Ina Kasuga Castle
Kasuga Castle is said to have been built by the Inabe Clan before being taken over by the Kasuga Clan, who renamed it. The date of the castle's initial construction is uknown but it possibly was built by Inabe Shigeyoshi by 1534, according to a reference in the 『伊那武鑑根元記』. After Inabe Shigenari, the Inabe Clan split into the Kasuga Clan at Kasugajō and the Tonojima Clan at Tonojima Castle under Tonojima Shigekuni. The castle saw action during Takeda Shingen's push into the area. Under Takeda hegemony, Kasugajō became a branch castle of Takato Castle.
When Oda Nobunaga invaded the area in 1582, Kasuga Masayoshi was lord of Kasugajō. He was a vassal of Nishina Morinobu, and was killed in action during the siege of Takatôjō. According to the 『甲信侵攻』(Kōshin Shinkō), Kasugajō was beseiged and fell at this time. Thereafter Kasugajō was abandoned.
Kasugajō in Ina, not to be confused with Kasugayamajō in Echigo, is a well maintained park and castle ruin not far from Ina City Station. It features three principal kuruwa (baileys), dorui (earth-piled ramparts) and karabori (dry moats). The castle is situated along a promintory overlooking the plain, built in a simple but effective ladder-style layout (梯郭式縄張), with the third bailey at the start of the castle furthest out, followed by the second, and then with the main bailey at the head of the promintory. The second bailey partially wraps around the main bailey forming a sort of "P" shape. In between the third and second, and second and main bailey, are deep, impressive dry moats, running from one edge of the peninsula of cliff to the other. Beneath the shukuruwa (main bailey) is a koshiguruwa (minor bailey), forming a sort of lip in the cliff.
The path to the castle today brings one to the karabori inbetween the ninokuruwa and sannokuruwa. Probably a karabori also existed beyond the sannokuruwa to the castle's rear but it has been filled in now. I had a big day ahead of me so I came to Kasugajō early at around 6am. It had already gotten quite light out. At the castle site I was surprised to hear how loud nesting herons were, since usually they're eerily silent when out and about. There is no information about the castle on site, other than the name.
|English Name||Ina Kasuga Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Kuruwa, Koshikuruwa, Karabori, Dorui|
|Access||Ina-shi Station on the Iida Line; 15 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; park|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Ina, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 50' 13.56" N, 137° 56' 54.49" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|