Ojima Castle (Mikawa)

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History

Ojimajō was a hilltop fort originally constructed by Takabeya Hokonosuke in 1521 as a satellite fortification of Aragawajō to the southwest. The layout of the fort is understood thanks to Edo period castle-explorers who made maps (our great forebearers!). Ojimajō was bounded by a karabori (dry moat) on three sides of the castle-mount, and a tributary of the Yahagi River to the north. It had three baileys, each surrounded by dorui. The main bailey was situated next to the ôte (main gate) of the castle, and it had sub-baileys terraced beneath it. The bailey was accessed via a dobashi (earthern bridge) from the east, and this was the only way to enter the castle without a boat.

The castle's kyokan (residential annex) was located to the southeast of the castle mount, and was where Takabeya Hokonosuke first built up a residence in 1521. There was likely no significant development of the castle mount in those formative years. In 1529, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu conquered Ojimajō. In 1536, Ojimajō was renovated and, with the fortification of the castle-mount, became a satellite castle of Murojō to the south. Yamada Shigemune was the castellan at that time.

Ina Tadamoto took over Ojimajō in 1561. Soon after, his relative (son?), Ina Tadatsugu, built Saihōji as a clan temple at the foot of the castle-mount, but the castle was decommissioned in 1563. The ruins which lasted into modern times probably dated to either 1536 or 1561 - or between.


Visit Notes

Ojimajō is a former hilltop fort site in Ojima Township, Nishio Municipality. Ruins remained into modern times, but a large factory was built on the site, flattening the entire castle-mount and erasing all remains. The locale (koaza) name is still 'Shiroyama (Castle-mount)', and the area toward the Yahagi River is called Shiroshita ('Beneath the Castle'). Despite there being very little to see on site, except perhaps the temple Saihōji, I did find a very interesting blog post about the castle, wherein the author reconstructed the fort's layout using a topographic map from the Meiji period and an illustration of the castle's layout from the Edo period.

I'll post the link here so you can see the maps: https://blog.goo.ne.jp/shiro-rekishimeguri/e/55e52345be477efe171ad657c76202af




Gallery


Castle Profile
English Name Ojima Castle (Mikawa)
Japanese Name 三河小島城
Founder Takabeya Hokonosuke; Yamada Shigemune
Year Founded 1521; 1536
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features
Visitor Information
Access Sakuramachimae Station on the Meitetsu-Nishio Line; 45 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; temple
Time Required 10 minutes
Website https://blog.goo.ne.jp/shiro-rekishimeguri/e/55e52345be477efe171ad657c76202af
Location Nishio, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 53' 11.22" N, 137° 5' 31.99" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku
Umoreta Kojō
Aichi no Oshiro Meguri


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