments. Today this castle is call the tsuchijiro (土城), or earthen castle. When Bessho became the new lord of the castle, he found the mountaintop castle to be too inconvenient so he built a stone walled castle farther down the mountain. Both the earthen castle and the stone castle show signs of renovation during the Sengoku Period so there is evidence that the castle was used to it's fullest at this time too. The two different styles of castle in the same location at the same time make it an important castle and a registered National Historic Site.
The interesting point about Yagi Castle is that there is an older style mountaintop castle at the top of the mountain with no stone walls and a newer style castle with stonework around the honmaru partway down the mountain built in the late Sengoku Period. In other words you can see two different periods and types of castles at the same site. The castle at the top also shows signs of being renovated in the late Sengoku Period so it is likely that both sites were used together for same time. The stonework around the Honmaru of the stone walled castle is not the strongest and is only found at the Honmaru so it is thought that this stonework was more for the purposes of displaying the lord's strength than being of any solid defensive ability.
|English Name||Yagi Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Yoka Sta. (San'in Line), Zentan Bus 16 mins to Shimoyagi Bus Stop|
|Visitor Information||There is a sign in front of the Shimoyagi Bus Stop pointing to the castle. Please check bus schedules carefully and ask at the bus counter at Yoka Station for the next bus to Shimoyagi. There is only about 1 per hour.|
|Time Required||120 mins|
|Location||Yabu, Hyogo Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 23' 15", 134° 42' 43"|
|Visits||Sept 25, 2013|
|Added to Jcastle||2013|