Kai Ueno Castle

From Jcastle.info



Ichijō-yakata was the fortified manor hall of Ichijō Nobutatsu, the younger brother (to another mother) of Takeda Shingen (originally called Takeda Harunobu), constructed during his lifetime. Shingen ordered Nobutatsu to revive the Ichijō lineage of the Kai Genji, and he became it's head and built his base here at some point; the site is also known as Kai-Uenojō. By the end of 1580, Ichijō Nobunari had succeeded Nobutatsu, his father, as head of the clan. Nobunari surrendered the castle in 1582 to the armies of the Tokugawa under Anayama Nobukimi. It is thought that Nobutatsu, who had fought at the Battle of Nagashino (1575) and formerly served as a commander of Suruga-Tanakajō, commanding over two hundred cavalrymen, was also killed at this time after he was surrounded by the enemy when attempting to return to Kai-Uenojō on March 10th. The next day Takeda Katsuyori, head of the Takeda clan, committed suicide.

Visit Notes

The castle of Takeda Shingen's younger brother, Nobutatsu? Let's check it out. No actual ruins remain of this site, which historically was more of a fortified residence than a castle - especially not the kind of castle with the grand tower which we see today. Even though the site is historically important, and a locally designated historical site, the structures we see today are all faux reconstructions, or 'mogies', as I call them affectionately. The site, now a hitory park, is a whole complex of mogies, in fact. The epicentre of the historical fortress may be considered the place where a small shrine now stands (蹴裂神社). There is a large castle tower adjacent which now takes up the mantle of Kai-Uenojō. This is a latter day mogi, constructed in 1994. It is modelled after Nagahamajō's mogi tenshu, itself a faux reconstruction, built in 1983. In front of the tower is a play area. Here there is a childrens' play fort. It struck me that this play thingy looks more historically attune to what the actual fortress would've looked like! It's less of a mogi than the keep, haha. The donjon is attached to an annex of structures which all give off strong mogi vibes. There is another building next door which is also very mogi. Also there is a storehouse in the vague shape of a castle turret. This is a prime mogi site! Less mogi but still traditionally inspired is the kabuki museum next to the park. I went here since it's on the same ticket as the castle tower. I was the only guest each time. The town's kabuki heritage owes to it being the birthplace of Ichikawa Danjurō, a famous kabuki performer. An interesting tidbit is that Danjurō's great-grandfather, Horikoshi Jūrō, was a vassal of Ichijō Nobutatsu, the founder of the castle!

This is my 500th castle contribution to jcastle.info!

  • Mogi Tenshu (faux reconstruction)

Castle Profile
English Name Kai Ueno Castle
Japanese Name 甲斐上野城
Alternate Names Ichijō-yakata 一条館・一条塁
Founder Ichijō Nobutatsu
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 4 tiers; 4 floors
Year Reconstructed 1994
Artifacts Mogi-Tenshu
Features main keep
Visitor Information
Access Kai-Ueno Station on the Minobu Line; 5 minute walk
Visitor Information 9am-5pm (except Mondays); paid entry alongside Kabuki Museum. Kabukibunka Park is free.
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Ichikawamisato, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 34' 2.93" N, 138° 31' 14.59" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Oshiro Tabi Nikki

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