Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tsumaki castle -Traditional clans with flag of bellflower-

Tsumaki Castle

-Traditional clans with flag of bellflower-



Name: Tsumaki castle (Tsumaki-jyo)
Alias: Kame jyo (Turtle castle)
Place: Chuo Tsuchiura city, Ibaraki
Type: Plain castle
Built: Originally 14th century, expanded in 16th century
Remaining remnants: Stone walls, sand walls and moats

Brief History

Tsumaki castle (妻木城) is located in Tsumaki area, a small basin at southern part of Toki city. Apart from Toki river, the main stream of southeastern Mino country (Gifu prefecture), Tsumaki town is a quiet town at a mountain valley. The castle is located on a mountain at southern tip of tbe basin, and looking down on the town.

Toki clan in Mino country

Tsumaki town was built by Tsumaki clan, a local lord stem from Toki clan. Toki clan is a traditional family of Seiwa Genji, it means families stem from princes of Emperor Seiwa (850-881) and had surname of Minamoto. Along with Kanum Heishi, also traditional families divided from Emperor Kanmu (737-806), had surname of Taira, Minamoto clans had been regarded as a highest family of samurais.

Of course Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199) who established Kamakura shogunate in 12th century is a direct descendent of Minamoto clan, and Takauji Ashikaga (1305-1358), founder of Muromachi shoghate, was also a branch clan of Genji. The ancestor of Tokugawa clan, house of Edo shogunate, was unclear, but Tokugawa clan insisted they were descendent of Nitta clan, one of powerful house of Minamoto clan. And became the shogun.

Toki clan was also an important branch family of Seiwa Genji. They prospered at Mino country in medieval era, and many branch families spread central and eastern part of country. As branch families, there were Tsumaki clan, Akechi clan, Doi clan, Kanamori clan, Hachiya, Asano clan, Sengoku clan etc. Territories of these Toki clans were close to Owari country (western part of Aichi prefecture) and Mikawa country (eastern part of Aichi country) where Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582) and Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616), rulers of Sengoku era, were born. Therefore among the conflict and extinction of Toki main family and Saito clan, many above Toki branch families became retainer of Nobunaga or Ieyasu.

Tsumaki clan and Tsumaki castle

Tsumaki clan became a lord of this area in 13th century, and they built Tsumaki castle as their residence. In Muromachi era, although main family of Toki clan became weak by subjugation from shogunate and internal conflict, Tsumagi clan kept their territory. In 1545 a female of Tsumagi clan named Hiroko (1530-1576) married with Mitsuhide Akechi (1528-1582), who later became commander of Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582) and caused the accident of Honnoji. In 1556 Akechi clan was extinguished by Yoshitatsu Saito (1527-1561), a governer of Mino country and Mitsuhide wandered with his wife, but Tsumagi clan was safe from this attack

When Nobunaga Oda defeated Saito clan and became a governor of Mino country, Tsumaki clan belonged to Oda clan. Among the conflict between Nobunaga and Shingen Takeda (1521-1573), a warlord of Kai country (Yamanashi prefecture), many small lords in eastern Mino country disappeared. But Tsumagi area was apart from front and Tsumaki clan was not involved in such conflict.

At the accident of Honnoji, a coup d’etat by Mitsuhide Akechi to Nobunaga Oda, current leader Hirotada Tsumaki (1514-1582), as a father in law of Mitsuhide, supported Mitsuhide and suicided after the defeat of the battle of Yamazaki. His son Sadanori Tsumaki (1544-1618) was forgiven and supported Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616) at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. He strengthened Tsumaki castle with stone walls, and fought with Tamaru clan at Iwamura castle belonged to opposite side and occupied it.

Rewarded this achievement Tsumaki clan was secured his territory by Edo shogunate, but its territory was small and not forgiven to have castle, he left the castle and built a mansion at the foot of hill. Tsumagi clan continued three generation as a local magistrate and promoted ceramics as local speciality, but extinguished in 1658 due to having no successor. Now both ruin of castle at the top of mountain and mansion at the hillside remain, and especially stone walls dividing mansion areas are well preserved.

Related Castles

Pictures (click to enlarge)

No comments:

Post a Comment