Haneojō was built by Haneo Yukizen in the mid’ 16th century. The Haneo Clan were descended from the Unno Clan. Haneojō was a small fort used as a fortified redoubt and look-out and didn’t host residential facilities, and so the Haneo must’ve had their main residence elsewhere, probably at the foot of the mount where the tomb to Unno Yukimitsu now stands. The Haneo were active throughout the Sengoku period, typically feuding with the Kanbara Clan of Kanbarajō. In 1560 Haneo Irimichi, lord of Haneojō, attacked Kanbarajō with Saitō Norihiro because Kanbara Yukishige, the lord of Kanbarajō, was scheming with Sanada Yukitaka to double-cross Takeda Shingen. Kanbarajō did not fall and a stalemate ensued. Takeda Shingen attained hegemony over Agatsuma and attempted to divide the land between local powers in order to restore the peace, but Haneo Irimichi was dissatisfied with the territorial divisions and attacked and conquered Kanbarajō in 1562. The Haneo were forced to retreat in 1563, however, when Kanbara Yukishige took his castle back. Since the Haneo Clan were very active it is unusual that Haneojō is such a small castle which does not seem capable of withstanding a large assault; the Haneo later used Naganoharajō as their main stronghold. The Haneo were eventually defeated by Sanada Yukitsuna and lost their territory in 1565.
Haneojō is a small yamajiro (mountaintop castle) dug into the ridge. It contains horikiri (trenches bisecting the ridge), kuruwa (baileys) and dorui (earthen ramparts). A pylon now stands in what was the fort’s main bailey. I briefly saw a rabbit here. Haneojō’s most impressive features are its deep horikiri.
|Local Historic Site
|Pre Edo Period
|Horikiri, Dorui, Kuruwa, Tatebori
|Haneo Station on the Agatsuma Line; short hike; or, drive to West Agatsuma Hospital; walk for 5 minutes down to ridge.
|24/7; free; mountain
|Naganohara, Gunma Prefecture
|36° 33' 12.49" N, 138° 36' 26.14" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|Friends of JCastle