Kunohe Castle

From Jcastle.info


Kunohe Castle was built by Kunohe Mitsumasa from 1492-1501. It deflty makes use of three rivers to enhance it's defenses. The Kunohe actually originated from a branch of the Nanbu family which is why their family crest is the same. In 1590, after the fall of Odawara, Hideyoshi shifted his attentions to pacifying the Tohoku region. Nanbu Nobunao who participated in the Siege of Odawara for Hideyoshi was guaranteed that he would retain his own lands and have command of the area. Kunohe Masazane, himself a a renowned warlord, did not agree with this and rebelled against the Nanbu.

Nanbu Nobunao requested assistance from Hideyoshi to put down the revolt and with a combined 60,000 soldiers they circled the castle laying siege to it for 4 days. Masazane was tricked into surrendering by the family priest who was told that all their lives would be spared. When they opened the gates, the Nanbu forces swept in and killed all 5000 people including women and children. Excavations in 2009 found bone fragments from women and children giving evidence to this story.

After the rebellion, Gamo Ujisato renovated the castle but it was later transferred to Nanbu Nobunao. Nobunao abandoned the castle when he moved to Morioka Castle.

Visit Notes

This was just a quick stop on my way to Morioka. The castle ruins are well defined and there are good signs explaining parts of the castle.

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  • honmaru moat
  • honmaru moat
  • Bridge over the honmaru moat.
  • Ottemon gate ruins
  • earthen embankment
  • stone wall ruins
  • honmaru gate ruins
  • honmaru moat
  • Ninomaru bailey
  • dry moat between the Ninomaru and Ishizawadate baileys
  • dry moat between the Ninomaru and ishizawadate baileys
  • A view of the town from the honmaru bailey.
  • map

Castle Profile
English Name Kunohe Castle
Japanese Name 九戸城
Alternate Names Fukuoka-jo
Founder Kunohe Mitsumasa
Year Founded 1492
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Ninohe Sta. (Tohoku Main line), 1000 yen taxi
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.ninohe.iwate.jp/kanko/kunohecst/kunohecst.html
Location Ninohe, Iwate Prefecture
Coordinates 40° 16' 1.16" N, 141° 18' 13.18" E
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Added to Jcastle 2010
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2010
Admin Visits May 22, 2010

(3 votes)
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113 months ago
Score 0++


Just what I was looking for.


169 months ago
Score 0++
A small castle ruin nestled in the mountains with a sad story about it's demise.