Minokubi Castle, also known as Sakamoto Castle, was built in 1572 to replace an earlier nearby castle, Atagoyamajō, which was assaulted and destroyed by Sōma Moritane in 1571. It was erected by Watari clan vassal, Sakamoto Toshihisa, son-in-law of Sakamoto Takatoshi who had died defending Atagoyamajō. Toshihisa’s son, Sakamoto Tadahisa, was transferred away in 1591 and the Date clan’s Gotō Nobuyasu took over. In 1610 Yunome Kageyasu became castellan, but he was rewarded following his efforts at the Siege of Ōsaka with more valuable territory and relocated in 1615. Thereafter Minokubijō, surrounding territory valued at around 2,000 koku, was held by the Ōeda clan. The castle was abandoned following the Boshin War.
Minokubi Castle has a surviving Sengoku period Ōtemon gate. Behind the honmaru (main bailey), now the site of Sakamoto-jinja, is a row of dorui (earthen embankment) and horikiri (trench). The Sannomaru (third bailey) was also accessible when I visited, there was a pond there and an abandoned home. The Ninomaru (second bailey) is now the site of a school.
|English Name||Minokubi Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Jōban-sen, (New) Sakamoto Station, 10 minute walk|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Yamamoto Town, Miyagi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||37° 55' 3", 140° 53' 35"|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|