Nagashino Castle

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Nagashino Castle
長篠城
Shinshiro, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
NagashinoC Ushibuchibashi.jpg
Site of former Nagashino Castle
Coordinates Coordinates: 34°55′22.14″N 137°33′35.45″E / 34.9228167°N 137.5598472°E / 34.9228167; 137.5598472
Type flatland-style Japanese castle
Site information
Open to
the public
yes
Site history
Built 1508
In use Sengoku period
Built by Suganuma Motonari
Battles/wars Battle of Nagashino (1575)

Nagashino Castle (長篠城 Nagashino-jō?) was a Sengoku period Japanese castle located in what is now Shinshiro, eastern Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It is noteworthy as the site of the crucial Battle of Nagashino between the combined forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga against Takeda Katsuyori in 1575.

History[edit]

In 1508, Imagawa Ujichika, ruler of Suruga and Totomi Provinces, ordered his vassal Suganuma Motonari to build a castle in Shitara County, Mikawa Province to guard the western approaches to his domains.

The castle came under the control of Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1573, who placed former Takeda vassal Okudaira Nobumasa in control. Following skirmishes with the increasingly bellicose Takeda clan to the north, the castle’s defenses were strengthened. The Takeda invaded Mikawa Province in force in 1575, and laid siege to the castle. In the subsequent Battle of Nagashino, the combined forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga brought a total force of 38,000 men to relieve the siege on the castle by Takeda Katsuyori. Of Takeda's original 15,000 besiegers, only 12,000 faced the Oda-Tokugawa army in this battle. Seeking to protect his arquebusiers from the Takeda cavalry, Nobunaga built a number of wooden stockades, behind which his gunners attacked in volleys. By mid-afternoon on the day of the battle, the Takeda broke and fled, after losing a great number of men, including eight the famous 'Twenty-Four Generals' Katsuyori had inherited from Takeda Shingen. This use of gunfire was a turning point in the history of samurai warfare. After the battle, the castle was allowed to fall into ruin.

The site of former Nagashino Castle was protected as a National Historic Landmark in 1929, the first time a former castle site had received such protection. Located on a fork of two rivers, all that remains of the castle today are remnants of moats and some stonework.

In 2006, the site of Nagashino Castle was listed as No. 46 of the 100 Fine Castles of Japan by the Japan Castle Foundation, primarily due to its historical significance. The site is located a short walk from Nagashinojō Station on the Iida Line railway.

References[edit]

  • Schmorleitz, Morton S. (1974). Castles in Japan. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co. pp. 144–145. ISBN 0-8048-1102-4. 
  • Motoo, Hinago (1986). Japanese Castles. Tokyo: Kodansha. p. 200 pages. ISBN 0-87011-766-1. 
  • Mitchelhill, Jennifer (2004). Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty. Tokyo: Kodansha. p. 112 pages. ISBN 4-7700-2954-3. 
  • Turnbull, Stephen (2003). Japanese Castles 1540-1640. Osprey Publishing. p. 64 pages. ISBN 1-84176-429-9. 
  • Turnbull, Stephen (2000). Nagashino 1575: Slaughter at the Barricades. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-619-1. 

External links[edit]