Shimohiraideko Castle (Ina)
Shimohiraidekojō is also called Hiraidejō, or simply Kojō ('old castle'). Kamihiraidekojō, a castle site situated on elevation to the north, was a branch fortification of Ōjō, and thus the 'ko' in its name means 'small / lesser', but 'ko' meaning 'small' is homophonous with 'ko' meaning 'old'. By the way, 'shimo' means 'lower' and 'kami' means 'upper'. Both the upper and lower Hiraide castles are now locally known as Kojō, but Upper Hiraide Castle is 'small castle' and Lower Hirade Castle is 'old castle', though probably both sites were originally called 'old castle'. It's possible that the lower castle was built before the upper castle too. Furthermore, the lower castle appears to have been a flatland castle, and probably just a fortified residence, and the upper castle which makes use of elevation may have been a fortified redoubt of sorts.
Shimohiraidekojō, paired with Kamihiraidekojō to the north, is a minor and mysterious site, chiefly known locally as the site of a large zelkova tree. The root bowl of this tree is elevated, sitting about a mound of earth which trails off southward. The tree is known as the 'Old Castle Zelkova' after the ruins of the castle. It's tempting to infer, though it appears nothing is known for sure, that this mound of earth represents the remains of the earthen ramparts of this "old castle". If the direction the mound appears to run is indicative of anything, then the castle's defences would've ran parallel to the Tenryū River. The rest of the castle site is buried beneath Tatsuno Junior High School.
|English Name||Ina Shimohiraideko Castle|
|Year Founded||Medieval Era|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Miyaki Station on the Iida Line; 5 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||Access Limited|
|Time Required||5 minutes|
|Location||Tatsuno, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 58' 35.22" N, 137° 59' 46.43" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|