Saturday, April 5, 2014

Odaka castle -Brave general devoted his life to restoration of Amago clan-

Odaka Castle

-Brave general devoted his life to restoration of Amago clan-



Name: Odaka castle (Odaka-jyo)
Place: Odaka Yonago city, Tottori
Type: Hill castle
Built: Originally 14th century
Remaining remnants: Clay walls and moats

Brief History

Odaka castle (尾高城) is located on a hill in Yonago city, 5km east from current Yonago central area and at the north slope of Daisen mountain.
Odaka area is a connecting point of Sanindo Way which passed through inland area at that time, and way to Daisen mountain, a religious center of the area, and historically the center of western area of Hoki country (western part of Tottori prefecture).  Facing a cliff, the site of the castle was suitable for defense.

Odaka castle was originally built by Yukimatsu clan, a major local lord of this area. Originally a small square shaped residence but later expanded as a fortress.  In the beginning of 16th century, Tsunehisa Amago (1458-1541), governor of Izumo province (eastern part of Shimape prefecture), advanced into Hoki country and seize the whole part of the company. Yukimatsu clan was once expelled but recovered castle in 1562, under the support of Mouri clan. In Mouri period, famous Amago general Yukimori Yamanaka (1545-1578), later famous as Shikanosuke Yamanaka, was captured but escaped from this castle.

Yukimori before the extinction of Amago clan

Yukimori was a son of Yamanaka clan, a branch family of Amago clan and served as vessel. In his young age, he prayed for the moon that he could meet many difficulties and pains to grow himself, and he actually lived such life.

When Mouri clan attacked Gassan Toda castle Yukimori stayed at castle and bravely fought as general. In the enemy there was a brave solider named Daizen Shinagawa. Daizen heard the fame of Yukimori and hoped to defeat him, thus he renamed as Taragi Okaminosuke (this name includes Alaria tree and Wolf, both deers hate) and applied duel to Yukimori. Yukimori and Daizen fought in the sandbank of the river next to the castle, they Yukimori won and made with fame.

But Mouri army attacked surrounding castles to cut supply line to the castle using several years. After three year battle, due to lack of supplies, Yoshihisa Amago (1540-1610), last leader of Amago clan, finally opened the castle and surrendered to Mouri clan, thus Amago clan as a warlord became an end.


First attempt of restration and failure

After the surrender, Yukimori and other Amago generals gathered and went to Kyoto. In Kyoto Katsuhisa Amago (1553-1578), son of Sanehisa Amago (1510-1554), a purged relative of Amago clan, stayed as a monk. Yukimori and his colleagues served to Katsuhisa as new master and started the battle for restoration of Amago clan.

At that time, Mouri clan fiercely fought conflict Otomo clan, a warlord of Bungo country (Oita prefecture) for the territory of north part of Kyushu island. To obstruct Mouri’s movement Otomo clan supported Katsuhisa’s activity and in 1568 Katsuhisa and Yukimori entered Izumo country via Oki island.

At first Amago troops break Mouri army here and there, and surrounded Gassan Toda castle. But due to secure defence they could not fall Toda Gassan castle, and due to internal conflict and shortage of supply, they faced counter attack from Mouri clan and lost their final castle in 1571. Yukimori was captured and taken to Odaka castle, but one day he pretended as dysentery and went to restroom, thus escaped from the window of restroom.

Second and third attempt and death

Yukimori did not gave up his will. Next Amago army looked for support of Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582), ruler of central area and just started to attack Mouri clan. Katsuhisa and Yukimori captured castles in eastern Houki country such as Tottori castle or Wakasa Onigajyo castle under the support from Yamana clan and Uragami clan based on understanding of Nobunaga, but as Yamana clan changed to Mouri side and Uragami clan has fallen, thus Yukimori's second attempt ended in failure.

Indomitable Yukimori belonged to the army of  Hideyoshi Hashiba (1537-1598, later Hideyoshi Toyotomi), a commander of Chugoku region facing Mouri clan. Under the support from Hideyoshi, Katsuhisa and Yukimori occupied Kouzuki castle (Hyogo prefecture) near the border of Mimasaka country (northern part of Okayama prefecture).

In response to this, Mouri clan sent Motoharu Kikkawa (1530-1586), a regional commander of Sanin area and brave general, to Kouzuki castle with large army. At that time Hideyoshi and suffered from rebellion of Miki clan at his backyard thus there was no room to support Amago army. Hideyoshi adviced Katsuhisa to run away, but Katsuhisa did not accept it and besieged at Kozuki castle, then finally opened the castle and killed himself. Yukimori was captured alive, but considered as dangerous person, he was assisgnated near the castle. After Edo era he was praised as a symbol of loyarity, and became a hero in stories.

One of his son survived and became merchant. He gained wealth by brewing Japanese Sake, and his descendent became Konoike family, one of the richest family at Osaka. In Meiji era Konoike family established Konoike bank, and this bank was one of the origins conforming current the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ.

Afterward of the castle

Odaka Castle had been used for a center of western part of Hoki country within 16th century, but in 1600, as a resulf of battle of Sekigahara, Kazutada Nakamura (1590-1609), an old retainer of Hideyoshi and who supported Ieyasu, was appointed as a governor. Kazutada built Yonago castle and moved to there in 1602, and Odaka castle was abandoned at that time. Now the site of castle was partially destructed by development, but square shaped original mansion and surrounding expanded areas still remain.

Related Castles

Gassan Toda Castle -Rapid rise and fall of Amago clan-
Yonago Castle -Person who decided win and lose at Sekigahara-
Kouzuki Castle -Castle with two tombstones-

Pictures (click to enlarge)

No comments:

Post a Comment