Yamazaki Fort (Chikuma)

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ChikumaYamazakiToride (12).JPG


According to historian Hirayama Masaru (and I think we can trust him with a name like that!), Yamazaki-toride was the "Ônodajō" which Uesugi Kenshin ordered Imokawa Chikamasa to construct in 1583, following the fall of the Takeda Clan. (Omi) Village tradition holds that it was originally built before this time by the Omi Clan, and that one of their knights, Yoshiike Awaji, was the garrison commander. Another possibility is that the fort was built as a redoubt to protect the manor house of Yamazaki Mokubē, which was located to the north. Yet another theory is that it was a fort used by the Iga-Hattori Clan, a branch of family of the Ogasawara who ruled Shinano Province. Given the late construction date of 1583 for the Imokawa theory, it's possible that one or more of the theories were true at earlier times. From what little remains of the fort it's difficult to tell, but the ruins appear to date to the Sengoku period. If this was a Uesugi fort then it would've facilitated their reinforcements in the area arriving to do battle with the Ogasawara at Aoyagijō during the Tenshōjingo War. Yamazaki-toride may have functioned as an auxiliary fort of Asakajō, an allied fortification on the opposite mountain. Due to the small size of the fort it probably played a supporting rather than main role during that conflict in protecting the route to the Kawanakajima area.

Visit Notes

Yamazaki-toride is a small fort on the edge of a mountain directly opposite Asakajō. Toride means "small fort". There are the remains of a respectable horikiri (trench), and a single bailey complex with a central enclosure ringed by an obikuruwa (belt bailey). I also noticed pits which were likely the remains of wells. It's not much but honestly not all that disappointing for a toride ruin either! The ruin sits above a shrine. The path to the shrine goes through a cluster of old homes which are all abandoned, the site of Yoshiike Awaji Yashiki.

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  • Main Bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Yamazaki Fort (Chikuma)
Japanese Name 筑摩山崎砦
Alternate Names Ônodajō
Founder Imokawa Chikamasa
Year Founded 1583
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Horikiri, Obikuruwa, Kuruwa
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Kamuriki Station on the Shinonoi Line; 20 minute walk to trailhead
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 40 minutes
Location Chikuhoku, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 27' 14.98" N, 138° 3' 58.00" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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