Sumiyoshi Castle (Sagami)

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SagamiSumiyoshijou (2).JPG


It is thought that the castle mount now known as the site of Sumiyoshijō was originally developed as a small fort in the Kamakura period due to its location overlooking the coast between Sagami Bay and the Miura Peninsula. As well as a watchtower, it is also said to be the site of a mansion belonging to a Kamakura period warlord, though a mansion would be lower situated than a watchtower, and so it might've been both.

Sumiyoshijō, now the site of Sumiyoshi Shrine, was the residence of Miura Dōka, the younger brother of Miura Dōsun. Sumiyoshijō was captured and developed as a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) by Hōjō Sōun in 1510 in his war against the Miura Clan. The Miura Clan captured the new castle, but they lost it again in 1513, and Miura Dōsun fled to nearby Araijō where he would be holed up for three years. Miura Dōka would eventually escape Araijō only to commit seppuku at a nearby temple.

Visit Notes

Very little remains of the castle ruins today. Behind the Sumiyoshi Shrine is a large tunnel. It is unlit and very dark, but it has an opening further up the mountain where there is now a private villa. The villa-side entrance is blocked. There is a legend that the Miura brothers escaped from the castle via this tunnel when the Hōjō recaptured it. This mysterious tunnel is not to be confused with the (more) modern Sumiyoshi Tunnel which is part of a footpath through the mountain. I ascended the castle mount adjacent to the Sumiyoshi Tunnel as it is close to the ridge. The mountain top has been worked and terraced, and the ridge has been cut into with a deep trench, but it's hard to determine whether these alterations aren't from after the time of the castle. Much of the site is private property and cannot be explored.


Castle Profile
English Name Sagami Sumiyoshi Castle
Japanese Name 相模住吉城
Founder Kamakura Shogunate; Miura Dōka; Hōjō Sōun
Year Founded Kamakura Period; Sengoku Period; 1510
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Trenches, Tunnels, Baileys
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Wadazuka Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway; 25 minute walk to Sumiyoshi Shrine
Visitor Information Access Limited
Time Required 45 minutes
Location Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 17' 59.60" N, 139° 33' 13.36" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Shiro Meguri

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