Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Takenaka Jinya Castle -Place of legendary military staff-

Takenaka Jinya Castle

-Place of legendary military staff-



Name: Takenaka Jinya Castle (Takenaka residence)

Alias:  Takenakashi Jinya (Jinya of Takenaka clan)
Place: Iwade Tarui town, Gifu
Type: Flat castle
Built: 17th century
Remaining remnants: Main gate, stone walls and moats

Brief History

Takenaka Jinya Castle (竹中陣屋) is located in Tarui town, at western edge of Mino province (Gifu prefecture). Jinya is a residence of small lords who were not admitted to build a castle by Edo Shogunate, and as a substitute of castle, they had partial exteriors of castle such as stone walls, moats and complex gate.

Tarui town placed at the western border of Mino province to Omi province (Shiga prefecture), and just next to Sekigahara area, where was famous for the battle of Sekigahara. From the middle of Muromachi era, Takenaka clan had governed this area and built a mountain castle named Bodaiyama castle at the mountain behind of this residence.

Shigeharu's acquintance with Hideyoshi and activity

In the middle of 16th cemtry, the leader of Takenaka Clan was Shigeharu Takenaka (1544-1579), famous as his middle name Hanbe (Hanbee/Hanbei). He married with a daughter of Morinari Ando (1503-1582), one of powerful local lords called as Nishimino Sannin-shu (Trio of lords at western Mino country), and was praised his talent from his youth.

In 1564, when Shigeharu was 20 years old, Tatsuoki Saito (1548-1573), governor of Mino province at that time, lead a life of debauchery and didn’t listen to Shigeharu’s remonstrance. In response to this, cooperating with Morinari, Shigeharu occupied Inabayama Castle (later Gifu castle), a large and secure castle of Tatsuoki’s residence, only with 16 soldiers. This was a kind of coup d'etat, and Shigeharu and Morinari kept Inabayama castle for half year, but finally returend the castle to Tatsuoki. Shigeharu once renounced from the world and lived in Omi province (Shiga prefecture).

In 1567, Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582) a warlord of Owari country, occupied Inabayama castle and expelled Yoshitatsu. Shigeharu was hired by Nobunaga and attached to Hideyoshi Kinoshita (1537.1598, later Hideyoshi Toyotomi). Shigeharu’s territory was just next to north part of Omi country, where Nagamasa Azai (1545-1573) governed. Nobunaga and Nagamasa once made alliance, but when Nobunaga attacked Asakura clan in 1570, substantial master of Azai clan, Nagamasa left Nobunaga and supported Asakura clan.

With this as a trigger, a conflict between Nobunaga and ally of Asakura clan and Azai clan began. Azai clan placed many retainer at branch castles surrounding Odani castle, their residence, and Nobunaga appointed Hideyoshi as a commander of front line facing Azai clan. As Shigeharu’s territory was close to Omi country, he was acquaintant with several Asai generals. 

Utilizing this relationship Shigeharu persuaded Azai generals such as Hori clan or Yamamoto clan to change to Hideyoshi side, and contributed to collapse defense line of Azai clan. Finally Nobunaga extinguished Asakura clan and Azai clan in 1573, then Hideyoshi succeeded Azai territory and became one of the major generals in Oda army.

Untimely Death of Shigeharu

In 1577, Hideyoshi was appointed as a commander of Harima country (Hyogo prefecture) to conquer Mouri clan which governed Chugoku region. At first Hideyoshi gathered local lords of Harima country very smoothly under the support of Yoshitaka Kuroda (1546-1604, formerly named Yoshitaka Kodera), another famous military staff of Hideyoshi and famous as his middle name Kanbe 
(Kanbee / Kanbei). A fateful encounter of Hanbe and Kanbe both had excellent talent but uninterested and ambitious respectively, attracted interest of writers and many novels are written.

But next year Miki clan, a largest local lord in this area, suddenly revolted at Miki castle located in the backward of Hideyoshi. Suffering from pressure of Mouri clan, Hideyoshi encircled Miki castle for three years. Shigeharu accompanied with Hideyoshi and suggested many plans, but in 1579 during the siege, died in ill at only 35 years old. Hideyoshi significantly grieved Shigeharu's death and courteously mourned. 

Later Shigeharu was praised as two legendary military staffs of Hideyoshi contributed to his dynasty along with Yoshitaka, and as both of their middle name ended "bei" they were called as "Ryobei" (Pair of "bei"). Some part of this reputation is due to the fact that biographers exaggerated Shigeharu’s achievement in the stories referring to Zhuge Liang Kongming (181-234), a famous chancellor of Shu Han dynasty of the era of three kingdoms in ancient China. But Shigeharu surely contributed to the achievement of Hideyoshi, and without him Hideyoshi might not be able to become a ruler.

Tie between Takenaka clan and Kuroda clan

After Shigeharu’s death, his son Shigekado Takenaka (1573-1631) succeeded his territory. As Shigeharu died before Hideyoshi’s expansion, Takenaka clan remained only as a small lord. After the death of Hideyoshi in 1598, Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616), the largest lord of current time and Mitsunari Ishida (1560-1600) chief administrative staff of Toyotomi government, fought for next hegemony. Finally they had a decisive battle at Sekigahara, but this place was exactly the territory of Takenaka clan.

At the battle of Sekigahara, at first Takenaka clan supported Mitsunari, but changed to Ieyasu side under the coordination of Nagamasa Kuroda (1568-1623), son of Yoshitaka. Nagamasa was formerly saved his life by Kanbe, and intent to repay the kindness of Takenaka clan this time.

When Murashige Muraki (1535-1586), a regional commander of Oda army and acquaintance of Kanbe made revolt to Nobunaga, Yoshitaka went to his Arioka castle to persuade Murashige not to do so. But Yoshikata was captured by Musashige and had been imprisoned for one year. 

Nobunaga suspected Yoshitaka’s betrayal and ordered Hideyoshi to kill Nagamasa who was kept as hostage. But Shigeharu knew Yoshitaka had no intention of treason, Shigeharu secretly kept Nagamasa in his territory until Yoshitaka was rescued from Arioka castle, and saved Nagamasa. 

Build and afterward of Jinya

As a result Takenaka clan had survived as a small feudal lord, but was not permitted to build a castle as above. They built a Jinya style residence at the hillside of former mountain castle. The shape of the residence was a rectangle of 200 meter long and 100 meter width, and the front side at east was covered by stone walls and moats. 

Subsequent to Meiji revolution, buildings were broken and the site was used for local school, but a barrack gate has been preserved as a entrance of school until now. This barrack castle is only one original building in Gifu prefecture which stand at original place. 

Related Castles

Pictures (click to enlarge)

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