Kunōjō was constructed in the Sengoku Period by the Imagawa Clan. When Imagawa Ujiteru died in 1536, the inheritance of clan leadership by Imagawa Yoshimoto was opposed by Genkō Etan who raised an army at Kunōjō to oppose him. Imagawa, supported by the Hōjō, defeated Genkō at Hanakurajō. During the Takeda's invasion of Suruga, Kunōjō, owing to its position on a mountain overlooking the coast, was extensively renovated to serve as a base for maritime surveillance. The Takeda placed the Imafuku Clan in charge of Kunōjō, starting with Imafuku Tomokiyo. With the fall of the Takeda Clan, Imafuku Masakazu was killed in battle and Imafuku Torataka committed suicide. Thereupon Kunōjō fell into the hands of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Tokugawa Ieyasu maintained Kunōjō as a branch castle of Sunpujō, and it became the site of his (first) mausoleum upon his death in 1616, at which time the site ceased to function as a fort.
Kunōjō is now the site of the Kunōza-tōshōgū. It is the resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, and was the first such Tōshōgū shrine (or temple, arguably) built - before Nikkō-tōshōgū. The mount was fortified in the Sengoku Period and retained by Ieyasu in the Edo Period as a branch fortification of his retirement home at Sunpujō. The shrine boasts ishigaki, and the oldest of the ishigaki is at the top where the Hōtō (宝塔) marks the Shōgun's grave. Some of this was being repaired during our visit. This ishigaki dates to around the shrine's establishment when the site still functioned as a fort. The ishigaki was the most interesting thing about visiting the shrine for me, but the beautiful architecture of the shrine's structures is also worth visiting for. We took the ropeway to the shrine DOWN from Nihondaira where there is a carpark. It is easier to go this way than to walk up the mountain from the shore.
|English Name||Kunou Castle|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Higashi-Shizuoka Station on the Toukaidou Main Line; 20 minute drive or bus to Nihondaira; ropeway to Kunouzan Toushouguu|
|Visitor Information||Ropeway open 9:10am to 5pm|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 57' 54.97" N, 138° 28' 4.48" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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