Mochizuki Castle (Saku)
Mochiźukijō was initially built in the Kamakura period as Tenjinjō, but even at this time it served the Mochiźuki Clan, one of three branches of the Shigeno Clan. In 1335, during the Nakasendai Rebellion, Ogasawara Sadamune, the governor of Shinano, ordered the Satsumi Clan to attack Mochiźukijō. The caste fell but the Mochiźuki Clan would later reclaim and rebuild the castle in the Muromachi period, from which time it was known as Mochiźukijō.
In 1543, Mochiźukijō was conquered by the Takeda Clan, but the Mochiźuki Clan retained control of the castle by submitting to be vassals of Takeda Shingen. At one point after the death of Takeda Shingen and the contraction of the clan’s power, the Go-Hōjō Clan besieged Mochiźukijō for the better part of a year but could not crack it; they sued for peace because the siege was a drain on their resources. In 1582, following the downfall of the Takeda Clan, Tokugawa forces invaded Shinano. Yorita Nobuharu fought in Saku, besieging Mochiźukijō for a month and a half. The castle fell and was destroyed for good.
Mochiźukijō is a relatively well preserved yamajiro (mountaintop castle) ruin in Saku. Features include dorui (earthen ramparts), kirigishi (carved slopes), horikiri (trenches), kuruwa (baileys) and even some quaint mini kabukimon gates someone has erected. There are integral baileys numbering five, the outer two being under plough and separated by trenches. The castle mount rises and the three inner baileys are tiered in terraces. Dorui surrounds parts of these. Beneath the shukuruwa (main bailey) many koshikuruwa (sub-baileys) can be seen.
|English Name||Saku Mochizuki Castle|
|Year Founded||Kamakura Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Horikiri, Kyokan|
|Access||Nearest stations are Hirasaku on the Koumi Line and Higashi-Komoro Station on the Shinano Railway|
|Visitor Information||24/7; Free; Fields|
|Time Required||40 minutes|
|Location||Saku, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 16' 7.00" N, 138° 21' 52.67" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|