Sunday, July 27, 2014

Furumiya Castle -Technically built base of Takeda clan-

Furumiya Castle

-Technically built base of Takeda clan-


Name: Furumiya Castle (Furumiya-jo)
Place: Tsukude-Kiyotake Shinshiro city, Aichi
Location: 34.97255999636359, 137.42734907283187
Type: Hill Castle
Built: 1571
Remaining remnants: Clay walls and dry moats
Title: 100 more famous Japanese castles

Brief History

Furumiya castle (古宮城) is located at a small hill in the Tsukude highland, at the middle part of Mikawa province (eastern half of Aichi prefecture). Even though located in mountain area, Tsukude area has good extent of flat land and are connected to Okazaki area, Shinshiro area and  southern part of Shinano province (Nagano prefecture), thus has had an importance until now.

Tsukude area and Okudaira clan

Furumiya castle was virtually built by Takeda clan in 1571. Since 15th century, Tsukude area had been governed by Okudaira clan, a local lord of this area. But Okuraira clan at that time was a small clan and they changed their master based on the situation. 

When Kiyoyasu Matsudaira (1511-1535), the grandfather of Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616), temporally united Mikawa province, Okudaira clan supported Kiyoyasu Matsudaira. But once Kiyoyasu was assassinated in 1535 and Matsudaira clan became weak, Okudaira clan changed their master to Imagawa clan, the warlord of Suruga province (middle part of Shizuoka prefecture) which expanded their influence to Mikawa province. 

In 1560, Yoshimoto Imagawa (1520-1560), the leader of Imagawa clan was defeated by Nobunaga Oda (1534-1582) at the battle of Okehazama and died, then Okudaira clan then followed Ieyasu Tokugawa who seized Mikawa province again.

In 1571, Shingen Takeda (1521-1573), a strong warlord of Kai province (Yamanashi prefecture), started attack to the alliance of Ieyasu and Nobunaga. A troop of Takeda clan advanced to Mikawa province, and Okudaira clan subordinated to Takeda clan.

Build and use of Furumiya castle

For Takeda clan, Tsukude area is an suitable place to place their troops. As Tsukude area is connected to Okazaki area and Shinshiro area, they could make pressure to both Okazaki castle at Okazaki city and Yoshida castle at Toyohashi city, the major bases of Tokugawa clan. Beside this, Tsukude area is a mountainous area and it was suitable for Takeda army which was good at battle in mountains. Further, it was necessary to watch the movement of Okudaira clan and restrain their betrayal.

Due to such reasons, Takeda clan built Furumiya castle as their castle. This castle is located aside the main road of this area, and above all, only 1 kilometer away from Kameyama castle, the residence of Okudaira clan. It is said that the planning of this castle was made by Nobufusa Baba (1515-1575), an important commander of Takeda clan and regarded as one of four famous general of the clan.

Structure of the castle

Even though not a large, but this castle was technically built utilizing latest castle building technique of Takeda clan. The castle located at the hill spread east and west direction, and a large dry moat divides this castle into east part and west part. At the top of east half there is the central area, and there is huge Umadashi, a complex entrance consist of two gates and inner space, which is distinctive to Takeda clan. 

As south slope of the hill is steep, there is only one layer of dry moat at the slope. On the other hand, slope of north side is gentle then many terraces were built at this side used by castle soldiers. The hill is roundly covered by horizontal dry moat and clay walls at hillside, and at the top of west half there are several compartment surrounded by clay walls.

In 1573, when Shingen died in ill, Okudaira clan attempted to abandon Takeda clan and leave to Tokugawa clan. But this was prevented by Takeda clan and leader of Okudaira clan exiled to Tokugawa area. Takeda clan might continuously use this castle, but when Katsuyori Takeda (1546-1582), the successor of Shingen, was suffered severe defeat by Nobunaga and Ieyasu at the battle of Nagashino, Takeda clan retreated from this area and Furumiya castle could be abandoned at this time.

Even though there is no building but the shape of the castle well remain in the wood. Technically build structure of the castle showed military tension arouse in this area regarding Takeda clan and Okudaira clan.


30 minutes drive from Shin-Tomei Expressway Shinshiro interchange via Route 151 and Route 301.

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Pictures (click to enlarge)


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