Somayama Castle

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Somayama Castle
Minamiechizen, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
Mountains of Japan Somoyama.jpg
 Mount Somayama
Somayama Castle 杣山城 is located in Fukui Prefecture
Somayama Castle 杣山城
Somayama Castle
Somayama Castle 杣山城 is located in Japan
Somayama Castle 杣山城
Somayama Castle
Coordinates35°48′8.37″N 136°13′10.14″E / 35.8023250°N 136.2194833°E / 35.8023250; 136.2194833
Typeyamashiro-style Japanese castle
Site information
Open to
the public
Site history
BuiltKamakura period
Built byMinamoto no Yorichika
In useMuromachi period

Somayama Castle (杣山城, Somayama-jō) was a Kamakura period yamashiro-style Japanese castle located in what is now part of the town of Minamiechizen, Fukui Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Honshu, Japan. It is protected by the central government as a National Historic Site.[1]


Mount Somayama is a hill with a height of 492 meters, located near the geographic center of Minamiechzen town. Its steep sides form a natural defensive position, and it was first fortified in the early Kamakura period by Minamoto no Yorichika (966-1057). During the mid-Kamakura period it came under the control of the Uryū clan.

During the Siege of Kanegasaki, forces loyal to Nitta Yoshisada was trapped for three months at Kanegasaki Castle by Ashikaga Takauji, Nitta's ally Uryū Tamotsu was forced back to the Somayama Castle in March 1337, and Nitta Yoshisada joined him soon afterwards. A failed counter-attack from Somayama Castle failed to lift the siege against Kanegasaki[2]

Somayama Castle later came under the control of the Asakura clan as a base of operations against the Ikkō-ikki in Echizen Province. It is unknown when it was finally abandoned.

The site was excavated from 1975-1980, revealing the remnants of moats, earthen ramparts and the foundations of a large building, along with numerous pottery shards. The site if open to the public as part of several hiking courses maintained by the Minamiechizen town government.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "杣山城跡 そまやまじょうあと". Cultural Heritage Online (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  2. ^ Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan, 1334-1615. Stanford University Press. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0804705257.

External links[edit]