Ushiǵahana-toride was constructed in 1582 by Saitō Toshitaka, lord of Kajitajō and the chief vassal of Oda Nobutaka, lord of Gifujō, in response to the threat by Mori Nagayoshi, lord of Kaneyamajō. Toshitaka’s top commander, Nishimura Jirōbē, was placed in charge of the fort and its garrison, the so-called Kajita-shū (shū = battalion). Mori forces twice attacked Ushiǵahana-toride in the lead up to the Kaneyama-Kajita battle, but the fort held. On the first day of August (modern calender), however, Mori forces deployed from Magushi-toride and attacked Ushiǵahana-toride from opposite the Hida River. Despite having 3,000 men against a defending garrison of the Kajita-shū’s 500, Mori forces would’ve had to attack the fort from the plain and riverside below, fighting up the steep terrain and river terrace slopes. The Kajita-shū made another good defence, though losing 40 men, but when their home-base of Kajitajō was besieged by Mori forces, the Kajita-shū abandoned Ushiǵahana-toride in order to protect Kajitajō, surrendering it to Mori forces. The decisive Battle of Kajita Castle took place the following day. The Kajita-shū members who survived the battle would actually be later merged into Mori forces.
Ushiǵahana-toride, also known as Môriyamajō, is a clifftop fort site straddling the border of the municipality of Mino-Kamo and the township of Kawabe in Kamo County. It is apparently reported that ruins remain in the form of earthworks, trenches, baileys, and even stone walls, but many castle bloggers have reported no ruins. Because the site is now that of a shrine of some mad tengu cult, access is limited. The fort’s main bailey is presumed to be where there is a traditional shrine building, the walls of which are decorated with hundreds of tengu heads. There may be a moat site beneath here, but it is difficult to see. The ruins seem to have been altered or developed over by the cult. The Tenguists have also erected a gigantic tengu (humanoid form) statue at the compound. There is a sign for the fort with two large stone blocks which are supposedly from the stone walls of the fort.
|Pre Edo Period
|Kobi Station on the Takayama Line; 10 minute walk to Kobi-no-Tenguyama Shrine
|24/7; Free; Temple
|Mino-Kamo, Gifu Prefecture
|35° 27' 40.18" N, 137° 3' 8.32" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|Friends of JCastle
|Nippon Shiro Meguri