Ushigahana Fort


UshigahanaToride (1).jpg


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.

Visit Notes

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.

  • Stone blocks believed to have been used in fort

Castle Profile
English Name Ushigahana Fort
Japanese Name 牛ヶ鼻砦
Alternate Names Môriyamajō
Founder Saitō Toshitaka
Year Founded 1582
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Kobi Station on the Takayama Line; 10 minute walk to Kobi-no-Tenguyama Shrine
Visitor Information 24/7; Free; Temple
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Mino-Kamo, Gifu Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 27' 40.18" N, 137° 3' 8.32" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Nippon Shiro Meguri
Umoreta Kojō

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