Yodo kojo Castle (淀古城)

The Yodo kojo Castle is a castle which was located at Noso Kitashirobori, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.
Noso, located at the northern shore of the confluence of three rivers, Kizu-gawa River (Kyoto Prefecture), Katsura-gawa River (Yodo-gawa River system) and Seta-gawa River, where the castle was built and which was a natural fort surrounded by rivers on three sides, was a major urban area of the old commercial district, 'Yodo.'


This castle was first mentioned in a historical document on August 1, 1478 in the "Annual events of Higashi no in," in which the following comment concerning the Shugosho (provincial administration) of the Province of Yamashiro was made:
Yosazaemon JINBO entered Yodo...during the era of the Danjo YUSA Yamashiro no Shugodai (deputy of the Shugo, or provincial constable, of Yamashiro Province). Shugo (provincial constable), Masanaga HATAKEYAMA is thought to have moved Shugosho from Shoryu-ji Temple to this castle during the Onin War to brace for possible attacks by Yoshinari HATAKEYAMA of the West squad. Afterward, when the Hosokawa Keicho family came to control the Province of Yamashiro, the castle was guarded by Shugodai (deputy of Shugo, provincial constable)-level Hikan (low-level bureaucrat) and used to watch Settsu Province and Kawachi Province.

First Battle of Yodokojo

In 1504, Tomotsune AKAZAWA and Masamoto HOSOKAWA came to be opposed to each other. Masamoto HOSOKAWA, on April 4, 1504 ordered Motokazu YAKUSHIJI, a deputy shugo of the Province of Settsu to attack Makishima-jo Castle, but Tomotsune AKAZAWA's army seemed to leave the castle with 600-700 soldiers. Hisanobu HATAKEYAMA came to know this and his army attacked Yodo kojo Castle which was a key place for transportation and military, just as Makishima-jo Castle was. Masamoto HOSOKAWA's army seemed to keep Yosazaemon JINBO as Joshu (castellan), but braced for possible attacks by Hisanobu HATAKEYAMA's army making the armies of Motokazu YAKUSHIJI and Nagatada YAKUSHIJI brothers, and Motonaga KOZAI and the Naito clan (Tanba line) enter the castle.

Then, another situation was developed. Motokazu YAKUSHIJI, who belonged to Masamoto HOSOKAWA's army, rose up in rebellion against Masamoto HOSOKAWA by backing Sumimoto HOSOKAWA. An army of the Kokujin-shu (local samurais) of Yamashiro Province and Tomotsune AKAZAWA' army from Makishima-jo Castle, in cooperation, kept to Yodo kojo Castle. However, Nagatada YAKUSHIJI, a younger brother of Motokazu YAKUSHIJI, remaining in Masamoto HOSOKAWA's army, came to split with his elder brother. Nagatada YAKUSHIJI and Motonaga KOZAI attacked Yodo kojo Castle, but fell into the hands of Masamoto HOSOKAWA's army. Nagayoshi SHINOMIYA, who held Yodo kojo Castle, committed suicide, and Motokazu YAKUSHIJI was captured and committed suicide in Kyoto on November 6, 1504 and Tomotsune AKAZAWA took flight to Yamato Province.

Due to this battle, its opposition to the Hosokawa family gained momentum and the battle lines extended to the Provinces of Yamashiro, Kawachi, Izumi, Settsu and Yamato. Although Nagatada YAKUSHIJI and Motonaga KOZAI belonged to Masamoto HOSOKAWA's army in this battle, Nagatada, 2 years later in the Eisho no Sakuran (Disturbance), backed up Sumimoto HOSOKAWA, who his brother backed up, and succeeded in the assassination of Masamoto HOSOKAWA.

After that, Yodo kojo Castle was successively governed by Hikan of the Hosokawa family, but control was gradually transferred from the Hosokawa's government (Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States)) to Miyoshi's government and when Nagayoshi MIYOSHI unified Kyoto in 1559, Ujitsuna HOSOKAWA became the Joshu (castellan) of Yodo kojo Castle, and upon the death of Ujitsuna HOSOKAWA in 1563, Yoshitsugu MIYOSHI succeeded him, and subsequently a Busho (Japanese military commander) belonging to Hisahide MATSUNAGA appeared to govern the castle. However, in July 1566, together with the Shoryuji-jo Castle, it was attacked by the army of the Miyoshi sanninshu (three chief retainers of the Miyoshi clan), then a certain KANEKO who belonged to Nagayuki MIYOSHI seemed to become the castellan. In 1568, Nobunaga ODA successfully went to the capital (Kyoto), then Yodo kojo Castle fell in the fire attacked by Nobunaga ODA's army.

