Osakabe Castle


Osakabejou (1).jpg


Osakabejō was originally built by Nitta Nyūdō, a vassal of Imagawa Yoshimoto, in the Sengoku period. In 1568 the Nitta Clan resisted the invasion of Imagawa territory by Tokigawa Ieyasu. Holed up at Osakabejō were commanders Ihara Tadayoshi, Hasegawa Hidemasa, and members of the Uchiyama Party. On the Tokugawa side, commander Suganuma Sadamitsu, lord of Nodajō, was in charge of capturing Osakabejō. He purportedly said "I can capture such an unworthy castle in a single move!". Indeed, Osakabejō rapidly fell to the attackers. Suganuma clansmen held the castle thereafter.

There is a folkloric tale that when Osakabejō fell, the castellan's beautiful daughter, rather than become war booty or worse, took herself down to a pond by the fort and drowned herself there. Whereupon she transformed into a large snake which looked like a kinraku (golden brocade). The pond became known as the Kinraku Pond, but it was later drained.

In 1573, Takeda Shingen won the battle of Mikataǵahara, which took place nearby, and his forces occupied Osakabejō.

Visit Notes

Osakabejō is a hirayamajiro (hill-and-plains castle) ruin in the Nakagawa neighbourhood of Hosoe Township, Hamana Ward, Hamamatsu Municipality. The hilltop fort was made up of a smaller and larger hill with a trench-like depression between them. The smaller hill now hosts a shrine. The larger hill hosted the fort's main bailey with some terraced baileys below. Even though the main bailey contains significant dorui (earthen ramparts) to the rear of the bailey, I found it impossible to reach the back of the bailey because it is too overgrown with bamboo (pictures online show a sign reading 'great earthen ramparts (ôdorui 大土塁)'). Yogo-sensei also met with the same difficulty, describing the ruins as 'a hell of fallen bamboo (tōchiku jigoku 倒竹地獄)'. I also found the site to be nestings grounds for cormorants who were engaged in noisy conversation overhead, so that the scene was like a busy jungle. To the southwest was the fort's kyokan (residential area), now a field, and there is a tiny sign along the path to the shrine here reading manor hall site (yakata-ato 館跡)'.

  • Karabori (dry moat)

Castle Profile
English Name Osakabe Castle
Japanese Name 刑部城
Founder Nitta Nyūdō
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Kuruwa, Karabori, &c.
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Kiga Station on the Tenryū-Hamana Line; 15 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 48' 18.11" N, 137° 39' 36.22" E
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Added to Jcastle 2024
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Shiseki Yawa

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