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Futagamiyama Castle

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This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
Futagamiyama Castle (二上山城 Futagamiyama-jō) is located in Iwami Town in Tottori Prefecture. It was a fortress constructed by Yamana Tokiuji (山名時氏), a commander of the Nanboku-chō Period (1336 to 1392) when the Northern Court, supported by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji, and the Southern Court, established by Emperor Go-Daigo, confronted each other.

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Futagamiyama Castle was the base of the Yamana clan in Inaba Province (modern-day eastern Tottori) in 1350’s until 1466. The Yamana were most influential during the Muromachi Period when they served as shugo (military governors or constables) over eleven provinces. They lost most of their land holdings in the Ōnin War (1467-77) but retained Inaba Province until the end of the Tokugawa reign. Futagamiyama Castle was abandoned after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.

I reached Futagamiyama via Prefectural Route 188 and Iwami agricultural road from Fukube-machi. I parked my car in a parking lot on the left side of the road, right after passing the Futagamiyama Tunnel.

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I climbed the promenade from here. The course was well-maintained, but the path was considerably steep. Attackers would have faced a lot of difficulties scaling the fortress.

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The map is based on the Digital Japan Portal Web Site run by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.

Those stairs seemed endless.

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There was an observation platform on the eastern side of the former castle grounds.

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It was quite difficult to trace this ditch.

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Then I reached the second bailey. Some ceramics pieces were excavated here.

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Soon, I arrived at the first bailey. It had taken forty minutes from the parking lot.

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The view from the first enclosure: it is a bit hard to discern on the picture below, but the Sea of Japan was visible in the background.

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This time, I embarked on a tour of castles in eastern Tottori. This was the first one I visited. That feather was most likely of a black kite. As it seemed to be an auspicious find, I brought it back.

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Date of visit: 13th July 2013

Access Information
  • Address: Iwatsune, Iwami-machi, Iwami-gun, Tottori - Map
  • Transportation: 22km from Tottori Expressway Tottori IC via National Route 9 and Iwami agricultural road


Map:

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Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.

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