It is thought that Minowa Castle was first built around 1445 by Minowa Saemon as the base of the Minowa Clan. From 1533 Minowajō was a satellite castle of Fukuyo Castle, and the Minowa served its lord, Fujisawa Yorichika. In 1545, Fukuyojō was attacked by Takeda Shingen as part of his invasion of the Ina Valley. The siege of Fukuyojō followed the Takeda's capture of Takato Castle. Minowajō was also captured at this time and was used by the Takeda. Fujisawa was chased out of Ina by Takeda Shingen but, following a successful petition, was allowed to return to his former territory whereupon he built Ina Tanaka Castle in 1560, installing Minowa Muneharu as castellan. Following the destruction of the Takeda Clan in 1582, Fujisawa tried to recapture territory in Ina but was defeated by Hoshina Masanao, a vassal of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hoshina captured both Tanakajō and Minowajō. At that time Minowajō was controlled by Fujisawa's adopted son. With the capture of Minowajō the Minowa-Fujisawa Clan was wiped out. Minowajō was destroyed and not rebuilt.
The ruins of Minowajō are quite well preserved and consist of earthworks such as trenches, ramparts and baileys. The castle's main bailey is now a cemetery. The castle is set upon a cliff. To the back there are dry moats and toward the cliff face these slope off into climbing moats. The main bailey is surrounded by dorui (earthen ramparts) which still rise about 4m tall. The ruins are a municipal-designated historical site.
|English Name||Ina Minowa Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Karabori, Tatebori, Kuruwa|
|Access||Kinoshita Station on the Iida Line; 8 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; temple|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Minowa, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 54' 2.66" N, 137° 58' 55.49" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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