Nakamakijō, also called Jōkojijō after the temple it displaced, was built in 1588 by Naitō Nobunari under the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu in order to protect Tokugawan territory in Kai from the Hōjō. Despite its late construction date it was built largely in a rudimentary manner, though it does show some innovations of the time, such as a tenshudai, a mound for the base of a large tower. The castle occupied an area of about 440m north-south by 320m east-west.
In 1590 the Hōjō Clan were defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu was given their lands in exchange for giving up his own. As a result Asano Nagamasa took over Tokugawan territory in Kai Province. It was he who built a new, modern castle at Kōfu. Kōfujō replaced Nakamakijō and the latter, antiquated even as it was built, was abandoned in 1591.
Several clans could lay claim to the original founding of Nakamakijō. There is a theory that it was a residence of Yasuda Sadayoshi in the Heian period, of the Nikaidō Clan in the Kamakura period, and of the Ômura Clan in the first half of the 16th century. However, the structure of the castle that we see today was built in the Momoyama period as described.
Nakamakijō, also frequently called Jōkojijō, is an earthworks castle site on sloping terrain. It features kuruwa (baileys), karabori (dry moats), dorui (earthen ramparts), an umadashi (earthworks barbican-like gate complex) and even a tenshudai (platform for a donjon). The site was quite extensive with several baileys. The widest karabori can be found north of the main bailey, which was also at the top and to the rear of the site, Nakamakijō having a ladder-like layout with the most important bailey toward the top, and the second bailey and third bailey below in sequence. The mound of earth in the main bailey with the stele atop is the so-called tenshudai, but it looks rather small for the purpose of hosting a donjon; perhaps it was just a small turret. The tenshudai can be accessed and earthworks seen from the road, but the site is now mostly vineyards and peach orchards.
|English Name||Nakamaki Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Karabori, Dorui, Tenshudai / Yaguradai, Umadashi, Kuruwa|
|Access||Nearest station is Enzan Station on the Chūō Main Line|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; fields|
|Time Required||45 minutes|
|Location||Yamanashi, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 44' 45.35" N, 138° 42' 36.47" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|
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