Miyao Castle

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The castle was built by Mori Motonari in 1555 on the island of Miyajima. It was a very small castle in a visible location intended to lure Sue Harukata into a trap. Sue took the bait in September 1555 and took an overwhelming force (approx 10,000 men) to the island. He built the To-no-oka fort on a hilltop Itsukushima Shrine and Miyao Castle on Sept 16 and easily attacked and took Miyao Castle on September 21. While Sue was preoccupied with Miyao Castle, Mori took Sakurao Castle, one of Sue's most critical castles on the mainland. In a thunderstorm on October 1, the Mori positioned their forces for a dawn attack on the castle. The Sue forces were defeated, those that fled the island by ship were hunted down by the Murakami, allies of the Mori. Sue Harukata himself, seeing the hopelessness of his situation committed seppuku.

As a sacred site, no castle had been built on Miyajima Island where blood could not be shed. After the battle, Mori removed all the bodies of the fallen, scrubbed down bedrock and buildings where blood had been shed and even removed blood soaked soil. In the following years Mori Motonari also funded several construction projects for the Itsukushima Shrine. No further castles were built on the island after Miyao Castle was abandoned.

Visit Notes

If you're going to Miyajima anyway this really is a must see stop for castle fans. There are very few remains to be seen of this fortification, but the horikiri trench is impressive. It is also an historically important site for the decisive victory of the Mori over the Sue in a battle of wits.

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  • A view from the observatory

Castle Profile
English Name Miyao Castle
Japanese Name 宮尾城
Founder Mōri Motonari
Year Founded 1555
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access 3 min walk from the ferry station on Miyajima Island
Visitor Information park, open 24/7
Time Required 30 mins
Website https://www.miyajima.or.jp/english/history/chronology.html
Location Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 18' 2.30" N, 132° 19' 21.04" E
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Added to Jcastle 2019
Contributor Furinkazan
Admin Year Visited 2019
Admin Visits February 17, 2019

(one vote)
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48 months ago
Score 0++
Apparently there is also one called 安藝勝山城跡 on the otherside of the shrine.


48 months ago
Score 0++
It was Sue's first base/encampment before moving to To-no-oka. In some blog I read, the writer asked at the temple about it but the temple person he had not heard the story and did not believe it :)