Ohnoda Castle

From Jcastle.info



Ônodajō was originally built as a fortified residence by Suganuma Sadatsugu in the early 16th century. Okudaira Nobumasa was also castellan for a time. Ônodajō as we see it today, however, was constructed by Suganuma Sadamitsu in 1562 as a temporary seat of power whilst his original castle, Nodajō, which was destroyed in an attack by forces under Imagawa Ujimasa, was reconstruced. Ônodajō at this time possessed a secondary and tertiary bailey, in addition to the main bailey complex still seen today, in the north.

Ônodajō was conquered and destroyed in 1571 by Takeda Shingen. In 1576, the Mizuno Clan made the castle their residence for a time. It seems they did not refortify the outer baileys, however, and just maintained the main bailey.

Visit Notes

Ônodajō is a castle ruin in Noda Township, Shinshiro Municipality. Sources disagree on how to categorise this castle, with some saying hirajiro (flatland castle) and others saying okajiro (hilltop castle) or hirayamajiro (hill-and-plains castle). For what it's worth, I think that because the main bailey is slightly elevated, but it is surrounded by the kind of moats we see at hirajiro, that it's a low-lying hirayamajiro; it's also at the edge of a low plateau. Perhaps it's also an okajiro if okajiro can be a type of hirayamajiro, though most castles called okajiro appear to be yamajiro (mountaintop castles) on small mounts.

Ônodajō surprised me because, though it appears less known as its somewhat famous neighbour, a related castle called Nodajō, there're some great ruins here, and the site is well maintained and is slowly gaining a park-like atmosphere. I can't find many pictures online showing what I saw, so it may be that the castle's current good condition is a recent development. I even saw someone near the castle building what looked to be outdoor furniture, perhaps for the park. The site is primarily still a cedar plantation surrounded by fields.

Ônodajō's layout is of a large single bailey complex. The main bailey is handsomely surrounded by dorui (earthen ramparts), and a segment of dorui cuts into the bailey, partitioning it into two parts. To the south is the bailey's entrance, what appears to be a crude masugata (square gate complex) formed from dorui. To the southeast or maybe south-south, there is a horikiri cutting off access from a small ridge terminus / pick-shaped blob of earth. To the north and west the fort is surrounded by karabori (dry moats), and the western stretch is a double-layered moat complex with two bands of dorui (or, alternatively, the inner moat has been interpreted as a narrow terraced bailey, but to me the surface looked slightly bowl-shaped).

The east of the fort is bordered by a large pond; if this existed at the time of the castle then it was certainly used as a barrier and water source, but to me it looks like a man-made reservoir and probably dates to the Meiji period. The fort was likely serviced by wells and only surrounded by dry moats. If the reservoir eats into the castle footprint then that's probably why we don't see an east moat segment today. This eastern karabori would've faced the plain.


Castle Profile
English Name Ohnoda Castle
Japanese Name 大野田城
Founder Suganuma Sadamitsu
Year Founded 1562
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Kuruwa, Karabori, &c.
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Nodajō Station on the Iida Line; 10 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; fields
Time Required 40 minutes
Location Shinshiro, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 53' 1.46" N, 137° 28' 34.46" E
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Added to Jcastle 2024
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Umoreta Kojō
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku
Oshiro Tabi Nikki
Rekishi Tanbōki

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