The castle was founded by Nasu Sukeshige in 1418. The Satake clan tried to take the castle several times, reaching as far as the base of the mountain but they were turned back at each occasion. Karasuyama Castle was the home castle of the Nasu Clan until 1590. In 1590, Nasu Sukeharu upset Hideyoshi by not sending troops to the Siege of Odawara, so Hideyoshi confiscated the lands and replaced the Nasu with Oda Nobukatsu, the second son of Nobunaga. Oda Nobukatsu was there for only two months until he was reassigned to Dewa (Akita Pref.) and then Iyo (Ehime Pref). Narita Ujinaga (lord of Oshi Castle) replaced Oda at Karasuyama. From 1622 due to a dispute about the succession the lands were again confiscated and a succession of lords came through Karasuyama Castle including the Matsushita, Hori, and Itakura. In 1681, Nasu Sukemitsu was awarded with the old family holdings of Karasuyama and returned to Karasuyama Castle. This did not last long however, as yet another family dispute caused the lands to be confiscated in 1687. Following this, the Nagai, Inagaki, and Okubo ruled the castle until it was abandoned in 1869. The buildings were demolished in 1872.
One of the interesting aspects of this castle is that it is obviously a very Kanto like mountaintop castle, yet it lasted all through the Edo Period rather than being relocated to a better or more convenient location. It also had some extensive stone walls which are fairly rare for the Kanto area, especially in a mountaintop castle.
A pdf version of the brochure is available on the <a href="http://www.city.nasukarasuyama.lg.jp/9,1282,38.html">Karasuyama Castle</a> website. You can also get a copy of the brochure at the town library located just a couple minutes walk from the castle trail entrance along the same road. The small local museum that is noted in some materials is now condemned and no longer open.
|English Name||Karasuyama Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Karasuyama Sta. (JR Karasuyama Line), 15 min walk|
|Visitor Information||Open anytime|
|Time Required||90 mins|
|Location||Nasu Karasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 39' 50", 140° 8' 51"|
|Visits||April 16, 2015|