Noda Castle (Shitara)




Nodajō was constructed in 1508 by Suganuma Sadanori. Following the battle of Okehazama, the Suganuma Sadamitsu rebelled against the Imagawa in 1561. The Imagawa assaulted Nodajō in response, and the defenders abandoned the castle and fled. Suganuma Sadamitsu recaptured Nodajō in a night attack the following year, but the castle sustained a lot of damage in the fighting and had to be repaired.

Nodajō saw a lot of fighting during the Takeda invasions of Mikawa. It has been said that the castle was first captured by Takeda forces in 1571, but the position was soon abandoned, and when Suganuma Sadamitsu reclaimed the castle he began heavily re-fortifying it. In 1573, Takeda Shingen returned with a large invasion force determined to push deep into Mikawa. Nodajō was defended by a garrison of five hundred under Lord Suganuma Sadamitsu and Commander Shitara Sadamichi (who it seems some accounts conflate into a singular person called Suganuma Sadamichi), and the Takeda had a force of 30,000. Takeda Shingen had sappers cut into the castle's outer moats, which were essentially creeks in the valleys on either side of the castle-mount. These waterways once drained deprived the defenders both of a defensive barrier and, more importantly, of drinking water; Suganuma Sadamitsu had to surrender the castle yet again.

According to popular folklore, which seems to be accepted as fact in Noda and surrounding townships, Takeda Shingen was mortally wounded at the battle of Noda by marskman Torii Sanzaemon. It is told that Takeda Shingen was lured out of his battle camp by the sound of Muramatsu Hōkyū, one of the defenders of Nodajō, playing his flute. Crouched beside the flute-player was Sanzaemon who took a shot at Shingen, hitting him. The Tiger of Kai would die of his wounds a couple of months later in May.

With Takeda Shingen's death, Nodajō was once again taken over by Tokugawa forces and rebuilt; it then played an important role in the battle of Shitaraǵahara (and the siege of Nagashinojō) in 1575 which Takeda Katsuyori would ultimately lose. During the siege of the castle another Torii, Torii Sunēmon, also played a famous part by escaping with news of the siege to Tokugawa forces, only to later return and be heroically crucified. Were Torii Sanzaemon and Torii Sunēmon related?

Nodajō was decommissioned in 1590 and abandoned.

Visit Notes

Nodajō is a hirayamajiro (hilltop-and-plains castle) ruin in the Toyoshima Township of Shinshiro Municipality. The castle ruins are situated on a hill beneath which is a small valley containing a temple with a main gate said to have been repurposed from the castle. Opposite the castle-mount, a short climb from the below temple, is a cliff where, according to local tradition at least, Takeda Shingen was shot by a marksman.

Nodajō features include karabori (dry moats), dobashi (earthen bridges), dorui (earthen ramparts) and kuruwa (baileys). There are also speculative reconstructions of kabukimon (timber portals) and babōsaku (palings).

The fort consists of three integral baileys.The karabori on either side of the main bailey are most prominent. Between the second and first bailey the moats are deep. The earthen platform on which a shrine now sits is thought to have supported a turret or small tower. There is also a wide, deep well. The main bailey is well maintained.

The outer baileys are more overgrown, but there are signs all over the place pointing out features. In the third bailey there is a crescent-shaped moat.

This site is Nodajō in Shinshiro Municipality (historical Shitara County), not to be confused with Nodajō in Kariya Municipality (historical Hekikai County), also in Aichi Prefecture (Mikawa Province).


Castle Profile
English Name Noda Castle (Shitara)
Japanese Name 設楽野田城
Founder Suganuma Sadanori
Year Founded 1508
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Kuruwa, Dobashi, &c.
Features trenches, walls
Visitor Information
Access Nodajō Station on the Iida Line; 25 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Shinshiro, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 52' 54.73" N, 137° 28' 7.14" E
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Added to Jcastle 2024
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Shiseki Yawa

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