Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tamaru castle -Checkerd life of Nobunaga’s second son who survived turbulent period-

Tamaru Castle

-Checkered life of Nobunaga’s second son who survived turbulent period-



Name: Tamaru castle (Tamaru-jo)
Place: Tamaki Tamashiro town, Mie
Location: 34.491134821114414, 136.62758875208377
Type: Hill castle
Built: Originally 14th century, expanded in 15th century
Remaining remnants: Stone walls, clay walls, moats, gate and part of hall building
Title: 100 more famous Japanese castles

Brief History

Tamaru castle (田丸城) is located on the hill at the middle of Kushida-gawa river and Miya-kawa river in Tamashiro town, Inabe county of Mie prefecture. 

This castle locates at the middle point of Ise city, economically prosperous city attached to traditional Ise shrine, and Taki area, a joint point of roads from Kii province (Wakayama prefecture) and Yamato province (Nara prefecture) to Ise province, thus this castle was a suitable place to control whole southern part of Ise province (Mie prefecture). Located at distant area and not so famous, but the terrain of whole castle well remain.

Build of Tamaru castle

In Muromachi period, southern part of Ise country was governed by Kitabatake clan. Kitabatake clan was a noble house stem from Chikafusa Kitabatake (1293-1354), a royal supporter of Emperor Godaigo in Nanbokucho era. Once appointed as a governor of Tagajo castle (Miyagi prefecture), when Takauji Ashikaga (1305-1358), the founder of Muromachi shogunate revolted to the emperor, he and his son Akiie marched 600km from Tagajo to Kyoto in 16 days and once expelled Takauji from Kyoto. 

But as a result of counterattack by Takauji and his side emperor, Emperor Godaigo was defeated and escaped to Yoshino area located in the mountainous area at southern part of Yamato province, then opened Yoshino court. Kitabatake clan accompanied this and expanded to southern part of Ise province at the eastern next area of Yoshino, to keep resist against Muromachi shogunate. Among this campaign, in 1336, Kitabatake clan built Tamaru castle as a local military base. Later Yoshino court diminished, but Kitabatake clan kept this area as a governor of Muromachi shogunate.

In 1569, Kitabatake clan was attacked by Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582), a warlord of Owari country (western part of Aichi prefecture) at Okawachi castle, their residence. Kitabatake clan fought well against Nobunaga but finally was forced to make treaty with Oda clan, by condition of adopting Nobukatsu Oda (1558-1630, also said as Nobuo), the second son of Nobunaga. In 1575 Nobukatsu formally succeeded the leader position of Kitabatake clan, and next year he significantly reformed Tamaru castle as his residence.

Structure of Tamaru castle

Tamaru castle is built at a hill of 30 meter height from hillside and 400 meter diameter round shape. The west half of the hill is higher than east half, and core area of the castle existed at west half of the hill from north to south in line. 

Honmaru (central area) is a rectancle area of 100 meter long and 50 meter wide, and places at the middle of east half of the hill. At the north edge of the area there remains a base of main tower, which is a 25 meter square shape with small front porch. Considering the size of this basement, there might be a three story main tower there. Main route from lower area directly connects to central area, and there is a Masugata (two gate and inner area) style complex gate at the middle of east line.

At the south of central area, there is Ninomaru (secondary area) area which is a square of 50 meter. Central area and secondary area is separated by dry moat and connected by clay bridge, and there is also a Masugata style complex gate at the south edge of central area. 

On the other hand, at the north of central area, there is Kitanomaru area now used as a place of Shrine. These three areas are core areas of Tamaru castle, and whole part of central area and front (east) side of secondary area and Kitanomaru area are covered with Nozurazumi style (old construction method use rough and different size stones) stone walls.

Third area spread east half of the hill. Formerly it might be separated into small areas but due to the construction of school it became a large flat field. Main gate of the castle protected by stone walls is built at the middle of east edge of the hill, and outside of the main gate there was outer areas currently used as town hall or nursery surrounded by outer water moats. Outer water moats formerly surrounded whole part of the castle, and remains as ditch at backside of the hill. 

Checkerd life of Nobukatsu Oda

Nobukatsu Oda was a son of Nobunaga, but he did not inherit military and political sense of Nobunaga. In 1579 he attacked Iga province without approval of Nobunaga, but was seriously defeated by alliance of local lords and scolded by Nobunaga. 

He was seemed inferior to elder brother Nobutada Oda (1557-1582) at Gifu castle (Gifu prefecture) and younger one Nobutaka Oda (1558-1583) at Kanbe castle (Mie prefecture), and Nobunaga did not appoint Nobukatsu as a commander of large army. A Christian missionary stayed in Japan recorded hims as "fool" (This might be affected by the fact Nobukatsu did not like Christian).

After the death of Nobunaga and Nobutada at the accident of Honnoji in 1582, Nobucatsu coordinated with Hideyoshi Hashiba (1537-1598, later Hideyoshi Toyotomi) and forced Nobutaka to suicide, but skillfully taken over his authority by Hideyoshi. Next Nobukatsu allied with Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616) and fought against Hideyoshi, but being captured his territory by Hideyoshi, he individually made peace with Hideyoshi without notice to Ieyasu. In the end, after the Odawara campaign of Toyotomi against Hojyo clan, he was ordered by Hideyoshi to move to Kanto region but denied, thus Hideyoshi confiscated territories of Nobukatsu and expelled him.

But by loosing political importance, Nobukatsu could survive. His nephew Hidenobu (1580-1605), son of Nobutada, served as a commander of Gifu castle under Toyotomi government. But after the death of Hideyoshi he was involved in the battle of Sekigahara at 1600, then expelled and died in youth without son. 

At the battle of Osaka castle in 1614 and 1615, the one between Ieyasu and Hideyori Toyotomi (1593-1615), who was a son of Hideyoshi and Nobukatsu’s nephew, Nobukatsu was at first invited to Toyotomi side as a commander. But Nobukatsu had no intention of being involved and probably connected with Ieyasu and send information, then left the castle before outbreak of the battle.

Finally Nobukatsu was appointed as a small lord of Uda Matsuyama castle (Nara prefecture) by Edo shogunate, and as most of other younger brothers died in youth, he became the highest successor of Oda clan. After many twist and turns, his house still continues to now.

Tamaru castle after Nobukatsu

In 1580, Tamaru castle was burned out by fire and Nobukatsu newly built Matsugashima castle near the coast and moved, but Tamaru castle was also reconstructed and used as a branch castle. Throughout Edo era, southern part of Ise country was governed by Kisyu Domain at Wakayama castle (Wakayama prefecture), which was one of the three special relative domain of Edo Shogunate. Tamaru castle was kept as a base of local governance along with Matsusaka castle (Matsusaka city).

Subsequent to Meiji revolution all buildings except for one gate were broken. But except for the area used as a school, central areas surrounded by stone walls and terrains of outer areas almost completely remain as before, and give us a clear image of former shape of entire castle.

Related Castles

Okawachi Castle -A noble family disappeated into history-
Gifu Castle -Unfortunate ends of holders-
Matsusaka Castle =Castle of magnificent stone wall built by brave and wise general-
Kanbe Castle -Hard life of former ruler's son-
Maruyama Castle -Ninja versus Nobunaga-
Uda Matsuyama Castle -Fate of castle town without castle-

Pictures (click to enlarge)

No comments:

Post a Comment