Aoyama Castle (Nagato)
The recorded history of Aoyamajō begins in 1527 when Takamori Uchizennosuke, a vassal of the Ôuchi Clan, was castellan. It is said that the castle is named for one Aoyama Tadamasa who inhabited a castle here before that time, but this is not verified. Just to the north of Aoyamajō was the neighbouring castle of Katsuyamajō, owened by Naitō Okimori, and in 1527 a dispute broke out between he and Lord Takamori. Lord Takamori went on the offensive and, with the aid of the Tsushida Okiteru, surrounded Katsuyamajō with 12,000 troops. However, the hegemonic Ôuchi Clan intervened on Lord Naitō's behalf, and defeated the invaders. This event became known as the Aoyama Kuzure ("Crushing of Aoyama"). Thereafter Aoyamajō was taken over by Naitō Takaharu, Lord Naitō's son.
Aoyamajō is located to the south of Katsuyamajō and to the southwest of the Katsuyama-goten, and no doubt commanded excellent views in its day (now there are many trees). A path leads from both the Goten and Katsuyamajō. I was surprised to see how much ishigaki remains here, but I ran out of daylight trying to find each segment, and my camera battery also ran dead (luckily, even though it was getting on, there is an old road (no longer open to vehicular traffic) which winds its way up the mountain here to an old broadcasting station, and I took this down without hazard). Aoyamajō is an interesting site and the layout is broadly described as concentric.
|Nagato Aoyama Castle
|Pre Edo Period
|Karabori, Kuruwa, Ishigaki
|trenches, stone walls
|Bus from Choufu or Shinshimonoseki stations; hiking trail is located behind Katsuyama Palace
|Free; 24/7; Mountain
|Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture
|34° 1' 7.07" N, 130° 57' 49.21" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited