Ôno-toride is said to have been established in the Sengoku period by Ôno Tarō, but it was probably constructed or at least rebuilt by the Ômura Clan in the late Sengoku period. The fort is known for its role, following the fall of the Takeda Clan in 1582, in the wars over control of Kai between the Tokugawa and Hōjō clans. At that time Ômura San'emon and his band, who were allied to the Hōjō, were holed up in the fort, and the fort was taken when the Anayama Clan, who were allied to the Tokugawa, stormed it. Another story relates how, presumably after the fort was lost to Tokugawa forces, the Hōjō temporarily recaptured the fort by using the Fūma-tō. The Fūma band have a sort of legendary status to them so my instincts tell me this event may be a latter day concoction (I don't know if I'm more suspicious of things to do with Fūma Kotarō or place names with "Tarō" stuck on the end to invent an early castle lord!). The Fūma band, led by Fūma Kotarō, also known as Kazama Kotarō, were essentially a group of mounted bandits who the Hōjō paid to work for them as hussar-like raiders against their enemies. They have been subsequently rebranded as ninja (there is actually a dearth of information on "ninja" so it is a common practice of amateur historians to take disparate groups of warriors and claim that they were "ninja"). Fūma Kotarō, whom folklore casts as a half-daemon giant with red hair and inverted eyes, was an outlaw from a desperate, rootless clan who rode the dizzying waves of conflict of the Sengoku, eventually and inevitably to be dashed upon the rocks of progress. Did he kill Hattori Hanzō? No. Did he once lead a raid against Ôno-toride and other forts in Kai? Possibly. He was captured and executed by the Shogunate in 1603.
Ôno-toride was a small fort. Now only a portion of ishigaki (stone walls) (or, dorui (earthen ramparts) with latter day ishigaki piled around it) remains - or said to, used as a platform for a family hokora (mini-shrine). Although this mound is ostensibly called a yaguradai (turret platform), it's very difficult to know for sure. In its current proportions it anyway seems a bit small for that, but since no other remnants of the fort remain above ground, its natural to home in on this strange spot.
|Ôno Tarō (legendary); Omura San'emon
|Late Sengoku Period
|Pre Edo Period
|Yaguradai / Dorui
|Kasugaichō Station on the Chūō Main Line; 22 minute walk
|Yamanashi, Yamanashi Prefecture
|35° 40' 14.81" N, 138° 40' 33.67" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|Friends of JCastle
|Oshiro Tabi Nikki