Second Battle of Yodokojo

In March 1573, Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA made up his mind to oppose Nobunaga ODA and rose up in arms in Nijo-jo Castle. However, Nobunaga ODA acted swiftly, left Gifu-jo Castle and besieged Nijo-jo Castle. At the time, he yielded up Nijo-jo Castle to Nobunaga ODA following the recommendation of the Emperor, but in September 1573, he again rose in arms to put down Nobunaga ODA, entrenching themselves in Makishima-jo Castle. Tomomichi IWANARI, one of the Sanninshu acceded to Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA's request and entrenched himself in Yodo kojo Castle, but Makishima-jo Castle was attacked by Nobunaga ODA's army (Battle of Makishima-jo Castle) and Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA surrendered two hostages, then ran away to Kawachi Province.

On the other hand, against Tomomichi IWANARI's squad, which held Yodo kojo Castle, Hideyoshi KINOSHITA countered. Hideyoshi KINOSHITA worked out plans and brought over to his side Mitsumasa SUWA, Head of the guards and Chief storekeeper and others of Yodo kojo Castle. Further, Nobunaga ODA ordered the castellan of Shoryuji-jo Castle, Fujikata HOSOKAWA to go to the front, and joined the attacking army. To cope with this, Tomomichi IWANARI seemed to fight bravely leaving Yodo kojo Castle. The reason why he dared to leave the castle well-equipped with defense facilities is said to be due to the strong recommendation by the Chief storekeeper, Mitsumasa SUWA and others. Although Tomomichi IWANARI fought bravely, he was eventually decapitated by Gonnai SHIMOZU, a retainer of Fujikata HOSOKAWA.

His head was brought to Nobunaga ODA who was in the field in Takashima-cho (Shiga Prefecture) of Omi Province and "Shincho koki" (Biography of the Warlord Oda Nobunaga) described that Nobunaga praised Gonnai SHIMOZU for his unparalleled actions and covered him with the padded, sleeveless undergarment Nobunaga wore.

According to "Kanemi Kyoki (Kanemi's Diary)", after the Honnoji Incident in June 1582, Mitsuhide AKECHI repaired Yodo kojo Castle, and it was also used in the Battle of Yamasaki War between Hideyoshi HASHIBA and Mitsuhide AKECHI. After Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI came into power, Hidenaga HASHIBA repaired Yodo kojo Castle in April 1589, which Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI gave to his concubine, Chacha for her maternity room. Due to this fact, Chacha came to be called 'Yodo-dono' (Lady Yodo). In this castle, Yodo-dono, Hideyoshi's concubine gave birth to a baby, Tsurumaru who immediately died in 1591. Tsurumaru died and Hidetsugu HASHIBA was adopted, but when Hideyori TOYOTOMI was born, a conflict started with Hidetsugu HASHIBA, and Hitachi no suke KIMURA, the last castellan of this castle was implicated and the castle was deserted. It was happened in 1595.

Area surrounded by the castle wall

Yodo kojo Castle was an important center for water and land transportation and one of the two major points of strategic importance in Rakunan of Yamashiro Province, ranking with Makishima-jo Castle. Having a consolidating area for seafood from Saigoku (western provinces) and a fish market, it was a strategic point of Kyoto ranking with Oyamazaki-cho on the opposite shore and the expanse of now-non-existent Ogura-ike Pond is thought to have been on the east side of Yodo kojo Castle.

According to "Tentative map by survey" in 1890, an earthwork was on the at the east side of the moat ruin and the Noso village, but on the former site today, there is residential land, cultivated land and the Noso Elementary School, and only the stone monument existing at Myokyo-ji Temple (Fushimi Ward), geographical names such as Kitashirobori and Koazashirobori slightly recall the flavor of the castle. The Yodo kojo Castle is full of historic events, but there is a lack of information on castle construction unlike with the nearby Yodo-jo Castle. The details of the Tenshu (main keep or tower of a castle) are unknown, but the "Komai nikki" (diary of Shigekatsu KOMAI) described the existence of Tenshu in Yodo kojo Castle. After Yodo kojo Castle was deserted, many of its materials appear to have been used for construction of Fushimi-jo Castle. Afterwards, for the construction of Yodo-jo Castle, materials were diverted from Fushimi-jo Castle.

Access to the castle ruins

Access by railways
Ten-minute walk from Yodo Station, Keihan Main Line of Keihan Electric Railway
Access by cars
Keiji Bypass Kumiyama Yodo Interchange → Kyoto prefectural road No.15, Uji Yodo Route → Kyoto prefectural road No.126, Shinmachi Teishajo-line →Kyoto-Moriguchi-line, Kyoto Fudo 13 Go and Osaka Fudo 13 Go (Kyoto/Osaka Prefectural Road No.13)
No parking lots in the vicinity

[Original Japanese]