Nakajouikenotaira Fort

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History

The Nakajō-yakata (Chikuma Nakajou Yakata) is also nearby and is presumed to have formed a kyokan-yamajiro combination with this fort, but the castellans are not known.


Visit Notes

I believe I may be the first person to present an introduction to this site on all the internet (including Japanese sources) since I can find no information besides the site’s name and location being listed. It seems few have actually been here. If there is no information about a site and no ruins at it, then generally it’s not worth introducing, but I believe Nakajōikenodaira-toride has earthworks in evidence which indicate some medieval fortification. I will draw (crudely) a map of what I found.

Sometimes one doesn’t know what is at a site unless one goes oneself. There is indication that the ridgetop site of Nakajōikenodaira-toride has been levelled in places with enclosures both on the ridge and terraced beneath in the southeast. In the northwest the slopes of the mountain appear to have been carved to make them steeper and more formidable (a feature called kirigishi). An old trail winds its way up the mountain in parts and the earth is banked up on either side, creating an undulating terrain just below the fort site. It’s not clear to me when this mountain pathway was dug out, but it may have been used as the main approach to the fort (a feature called ôte). There was some slight semblance of dorui (earthen ramparts) above the kirigishi in what I took for the fort’s main bailey space.

The history of this site is unknown. I felt sure that ‘something’ had been here, even if its exact nature was unclear. After the main fort site, the ridge climbed gradually and there was some terracing, so that the upper ridge may have been fortified, to my mind, as well. Eventually the ridge bulges toward a portion where it shoots up steeply, and so this is likely the end of any possible site of fortifications. Notably at this final juncture where a modern trail runs, I noted what looked like a trench cutting and embankment beneath a projecting part of the ridge which looked like it could’ve formed a small bulwark. And so I have presented my impressions of the site.




Gallery


Castle Profile
English Name Nakajouikenotaira Fort
Japanese Name 中城池之平砦
Founder ???
Year Founded ???
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features
Visitor Information
Access Tazawa Station on the Shinonoi Line; 40 minute walk to Chōkōji where I climbed up; or, Akashina Station on the Shinonoi Line; 40 minute walk to the trail north of Chōkōji here: 36.33421507908269, 137.93034165608577
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 40 minutes
Location Azumino, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 19' 38.14" N, 137° 56' 6.58" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed


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