|Admin's Rating||★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆|
|Historical Site||National Historic Site|
|Location||Ranzan, Saitama Pref.|
|Access||Musashi Ranzan (Tobu Tojo Line), 15 min walk|
|Visited||November 11, 2010; Feb 14, 2015|
|Notes||The museum has materials for the other castles and a nice little book of hiking trails through these and other historical sites.|
A fortified home was built on this site by Hatakeyama Shigetada in 1187, but there are no confirmed remains from that time. Hatakeyama was a well known samurai from the Genpei war who started fighting on the side of the Taira but switched to the Minamoto at the Battle of Dan-no-ura. This location was very suited to watch over the Kamakura Road and protect the area from any forces that would come up from Kamakura.
The site was more formally used as a castle from 1487-1505 for the battles between Yamanouchi Uesugi and Ougigayatsu Uesugi. It was well positioned for Yamanouchi to put pressure on Ougigayatsu's Kawagoe Castle. The castle layout and territory you see today is from this time period. It is not clear what happened to the castle after the Hojo invaded in 1546. Some theories say that the Hojo continued to use it as a staging point from which to send out their forces. This is evidenced by the large, well fortified baileys that were not likely necessary for the Uesugi. However the lack of significant artifacts from the Hojo period also suggest it may have been abandoned.