Takebeyama-jo Castle (建部山城)

Takebeyama-jo Castle existed in Kasa County, Tango Province (now Shimofukui, Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture) during the Muromachi and Sengoku periods (period of warring states). It was a base of the Isshiki clan who were Shugo-Daimyo (feudal lords who were previously military governors or 'shugo') and thrived during the Muromachi period.


This castle was built in 1336 by a powerful local family who supported Nancho (the Southern Emperor's forces) in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. At the time of Kanno Disturbance (the internal battles of the Ashikaga Shogunate that lasted for several years in the mid 14th century), the army of the Ashikaga clan attacked this castle, and it became a base for Hokucho supporters (the Northern Emperor's force). Before long, Norimitsu ISSHIKI, a Shugo (provincial constable) of Tango Province and a close aide to the Ashikaga clan, obtained this castle to make it his base.

After that, the Isshiki clan held Takebeyama-jo Castle for several generations until 1579 when Yusai HOSOKAWA attacked Tango under the orders of Nobunaga ODA, and the Isshiki army barricaded themselves in the castle after losing each battle fought, but eventually fell under the Hosokawa army's fierce attack.

According to "Isshiki Gunki" (the Isshiki family's military history book), Tango's Shugo Yoshimichi ISSHIKI, defeated by the Hosokawa army, escaped to nearby Nakayama-jo Castle (Maizuru City), but he had to kill himself due to the betrayal of the castle's lord, Kobee NAKAYAMA. Later, ordered by Nobunaga to govern Tango, Fujitaka (Yusai) HOSOKAWA based himself in Miyazu-jo Castle, which controlled a good port, and built Tanabe-jo Castle on level land in Kasa County, abandoning Takebeyama-jo Castle.

Takebeyama-jo Castle today

Some parts remain visible today. Since Mt. Takebe where the castle was located, called 'Tanabe Fuji' or 'Tango Fuji' because of its elegant shape, is a bit higher than other mountains nearby, having a height of 315 meters above sea level, local people enjoy hiking there, taking in the great view of Maizuru Bay from the top. Remains of a gun battery of the Imperial Army of Japan on the mountaintop tell a bit of Japan's modern history.
This mountain is now commonly called 'Takebe-san.'

[Original Japanese]