Aoyama Castle (Nagato)

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The recorded history of Aoyamajō begins in 1527 when Takamori Uchizennosuke, a vassal of the Ôuchi Clan, was castellan. It is said that the castle is named for one Aoyama Tadamasa who inhabited a castle here before that time, but this is not verified. Just to the north of Aoyamajō was the neighbouring castle of Katsuyamajō, owened by Naitō Okimori, and in 1527 a dispute broke out between he and Lord Takamori. Lord Takamori went on the offensive and, with the aid of the Tsushida Okiteru, surrounded Katsuyamajō with 12,000 troops. However, the hegemonic Ôuchi Clan intervened on Lord Naitō's behalf, and defeated the invaders. This event became known as the Aoyama Kuzure ('Crushing of Aoyama'). Thereafter Aoyamajō was taken over by Naitō Takaharu, Lord Naitō's son.

Visit Notes

Aoyamajō is located to the south of Katsuyamajō and to the southwest of the Katsuyama-goten, and no doubt commanded excellent views in its day (now there are many trees). A path leads from both the goten and Katsuyamajō. I was surprised to see how much ishigaki remains here, but I ran out of daylight trying to find each segment, and my camera battery also ran dead (luckily, even though it was getting on, there is an old road (no longer open to vehicular traffic) which winds its way up the mountain here to an old broadcasting station, and I took this down without hazard). Aoyamajō is an interesting site and the layout is broadly described as concentric.

  • Castle Mount

Castle Profile
English Name Aoyama Castle (Nagato)
Japanese Name 長門青山城
Founder Takamori Uchizennosuke
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Karabori, Kuruwa, Ishigaki
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Bus from Choufu or Shinshimonoseki stations; hiking trail is located behind Katsuyama Palace
Visitor Information Free; 24/7; Mountain
Time Required 50 minutes
Location Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 1' 7.07" N, 130° 57' 49.21" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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