Motodoriyamako Castle


Motodoriyamakojou (15).jpg


Motodoriyamakojō was a satellite fortification of Motodoriyamajō, thus its diminutive name. See Motodoriyama Castle for more information.

Visit Notes

Modoriyamakojō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) and satellite fortification of the larger Modoriyamajō. The two sites, known collectively as Modoriyamajō, straddle the municipal border between Nagano Municipality and Iiźuna Township. Modoriyamakojō features earthworks such as tatebori (climbing trenches), dorui (earthen ramparts), and kuruwa (baileys), as well as residual masonry.

Modoriyamakojō is a single bailey fort complex with a main bailey on the hilltop orbited by small ledge-like terraced areas in bands on the hill side. Some embankments and tatebori can be found on the hillside, but they are hard to make out as the ruins are deformed and overgrown. I was most impressed by the remains of ishigaki / ishiźumi (stone-piled walls) which seem to cover the hilltop. Particularly, there are corner segments or what look to be crude nobori-ishigaki (climbing stone walls) at the eastern corners of the main bailey. There's no mistaking these two lines of stone piles which stretch from the main bailey down to a terraced sub-bailey below. It's quite a mysterious structure.

I was following Ranmaru-sensei's map as a guide; on his blog he mentions the residual masonry at the site, depicting some stone wall ruins around the top of the bailey ramparts, but does not mention the climbing sections on the scarp. Everything is so jumbled and overgrown that it's hard to get a clear picture of the ruins, but I was most engaged by these shambolic clumps of masonry.

  • Ishigaki at corner of main bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Motodoriyamako Castle
Japanese Name 髻山小城
Founder Uesugi Kenshin
Year Founded 1547
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Tatebori, Kuruwa, Ishizumi, &c.
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Nearest stations are Toyono Station and Mure Station on the Kita-Shinano Line
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 43' 3.61" N, 138° 14' 45.46" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
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