Terabe Castle (Hazu)

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HazuTerabejou (1).jpg


Terabejō was constructed in 1514 by Hayakawa Saburō, but was conquered by Ogasawara Sadamasa soon after. Castellans of Terabejō included Ogasawara Sadamasa, Ogasawara Hiromasa, Ogasawara Shigehiro, Ogasawara Nobumoto, and Ogasawara Nobushige.

Terabejō was the base of the Hazu-Ogasawara Clan, a funate-shū (naval clan) who served the Matsudaira. They were loyal to Matsudaira Motoyasu (Tokugawa Ieyasu) from 1560 after he attacked them and general Honda Tadakatsu convinced them to surrender. The clan supported Tokugawa Ieyasu during the Mikawa Ikkō-Ikki revolt in 1563. They also participated in the battles of Onegawa (1570), Mikataǵahara (1572) and Nagashino (1575).

The Hazu-Ogasawara would later clash with the Kuki navy during the battle of Sekiǵahara, though that was of course after Tokugawa Ieyasu had been sent packing to Edo by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Indeed, Terabejō was likely abandoned by 1590.

In 1593, Ogasawara Sadayori was granted permission to travel the south seas, whereupon he discovered the Ogasawara archipelago (also known as the Bonin Islands), and was granted it as a fiefdom by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. At least, that was the claim that the rōnin Ogasawara Sadatō made in 1727. But in 1735 it was discovered that his claims were fraudulent, and he was sent into exile by the Shogunate. It is not known whether Ogasawara Sadayori even existed. The Ogasawara island group was first documented by Spaniard Bernardo de la Torre in 1543, and the Japanese claimed them in 1670. The islands were simply called 'Buninjima', meaning 'uninhabited islands', thus giving them their name, 'Bonin'. However, due to these later claims, the name 'Ogasawara' also stuck in Japanese.

Visit Notes

Terabejō is a hilltop fort ruin in Terabe Township, a hilly peninsula in Mikawa Bay between the townships of Higashi-Hazu and Nishi-Hazu in Nishio Municipality. The fort ruins are situated on a low hill on a plateau with good views of the bay. Ruins feature earthworks such as dorui (earthen ramparts), kuruwa (baileys) and trenches. The site is for the most part maintained as a park and shrine, and some babōsaku (cheval de frise) has been erected atop of the dorui in the main bailey. There is a walkway going by a tatebori (dropping moat), but a landslide has knocked it out of place, so that it is safer to walk on the displaced earth instead.

The fort's layout consists of two parts: an eastern fort and a western fort, with a large karabori (dry moat) between. The eastern section seems to be a series of terraced bailey spaces, but it is now used as an orchard for citrus fruits and the terrain may have been augmented heavily for this purpose.

The western part of the castle is larger and better preserved. There are at least three integral baileys here. The main bailey contains a shrine and has prominent dorui segments in the east and north, with babōsaku atop. The second bailey spreads out to the west, and beneath it is a third bailey which is a koshikuruwa (terraced bailey). To the north of the second bailey there appears to be a tatebori with dorui embanked to the side, protecting a lower bailey, but it's not easily accessible.

Koaza (neighbourhood names) such as Baba ('Stables') and Shirokoshi remain in the vicinity of the castle-mount. This may indicate that the castle's footprint also extended inland on the plateau side. There is a significant drop in terrain on the coastal side.

Note: this is Hazu-Terabejō in historical Hazu County (analogous to modern Nishio Municipality), not to be confused with Terabejō in historical Kamo County (analogous to modern Toyota Muncipality), both in Aichi Prefecture and Mikawa Province. Incidentally, the bay-facing stretch of coast where Hazu-Terabejō is located is itself called Hazu (probably the name of a court era township), and this is where the name of the county comes from.

  • Dorui (earthen ramparts) with cheval de frise atop
  • Karabori (dry moat)

Castle Profile
English Name Terabe Castle (Hazu)
Japanese Name 幡豆寺部城
Alternate Names Hazujō (幡豆城)
Founder Hayakawa Saburō; Ogasawara Sadamasa
Year Founded 1514
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Kuruwa, Karabori, Tatebori, Babōsaku (restored), &c.
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Nishi-Hazu Station on the Meitetsu-Gamagôri Line; 10 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; park
Time Required 45 minutes
Location Nishio, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 47' 20.58" N, 137° 7' 23.45" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Umoreta Kojō
Aichi no Oshiro Meguri

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