Karidaoh Castle

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Karidajō was a Takanashi Clan castle built in the Sengoku period (1489 at the earliest). It was used to protect Takanashi territory from the forces of the Takeda Clan moving up from the south. In 1561 Takeda Shingen conquered Takai County, and the castle was destroyed at this time.

Though the ruins we see today date to the Sengoku period, legends and folklore place the construction of Karidajō at various points throughout history. Amazingly, one belief is that Karidajō was built by the Ainu as a chasi (fort) during the Yamato’s expeditions in the area in the 3rd and 4th centuries. It is also said to have been a castle of Karita Shigemasa in 1184, and a castle of Hagino Tsunemichi in 1367. These later associations with the Karita and Hagino clans may well be true, but the castle’s ruins are Sengoku period.

Visit Notes

The are two fortified ridges which meet up at the site of Takinoirijō on the mountaintop. The northern ridge hosts the forts of Tsutsuhatajō, and the southern ridge hosts Karidajō. Karidajō is split into two fortifications sites: Karidaôjō (‘Karida Greater Castle’) and Karidakojō (‘Karida Lesser Castle’).

Karidaôjō is the main castle. It consists of a series of baileys separated by horikiri (trenches) and dorui (earthen ramaprts). The main bailey is forward and is split by a terrace with ishigaki (stone walls). It was formerly surrounded by ishigaki. Apparently there is a nice chunk on the south-facing slope, but – and I may have been a bit weary at that point – I didn’t check there as it wasn’t indicated on my map; though I had made many independent discoveries that day, that one slipped by me. Even so, I identified ishigaki. The trenches and ramparts are the features which stand out the clearest. The trail up to (I went down) Karidaôjō has some really nice scenery made up of interestingly weathered rocks. Descending from Karidaôjō brings one to Karidakojō. It is not too difficult to climb up to Karidaôjō, but going all the way to Takinoirijō would be tough; I descended from Takinoirijō having climbed up from Tsutsuhatajō on the northern ridge.

See also: Tsutsuhata Castle I, Tsutsuhata Castle II, Tsutsuhata Castle III, Tsutsuhata Castle IV, Tsutsuhata Castle V, Takinoiri Castle, Karidako Castle, Ganshouin Yakata

  • trench / horikiri

Castle Profile
English Name Karidaoh Castle
Japanese Name 雁田大城
Alternate Names 苅田城
Founder Karida Shigemasa; Hagino Tsunemichi; Takanashi Clan
Year Founded 1184; 1367; 1492
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Ishigaki, Horikiri, Kuruwa, Dorui, &c.
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Tsusumi Station on the Nagano Electric Line; 20-minute walk to trailhead at Ganshōin
Visitor Information Mountain
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Obuse, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 41' 54.96" N, 138° 20' 17.77" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Shiro to Kosenjō
Shiro Meguri

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