Kitāranami-toride is thought to have been built in the Sengoku period by the Nagano Clan who would become the owners of Minowajō to the north. The fort was built with earthen ramparts 2m wide, and moats 5m wide and 1.5m deep. The ramparts stretch for 75m on each side in a square, with a projecting square segment of ramparts on the south side. Arawa Shinzawēmon, a vassal of the Nagano Clan who was killed in the siege of Minowa Castle by Takeda Shingen’s forces, is thought to have been the garrison commander of Kitāranami-toride. Kitāranami-toride played a frontline role in the Battle of Wakadahara of that time, and was likely occupied by Takeda forces thereafter as Nagano Narimori retreated to Minowajō to rally his forces.
Excavations of the site were carried out from 1984 and from 1991 it was maintained as a park.
Kitāranami-toride is a well-preserved earthworks fort ruin. Many of the forts used by the Nagano Clan in this area are flatland fortifications resembling fortified manor halls. As such, some of them are also referred to as 'yakata'. Kitāranami-toride is now a park. Ruins most prominently include dorui (earthen ramparts), which wholly ensconce the bailey. There is what looks like a faux-reconstructed gatehouse at the park too, though set a little off to the side so as not to obstruct the ruins. Passing through the gate one comes to an area with lots of information panels about Kitāranami-toride and many other forts in the area. After reading the information about these forts accompanied with various maps, I decided to visit also the remains of Kitatsumeno-toride and Hamagawajō. Adjacent to Kitāranami-toride is the temple Manshōji, which, contemporaneous with the fort, was also surrounded by dorui.
See also: Minowa Castle, Kitatsumeno Fort, Hamagawa Castle.
|English Name||Kitaaranami Fort|
|Founder||Nagano Clan; Arawa Shinzawēmon|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Karabori, Kuruwa, Nagayamon|
|Access||Gunma-Yawata Station on the Shin’Etsu Main Line; 50 minute walk.|
|Visitor Information||24/7, Free; Park|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 21' 55.98" N, 138° 58' 13.84" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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