Yougai Castle 要害城
|Alternate Name||Yougaiyama Castle, Yougaisan Castle|
|Admin's Rating||★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆|
|Historical Site||National Historic Site|
|Location||Kofu, Yamanashi Pref.|
|Access||Kofu Sta; take the bus for Takeda Shrine/Sekisuiji from the North Side of the station. 15 mins, get off at Sekisuiji|
There are a lot of stone walls and earthwork remaining and the trail is well-maintained. Signposts explaining the importance of sites are low down and relegated to two sentences in Japanese at most. Half way up there is a stone statue of the Takeda Fudo Myojin, (a statue of a Buddhist deity sacred to Takeda Shingen and carved with the likeness of his face), similar to the famous one at Erin-ji temple at Enzan. There is a monument to the birth of Lord Takeda Shingen at the top. The trail seems to be popular amongst joggers and there is a course from Tsutsujigasaki to Yougai-san.
Notes and history by Kris
|History||Built in 1520 (Eisho 17) by Takeda Nobutora. This site served as a regional centre and office for the Takeda clan and also as a fortress or stronghold to retreat to in case Tsutsujigasaki Yakata was ever attacked. In contrast to the more spread-out palatial style of Tsutsujigasaki, Yougai Castle was on top of a steep mountain and had lots of masugata, koguchi and kuruwa as well as occasional vertical moats, making it very easy to defend against an invading army and extremely hard to take over. It was also protected by several forts at a lower location, including Kuma-jo to the south-east, and the remains of many buki-yashiki have been found in the area around the castle. The actual buildings on top of the mountain were believed to have been quite large and impressive – there are even the remains of some rocks from a Japanese garden – and there are several hot springs in the area. Yougai-san was the birthplace of famous Sengoku Warlord Takeda Shingen, Nobutora`s son, and was held by three generations of the Takeda clan although it was never tested against an invading army. It was, perhaps foolishly, passed over by Shingen`s son, Katsuyori, in favour of his new capital at Shinpu. The castle is believed to have been repaired and used by outside forces after the demise of the Takeda clan.|
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Kofu, Yamanashi Pref.