Tottori Castle

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Tottori castle
鳥取城
Tottori city, Inaba Province, Japan
Tottori castle04 2816.jpg
TypeJapanese castle
Site information
Controlled byIkeda clan
ConditionRuins
Site history
BuiltYear unknown
In useYears unknown
Battles/wars1581 Siege of Tottori
Garrison information
Past
commanders
Nasu no Yoichi, Kajiwara Kagetoki, Kikkawa Tsuneie

Tottori Castle (鳥取城, Tottori-jō) was the central castle of the Tottori han (fief) in feudal Japan. It was a yamashiro, or "mountain castle", built into the mountain itself, using natural obstacles and defenses to a greater extent than man-made walls. Little remains of the castle aside from parts of the stone wall and one gate, reinforced with iron and featuring spikes on the outside of the doors to help protect against attackers.

A gate leading into the castle grounds

History[edit]

In the late 12th century, following the Genpei War, the new shōgun Minamoto no Yoritomo granted the Tottori han to Nasu no Yoichi, the hero of the battle of Yashima. He lost it soon afterwards to Kajiwara Kagetoki, a spy for Yoritomo, in a hunting competition.

Tottori is perhaps best known for its siege in 1581 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, which lasted 200 days. The defenders, led by Kikkawa Tsuneie, were forced to surrender due to starvation, coming just short of resorting to cannibalism, according to some accounts. When they surrendered, Hideyoshi provided food for the garrison, but many survivors ate too quickly and died from overeating.

Outer citadel (ninomaru) of Tottori Castle

References[edit]

  • Turnbull, Stephen (2000). The Samurai Sourcebook (Reprinted ed.). London: Cassell. ISBN 1854095234.

Literature[edit]

  • Schmorleitz, Morton S. (1974). Castles in Japan. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co. ISBN 0-8048-1102-4.

Coordinates: 35°30′26.73″N 134°14′24.0″E / 35.5074250°N 134.240000°E / 35.5074250; 134.240000