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Shitara-Town Damine Castle

  • Damine Castle
  • Damine Castle
  • Damine Castle
  • Damine Castle

Damine Castle, A Sengoku Site of Siege, Intrigue, Politics and War

Also known as Jazuga (Snake Head) or Ryunoshiro (Dragon’s Castle), Damine Castle was built circa 1470 on a hill overlooking the village of Damine in north-eastern Aichi Prefecture. It was constructed as a residence for the Suganuma clan, former retainers to the Imagawa clan, and then following the Imagawas defeat at the Battle of Okehazama (1560), the Tokugawa clan. In the mid 1500’s Takeda Shingen began encroaching on the Tokugawa held Mikawa lands, and the Suganuma clan again changed allegiances to that of the Takeda, despite those within the Suganuma clan, and samurai ranks who were against this change of sides.

Damine Castle

At the Battle of Nagashino (1575), Suganuma Sadatada had served with Takeda Katsuyori during the siege of Nagashino Castle, but suffered greatly during the actual battle itself. Katsuyori himself managed to flee from the battlefield and accompanied by Sadatada, sought refuge at Sadatada’s Damine Castle. Upon their arrival, they discovered that Sadatada’s uncle, Suganuma Sadanao, supported by clan vassal Imaizumi Dozen, had defected to the Oda clan, and shut the gates on Sadatada and Katsuyori. They were then forced to escape to Busetsu Castle, about 20km away.

In revenge for this act of treason, Sadatada faked his own death, thus relaxing security at the castle. Early one morning, Sadatada and an army of loyal followers attacked the castle, capturing the fortress along with his uncle, Sadanao and Imaizumi Dozen. Both were executed in a public area near the castle along with 100 other traitors. Less than six years later, the Takeda clan were ruined. Fearing the growing strength of the Tokugawa, Sadatada left Damine Castle and retreated to Ina in modern-day southern Nagano Prefecture. Damine was soon claimed by the Tokugawa who established another branch of the Suganuma clan, and trusted vassals, as castellan.

Damine Castle

Located on the Inakaido, an important route connecting Ina, Nagashino and Iwamura in Mino (Gifu Pref.) and Koromo (now Toyota City) and then to Hamamatsu, Damine Castle covers a square shaped area about 200m each side. Dry moats and earthen embankments surrounded the western facing front of the castle, with its many terraced “kuruwa” or baileys. The uppermost bailey, the Honmaru, was oval in shape, and contained the lord’s residence and working area, a watchtower, retainer’s quarters, guard houses, possibly stables and kitchen facilities. The eastern facing rear of the castle was not so heavily fortified, being protected by the naturally steep cliffs along the Toyokawa River far below.

Although the castle was abandoned during the Edo Period, the castle ruins remained in relatively untouched condition, allowing for research and for the reconstruction of a number of features, including the Goten palace, the watchtower, gates and fencing to create a fine reconstruction of a Sengoku Period castle.

SPOT OVERVIEW

  • Parking
Location : 〒441-2221
9, Aza Shiro, Damine, Shitara-Town, Kitashitara-District, Aichi
Fee : Adults 200 yen, children 100yen
Opening
days / hours
: 9:00~16:00
Parking : 15 parking spaces
Holidays : Monday, the day after a public holiday, year-end and New Years
Phone number : 0536-64-5505

Note: This page may not be current due to update time differences between site databases.
Should accuracy be critical, please verify this information using a direct source, whenever possible.

ACCESS

  • Access by public transport
    Access by public transport
    ・From Toyohashi Station, take the JR Iida line. Alight at Nagashino Station and take the Toyotetsu Bus. Alight at "Damine" stop and 20 minutes walk.
    * Bus operation is subject to change. Please check it before your trip.
  • Access by car
    Access by car
    Drive south from the Tomei Expressway Toyokawa I.C., drive north on Route 151 and turn on to Route 257. From 17 km ahead at Kiyosaki Tunnel, you will get to the castle remains if you drive toward Damine Kannon.

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