Urizura Castle was built in 1336 by Kusunoki Masaie, the successor to the famous Kusunoki Masashige. When Masashige died at the Battle of Minatogawa in Settsu Province, Masaie retreated to Hitachi Province and built up Uriźurajō. Here he amassed his allied forces and held off the armies of the Northern Court and was able to kill Satake Yoshifuyu and Gotō Motoaki. Satake Yoshifuyu was the son of Satake Sadayoshi, leader of the local Satake Clan which supported the Northern Court. Rebuffed at Uriźurajō, Satake Sadayoshi was cowed and failed to send forces to Ôtajō, and instead made to retreat to Kanasajō, but was cut-off by Southern Court forces and forced to commit seppuku. However, at the same time, his surviving son, Satake Yoshitsune, came with a force from Takyūjō to besiege Uriźurajō whereupon the castle fell.
The ruins of Uriźurajō are set upon a sloping clifftop overlooking the Kuji River plain. The remains of earthworks consist of tall, sweeping ramparts with dry moats beneath. The moats are situated between the cliff and the ramparts, creating an extra defensive barrier in addition to the terrain itself. The moats then turn in-land, as it were, away from the cliffs, but peter out, perhaps having been filled in. The ruins of the castle are now the site of an interesting temple, Jōfukuji. When we came they were displaying tiny buddhist statues. I had never seen such small yet intricate carvings. Parts of the dorui (earth-piled ramparts) have been consumed by the temple complex's necropolis, and here there is what may have been a yaguradai (platform for a castle tower).
|Prefectural Historic Site
|Pre Edo Period
|Kuruwa, Yaguradai, Dorui, Karabori, Yokobori
|Urizura Sation on the Suigun Line; 15 minute walk
|24/7 free; temple
|Naka, Ibaraki Prefecture
|36° 30' 15.34" N, 140° 27' 7.67" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited