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Iwamura Castle
岩村城
Iwamura, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Iwamurajo17.jpg
Castle ruins
Type Mountaintop castle
Coordinates Latitude:
Longitude:
Built 1185
Demolished 1871
Occupants Tōyama clan, Mori clan, Matsudaira clan, Niwa clan

Aerial view of the area around Iwamura Castle

Iwamura Castle (岩村城 Iwamura-jō?) was located in the southeastern area of Mino Province in Japan. Its ruins can be found in the modern-day town of Iwamura in Ena District, Gifu Prefecture.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

The castle was first founded in 1185[1] by Kato Kagekado who was the vassal or retainers of Minamoto no Yoritomo[2] and from the 13th to 16th centuries, it was in the fief of the Tōyama clan (遠山氏 Tōyama-shi). Toyama Kageto (who was the retainer of Oda Nobunaga) would be the of the Toyama's to ruler.

Siege of Iwamura[edit | edit source]

In 1572, after the Siege of Iwamura, Takeda Shingen took the castle and entrusted it to Akiyama Nobutomo. The widow of Toyama Kageto negotiated the castles surrender and her own marriage to Nobutomo—for protection.

Revenge[edit | edit source]

From July–December 1575, Oda Nobunaga attacked and took the castle, and after a 6 month siege he promised Nobutomo safety and his life if he ended holding out. However he reneged on his word and had Nobutomo and his wife executed by hanging upside down—a punishment usually reserved for traitors. Nobunaga would eventually become Shogun or military ruler of all Japan.[3]

Various Rulers[edit | edit source]

Nobunaga placed the castle under the command of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi in turn transferred power of Iwamura Castle to Tamaru Tomotada. After the Battle of Sekigahara, it was occupied under Tokugawa rule by the Ogyu Daimyo from 1601 to 1638, by the Niwa clan from 1638 to 1702, and finally by the Ishikawa clan from 1702 until the end of the Tokugawa period in 1868.

Dismantling[edit | edit source]

In 1873 Iwamura Castle was dismantled under a castle abolishment law. Today some stone walls and a turret are what remains of the old castle.[4] Today Iwamura Castle is considered in the top 3 examples of mountaintop castles in Japan.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Iwamura Castle 岩村城". www.jcastle.info. http://www.jcastle.info/castle/profile/92-Iwamura-Castle. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  2. "Iwamura Castle". castle.jpn.or. http://castle.jpn.org/en/mino/iwamura/. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  3. "Siege of Iwamur". www.vhinkle.com. http://www.vhinkle.com/japan/nagashino.html. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  4. "Iwamura Castle". www.kotodamaya.com. http://www.kotodamaya.com/iwamura-castle/. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 

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