Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fukazawa Castle -Recommendation of surrender thrown into castle by arrow-

Fukazawa Castle (Suruga province)

-Recommendation of surrender thrown into castle by arrow-



Name: Fukazawa castle/Fukasawa castle (Fukazawa-jyo/Fukasawa-jyo)
Place: Fukazawa Gotenba city, Shizuoka 
Type: Plain castle
Built: 15th century
Remaining remnants: Clay walls and moats

Brief History

Fukazawa castle (深沢城) is located at the east area of Gotenba city. It was not a large but a secure castle placed at the meeting point of two rivers and surrounded by steep cliffs. The site of the castle is along with the road connecting eastern part of Suruga province (Shizuoka prefecture) with Kai country (Yamanashi prefecture) or Sagami province (Kanagawa prefecture) through Ashigara Path, and an important place of communication.

Fukazawa castle was originally built by Imagawa clan in the beginning of 15th century. In 1568, Shingen Takeda (1521-1573), a warlord of Kai province, broke the triangle treaty among Takeda Clan, Imagawa clan and Hojyo clan, to conquer weakened Imagawa clan. Hojyo clan still supported Imagawa clan then there arose a conflict between Takeda clan which occupied Suruga country and Hojyo clan relating this area. In 1570, Takeda clan seized Fukazawa castle, but in the same year Hojyo clan recaptured this castle and placed Tsunashige Hojyo (1515-1587), a general of Hojyo clan here.

Brave general defended the castle

In 1546, against expanding Hojyo clan, all old powers in Kanto region united and attacked Kawagoe castle where Tsunashige stayed. Only with small soldiers Tsunashige firmly protected the castle, and then by the night sudden attack of Ujiyasu Hojyo (1515-1571), current leader, Hojyo clan defeated the enemy and seized the hegemony in Kanto region. Since then, with the flag of “Jio Hachiman” (Flag of Hachiman Bodhisattva character written on the yellow background) Tsunashige served vanguard in many battles, and at the battle every time he charged into the enemies crying "We won!". He was praised as a bravest general of Hojyo clan, and also became a relative of Hojyo clan by marriage.

Recommendation of surrender thrown into the castle by arrow

In January 1571, Shingen who was deprived the castle by Hojyo clan, attacked Fukasawa castle with large army. Again Tsunashige firmly held this castle, and Shingen wasted time surrounding this castle. Irritated Shingen sent a recommendation of surrender by arrow into the castle, and the contents of this recommendation remains now. 

It says that “Takeda clan had supported Hojyo clan when they were attacked by Uesugi clan, but Hojyo clan forgot this benefit and resisted to Takeda Clan. Surely Takada clan attacked Imagawa clan, but this is due to the treaty between Imagawa clan and Uesugi clan and rather a betrayal of Imagawa clan. In such situation, Takeda clan hopes a definitive battle with Hojyo clan, and tell the leader to come to here with his army”.

Tsunashige ignored this recommendation and endured further two months, but Shingen attacked this castle by using diggers of gold mines, thus finally Tsunashige opened this castle and retreated to his territory. Later Hojyo clan had attempted to get back this castle, but they could not until the fall of Takeda clan in 1582.

Afterward of the castle

In 1590, Hojyo clan was extinguished Odawara campaign by current ruler Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1537-1598), and Fukazawa castle was also abolished then. Now the site of castle is partially used as cultivation but the shape of the castle well remain between two rivers.


30 minutes walk from JR Central Gotenba line Ashigara station. 15 minutes drive from Tomei Expressway Gotenba interchange.

Related Castles

Pictures (click to enlarge)

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