Fukujima Castle (Takai)

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TakaiFukujimajou (2).JPG


Fukujimajō in historical Takai County was originally a residential fort constructed by the Takanashi Clan in medieval times. It possibly began as a residence which was fortified in preparation for attacks by Takeda Shingen. It is alternatively said to have been built by Suda Nobumasa following the civil war within the Suda Clan, and so the castle’s origins are obscure (Suda Nobumasa may have taken over an extant residence or refortified one circa 1550). In the 1550s the castle was fought over by the invading Takeda forces and the Uesugi-backed Takanashi Clan, seemingly changing hands several times. The Takeda would eventually take over the fort whilst contesting the Kawanakajima area and renovate it. After the demise of Takeda Katsuyori in 1582, the local Suda Clan took over control of the fort. In 1584, Lord Suda Nobumasa was compelled to commit seppuku for conspiring with the Sanada Clan and for refusing orders from Uesugi Kagekatsu to vacate Fukujimajō, and the castle was thereupon taken over by Suda Saemonnojō who was an underling of Suda Mitsuchika, lord of Kaizujō (see Zenkaizu Castle). Apparently Suda Nobumasa had failed to respond to a call to attack Omijō (Omi Castle) and was maneuvering suspiciously. He was suspected of aiding Tokugawa Ieyasu. Lord Shimizu Tadanao of Naganumajō dispatched a messenger to Nobumasa to ascertain his true intentions, but in the meantime various local clans, the Hoshina, the Terao (Hanishina Terao Castle), the Yomase, and the Ohmuro, attacked Fukujimajō. That is one version of events at least. Other sources say the Shimazu also attacked directly. Fukujimajō was protected by earthworks such as dry moats, but no ruins remain, and historical documents indicate that the ruins were already non-extant even before the relocation of the Uesugi to Aizu Wakamatsu Castle. It is thought that Fukujimajō may have been abandoned in 1585 and completely erased under the orders of Uesugi Kagekatsu. Fukujimajō was located directly to the west of the settlement of Fukujima-juku.

Visit Notes

No ruins remain of Fukujimajō in the historical Takai County. However, the shukuba (post town) of Fukujima-juku which thrived during the Edo period retains a little of the architecture and atmosphere of bygone days, so it was nice to come by.

  • Castle marker and explanatory panel

Castle Profile
English Name Fukujima Castle (Takai)
Japanese Name 高井福島城
Founder Takanashi Clan; Suda Nobumasa
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Murayama Station on the Nagano Line; 32 minute walk; or Suzaka-Nagano-Higashi IC if driving.
Visitor Information 24/7 free; fields
Time Required 5 minutes
Location Suzaka, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 38' 30.52" N, 138° 16' 1.81" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki

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