Built by Iba Takami in around 1190, Ibajō was the fortified residence of the Iba Clan for many generations. The Iba Clan was founded by Iba Takami, the fourth son of Sasaki Yukimi, and would go on to become a powerful clan in the area. In 1502 Iba Sadataka rebelled against the Rokkaku Clan and was quelled. The power of the Iba Clan rapidly waned and they were destroyed at the Battle of Black Bridge in 1525. Ibajō was thereafter abandoned for over a century. In 1698 Saegasa Moriai was stationed here as a hatamoto (direct retainer of the Shogunate) with a territory valued at 7,000 koku, and he used Ibajō as his base. In the Edo period Ibajō became -jin'ya, and the Saegasa Clan ruled until the Meiji Restoration. The Meiji period saw the castle site become Iba Elementary School, and in 1948 that was replaced with a handsome community hall which stands to this day. Ishigaki can be seen lining the waterways in front of the hall.
Ibajō is like a small version of Ōmi-Hachimanjō, except flatland, due to its waterways lined with ishigaki (stone walls). The waterways are more like irrigation channels than canals, though some permit small boats. These bucolic waterways were used for daily life, transport, farming fish, and also as moats by the castle.
When I was wondering around I came upon a gaggle of children. They stopped to gaze at me. Unfortunately this meant one of them dropped a plastic bottle into the waterway, and so they mobilised to retrieve it, fetching buckets and poles with nets on. It was nice to see the children (noisily) taking care of their local heritage.
|English Name||Iba Castle|
|Founder||Iba Takami; Saegasa Moriai|
|Year Founded||1190; 1698|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||water moats, stone walls|
|Access||Notogawa Station on the Biwako Line; 25 minute walk.|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Higashi-Ōmi, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 10' 37.31" N, 136° 8' 50.50" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|
|Oshiro Tabi Nikki|