Karasuyama Castle

From Jcastle.info



The castle was founded by Nasu Sukeshige in 1418. The Satake clan tried to take the castle several times, reaching as far as the base of the mountain but they were turned back at each occasion. Karasuyama Castle was the home castle of the Nasu Clan until 1590. In 1590, Nasu Sukeharu upset Hideyoshi by not sending troops to the Siege of Odawara, so Hideyoshi confiscated the lands and replaced the Nasu with Oda Nobukatsu, the second son of Nobunaga. Oda Nobukatsu was there for only two months until he was reassigned to Dewa (Akita Pref.) and then Iyo (Ehime Pref). Narita Ujinaga (lord of Oshi Castle) replaced Oda at Karasuyama. From 1622 due to a dispute about the succession the lands were again confiscated and a succession of lords came through Karasuyama Castle including the Matsushita, Hori, and Itakura. In 1681, Nasu Sukemitsu was awarded with the old family holdings of Karasuyama and returned to Karasuyama Castle. This did not last long however, as yet another family dispute caused the lands to be confiscated in 1687. Following this, the Nagai, Inagaki, and Okubo ruled the castle until it was abandoned in 1869. The buildings were demolished in 1872.

Visit Notes

One of the interesting aspects of this castle is that it is obviously a very Kanto like mountaintop castle, yet it lasted all through the Edo Period rather than being relocated to a better or more convenient location. It also had some extensive stone walls which are fairly rare for the Kanto area, especially in a mountaintop castle.

A pdf version of the brochure is available on the <a href="http://www.city.nasukarasuyama.lg.jp/9,1282,38.html">Karasuyama Castle</a> website. You can also get a copy of the brochure at the town library located just a couple minutes walk from the castle trail entrance along the same road. The small local museum that is noted in some materials is now condemned and no longer open.

関東の山城らしい城跡ですが、江戸時代末期までほぼそのまま残ったのは珍しいと思います。山の麓や別の場所に移っていてもおかしくないでしょう。またここまで石垣が充実していたのも珍しいでしょう。パンフレットのpdfを<a href="http://www.city.nasukarasuyama.lg.jp/9,1282,38.html">烏山城のウエブサイト</a>でダウンロードできます。また、登山口近くの図書館でも印刷版がもらえます。近くの風土博物館は現在閉鎖中です。

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  • Tokiwa Bailey stone walls
  • Entrance to the hiking trail.
  • Kurumabashi
  • Stone walls of the Tokiwa Bailey
  • Tokiwa Bailey stone walls
  • Fukinukimon Gate
  • Honmaru on the left
  • Honmaru horikiri
  • Sakuramon Gate Ruins
  • North Bailey
  • Trail to the Nakajo
  • Large trench between the Nakajo and Kohonmaru baileys
  • Kohonmaru Bailey
  • Embankment along the edge of the Kohonmaru.
  • Moat between the Honmaru and Kohonmaru
  • Moat between the Honmaru and Kohonmaru
  • Honmaru Stone walls near the Seimon Gate
  • Honmaru stone walls
  • Honmaru Stone walls near the Seimon Gate
  • Stone walls near the Seimon Gate
  • Stone walls of the Seimon Gate
  • Large trench between between the Kohonmaru and the Nishijjo baileys
  • Large trench near the Honmaru
  • Large dry moat between the Kohonmaru and the Nishijo baileys
  • Large dry moat or trench between the Kohonmaru and the Nishijo baileys
  • View of the castle mountain from the road
  • Map
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Karasuyama Castle
Japanese Name 烏山城
Alternate Names Gagyu-jo
Founder Nasu Sukeshige
Year Founded 1418
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Karasuyama Sta. (JR Karasuyama Line), 15 min walk
Visitor Information Open anytime
Time Required 90 mins
Website http://www.city.nasukarasuyama.lg.jp/9,1282,38.html
Location Nasu Karasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 39' 50.00" N, 140° 8' 51.00" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2015
Admin Year Visited 2015
Admin Visits April 16, 2015

(2 votes)
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75 months ago
Score 1++
Karasuyamajō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) with remaining ishigaki (stone rampart) ruins, horikiri (trenches), dorui (earth-piled embankments) and many baileys. We went at morning. The castle was quiet and the climb invigorating. I enjoyed walking the trenches and looking up at the break in the canopy coverage that mirrored the excavated ditches separating baileys. The undergrowth was crunchy and turned up many neatly formed frost columns and blue-purple berries.