Meiseireijin-toride was likely built as a branch fortification of Karasaki Castle on the way to Teshiro Castle, but its exact history is unclear. The name suggests a religious function so perhaps it was also used as a place to consecrate the ridge and castle mount? But that may have been ancillary or subsequnt to its military function.
When I arrived at the ruins of Meiseireijin-toride, I thought I had already come across Karasakijō, which is where I was heading. I couldn't mistake earthworks as anything other than castle-related. I checked my positioning and saw that I still had a little way to go before reaching Karasakijō, however. It was only later that I was able to identify this site as the ruins of a small fort called Meiseireijin-toride. The toride consists of a central bailey with a lower sub-bailey and a rear dorui (earthen rampart) segement, now lined with hokora (mini-shrines). Beyond the dorui is a sizable trench complex with a deep horikiri (trench) and tatebori (climbing moats) on both sides.
|English Name||Meiseireijin Fort|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Horikiri, Tatebori, Kuruwa, Dorui, Koshikuruwa|
|Access||Hiking trail via Karasaki Castle|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Mountain|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 32' 53.59" N, 138° 9' 37.04" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|