Sonobe-jo Castle (園部城)

Sonobe-jo Castle is located (initially as Jinya - a government house) in Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture.

Yoshichika KOIDE, a tozama daimyo (territorial samurai lord who swore loyalty to the Tokugawa clan after the Battle of Sekigahara when Tokugawa became shogun) whose territory was transferred there from Izushi, Tajima Province, built the castle in two years starting from 1619.

He surrounded the castle with a moats, with a natural river flow used in some parts of them. Now, the Kyoto Prefectural Sonobe High School is placed there, with the relics located on the premises.

Although the Koide clan was a tozama daimyo lord, its two lords gained a bakkaku position (minister-level position in the bukufu government). The bukufu system ended when Fusanao KOIDE was the 10th lord.

It is said that, in the Boshin War, there was a plan to move the Emperor Meiji to the Sonobe jinya located near the palace, because the safety of the Kyoto palace was threatened. Perhaps for this reason, the lord got permission from the new Meiji government to convert the jinya into a more solidly-built castle, and built a yagura-mon gate, a tatsumi-yagura turret, and a three-layer turret on Komugi-yama Mountain in two years starting from 1868. However, in 1872, the buildings other than those that still remain were destroyed and removed.

The remaining buildings

The tatsumi-yagura turret

The yagura-mon gate

A bansho (guard house)

The taiko yagura (drum turret): was moved to Anraku-ji Temple in Yagi-cho

[Original Japanese]