Mumo Castle

From Jcastle.info
Castle Properties
English Name Mumo Castle
Japanese Name 武茂城
Alternate Names
Founder Mumo Yasumune
Year Founded 1288-1299
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period


Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Karasuyama Sta. (JR Karasuyama Line), 45 min bus
Visitor Information Open anytime. The museum is open 9:30 to 5pm and is free. Closed on Mondays or the following day if Monday is a national holiday and Dec 29 - Jan 3.
Time Required 60 mins
Website http://www.town.tochigi-nakagawa.lg.jp/22kankou/chizu/ken/mumo.html
Location Nakagawa, Tochigi Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 44' 25", 140° 10' 11"
Admin Visits
Year Visited 2015
Visits April 16, 2015
Added 2015
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Mumo6.jpg


History

Mumo Castle was built around 1288-1299 by Mumo Yasumune, a son of Utsunomiya Kagetsuna, lord of Utsunomiya Castle. After moving to Mumo village, he took the surname Mumo. The castle we know today as Mumo Castle however, was probably founded sometime after this while the early Mumo lords had a more simple fortified palace on the site of the current high school and/or on the south side of the Shizu Shrine. The Mumo clan were sandwiched between the Satake and Nasu in their fighting and sided with the Satake from around 1560. In 1595, the Mumo were reassigned and a retainer of the Satake, Ohta Kazusuke became the new lord of Mumo Castle. Satake Yohinobu earned the ire of Tokugawa Ieyasu by not sending troops to the Battle of Sekigahara, (due to a secret alliance with Ishida Mitsunari) and was reassigned to the Dewa province (Akita Pref.). The Ohta went with them and Mumo Castle was abandoned.

Visit Notes

The original castle covered two small mountains with the family temple in the valley between them. Residential areas surround the base of the mountains. I had higher expectations for this site. The descriptions in my books and materials looked like the ruins were more extensive. Also, I could not find a trail up into the mountain on the right side of the temple. People at both the museum and the temple said it's off limits and you can't get inside.

There is a small local history museum near the trail to the castle ruins. Here you'll find the model of the castle. Unfortunately there is no pamphlet or even a good map for the castle ruins. Next to this local museum is a beautiful looking Hiroshige Ukiyo-e museum, but it was closed this day for changing exhibits. It seems wasteful that they've built such a great looking Ukiyo-e museum but give so little effort to making Mumo Castle, which is a Prefecturally Designated Historic Site, more accessible

Japanese Notes

武茂城は二つの小高い山にあって、その間の谷に菩提寺がありました。いろいろな資料を見ているとこの城跡にはもっと高く期待していきましたので、実はちょっとがっかりしました。武茂城は案内版はほとんどなく、城跡での地図も子供が書いた物にしか見えません。風土博物館にあるジオラマはよかったけれどパンフレットはもちろん持ち歩ける地図もありませんでした。武茂東城について聞いてみたら単純に「入れない」としか言われていません。乾徳寺の人っぽい人と桜を楽しんでいる地元の人にも聞いても東城には入れないとしか聞いていません。

博物館の隣にある広重美術館はとても立派だし、武茂城も県指定史跡なのに城跡にはもうちょっと感心をもたらす対応をしてくれないのはすごくもったいないと思いました。

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