Mochizuki Castle (Saku)

(Redirected from Saku Mochizuki Castle)

SakuMochidzukijou (1).JPG


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.

Visit Notes

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.

  • Artist's impression of the castle, showing all baileys

Castle Profile
English Name Mochizuki Castle (Saku)
Japanese Name 佐久望月城
Alternate Names 天神城
Founder Mochizuki Clan
Year Founded Kamakura Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Horikiri, Kyokan
Features trenches
Visitor Information
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
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki

(one vote)
Add your comment welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.