Damine-yashiki is the kyokan area attached to Daminejō. Daminejō was originally built by Suganuma Sadanobu in 1470. The Sugunuma Clan sought to expand its territory from Daminejō to the Toyokawa river basin in the south. The Suganuma, a mountain clan, came under the dominion of many stronger powers, and their allegiance vacillated between fealty to the Imagawa, Matsudaira and Oda clans. These switches in allegiance were often accompanied by bitter civil strife within the clan. After switching back and forth between the Imagawa and Matsudaira, the Suganuma came under the sway of the Takeda Clan. Their mountain territory was close to the Shinano border.
In 1575, castellan Suganuma Sadatada fought with Takeda Katsuyori at the Battle of Nagashino. As every history fan knows, the Takeda coalition, particularly its once fearsome cavalry, was decimated by new gunnery tactics, and was forced to retreat. Sadatada and his master returned fresh from their defeat to Daminejō, but Sadatada’s uncle, Suganuma Sadanao, betrayed the Takeda, and barred Daminejō’s gates to the small party. Narrowly avoiding being captured, the band had to flee to flee north to Busetsujō. In retaliation for this betrayal and humiliation, Suganuma Sadatada, having fled to Ina in Shinano, returned to Daminejō in 1576, and laid siege to his own castle. The scenes that followed were of bloodlust and mass murder, and over ninety people who had defended or took refuge in the castle were slaughtered. Sadatada considered one Imaizumi Dōzen to be the ringleader of the rebellion against him; in a field outside the castle, he had Dōzen’s head sawn off.
In 1582, following the fall of the Takeda Clan and the death in battle of Suganuma Sadatada in Ina, Suganuma Sadatoshi, the son of Suganuma Sadanao, and a vassal of Tokugwa Ieyasu, inherited Daminejō. In 1590, Tokugawa and all of his people were relocated to Kantō; Daminejō was abandoned.
Damine-yashiki was the fortified residential area attached to Damine Castle. No ruins remain and the area is now fields and a tea plantation. The yashiki may have been first built by Suganuma Sadanari whose son Sadanobu built the castle after the clan relocated from Tsukude to the south. The site of Imaizumi Dōzen’s execution and killing fields are located adjacent.
Daminejō is a partially reconstructed Sengoku period hilltop castle in the hamlet of Damine, Shitara Township. The main bailey has been restored, including a miyagura (watch tower), ohtemon (main gate), umaya (stables), goten (lord’s palatial residence) and a small rear gate. There is also a wooden bridge spanning a dry moat at the foot of the castle mount, and some palings. Other features include bailey spaces. The carved terraces of the castle mount are well maintained and inspecting the various well-defined and labelled baileys is also an attraction of this site. Reconstructions of Sengoku period forts are not so common, and Daminejō is an exemplar, joining Asukejō which is also in Aichi Prefecture. Though, it must be said, if one compares the goten to those at similar medieval sites, such as at Sakasaijō, for example, then it seems to be overly ornate and elaborate for that period.
|Pre Edo Period
|Bus bound for Taguchi from Honnagashino station
|24/7 free; fields
|Shitara, Aichi Prefecture
|35° 3' 10.73" N, 137° 31' 52.93" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited