Tokiwajō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) site, founded in 1274 by Kumagai Tadanori. In 1589, Sōma Yoshitane attacked the castle and although the castle eventually fell, he lost a hundred mounted warriors trying to assault the fort’s steep natural defences. At this time the castellan was likely a vassal of the Date-shi (clan). Yoshitane was defeated by Date Masamune that year, and if accounts are accurate then I suspect the losses he sustained taking Tokiwajō would’ve contributed to his losing the war. The castle site is now a park. The sentry turret you see is a mock reconstruction. This means that it does not resemble any building which formerly stood at the site. Rather, thatched roof structures were built in the honmaru (main bailey), as shown in the picture of the map of the site. The baileys of Tokiwajō are also referred to as “kuruwa" as it is a medieval yamajiro. The ruins of the castle today consist of dorui (earthen defences), cleared kuruwa, and horikiri (trenches dug into the earth). One particularly impressive horikiri climbs all the way up the mountain and has incredibly steep sides. It would not surprised me if this is where those 100 mounted soldiers were slaughtered.
I walked to and from Iwaki-Tokiwa station, taking about 50 minutes each way, but there are buses from Funehiki station, though they are infrequent.
Profile and photos contributed by AdamT
|English Name||Tokiwa Castle|
|Castle Condition||Reconstructed main keep|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Main Keep Structure||Two Tiers (three storeys, inc. basement)|
|Artifacts||Horikiri, Kuruwa, Dorui, Mogi-Tenshu|
|Features||main keep, trenches|
|Access||Funehiki Station (Yuuyuu-Abukuma Line), bus to Tokiwa|
|Visitor Information||Free, 24/7|
|Time Required||90 minutes|
|Location||Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture|
|Coordinates||37° 26' 31.52" N, 140° 39' 3.85" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2016|