Karidakojō is thought to have been a satellite fortification of Karidaôjō further up on the same ridge. It probably functioned as a watchtower. See Karidaoh Castle for more information.
The are two fortified ridges which meet up at the site of Takinoirijō on the mountaintop. The northern ridge hosts the forts of Tsutsuhatajō, and the southern ridge hosts Karidajō. Karidajō is split into two fortifications sites: Karidaôjō (‘Karida Greater Castle’) and Karidakojō (‘Karida Lesser Castle’).
Karidakojō consists of a single bailey with a trench to the rear, albeit narrow between the rocky ridge, and terraced ishigaki (stonewalls) piled around in numerous bands to form a very neat square. The banding style of ishigaki is similar to that found at other sites in the area built by the Takanashi Clan, such as Tsutsuhatajō, but the ishigaki is in marvelous condition. I began to speculate immediately. Is it that these walls were maintained and re-piled by many generations of worshippers from Ganshōin below? Perhaps a shrine was built here, and so the castle walls were maintained at Karidakojō whilst other sites went neglected? Or perhaps there were no such walls here during the time of the fort. Why would the castle-builders go to such trouble to elaborately construct such a small, minor fort? The size of the fort is more suited of a simple look-out, after all. I cannot say. Something’s up, and there’s a mystery, but, at least, these walls are very handsome.
|Karida Shigemasa; Hagino Tsunemichi; Takanashi Clan
|1184; 1367; 1492
|Pre Edo Period
|Ishigaki, Horikiri, Kuruwa
|trenches, stone walls
|Tsusumi Station on the Nagano Electric Line; 20-minute walk to trailhead at Ganshōin
|Obuse, Nagano Prefecture
|36° 41' 59.06" N, 138° 20' 6.18" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|Friends of JCastle