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Castle Kageishi Castle

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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Kageishi Castle (景石城 Kageishi-jō) was located in former Inaba Province near the post station of Mochigase-shuku (用瀬宿) along Inaba Kaidō (因幡街道) at the confluence of Sendai River and Sajigawa River. Inaba Kaidō connected the province of Harima (modern-day Okayama Prefecture) with Tottori.

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

The Taiheiki (太平記, "Chronicle of Great Peace") written in the 14th century mentioned that the castle was held by Yamana Tokiuji (山名時氏, d.1372). Tokiuji was a retainer of Ashikaga Takauji and shugo (military governor) over several territories including Inaba Province. Due to internal conflicts within the Ashikaga clan, Tokiuji changed sides and supported Emperor Go-Daigo in his struggle against the Ashikaga by attacking Kyōto , the seat of the Kamakura shogunate. In 1356, Ashikaga Takauji, now shogun himself, ordered the Akamatsu clan, the shugo of Harima who had helped Takauji to recapture Kyōto from the imperial forces and overthrow the Kamakura shogunate, to attack the Yamana. Akamatsu Norisuke (1314-1371) held Kageishi Castle for five years. Eventually, the Yamana swore allegiance to the Muromachi shogunate and were reinstated in their former territories in the Sanin region.

When Toyotomi Hideyoshi, then a commander of Oda Nobunaga, attacked Tottori in 1580, his retainer Isobe Toyonao (磯部豊直) occupied the castle and held it for twenty years. In 1615, it was abandoned under the Ikkoku Ichijo Rei, the policy of only one castle per province.

I went to Mochigase by car, ascending the forest road from Mochigase Station. I took the right turn shown in the picture below.

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There was a parking lot at the end of the road. That's where we headed out for the castle.

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The mountain trail was steep and a challenge to negotiate.

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The mountain consists of granite, so the surface is quite rugged.

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Remains of a dry moat.

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I was hoping that this was the castle, but it was just the San-no-maru (third enclosure).

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Then I climbed up to the second enclosure (ni-no-maru).

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And finally, we arrived at the main enclosure.

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Simple stone walls surrounded the enclosure.

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The view from the main enclosure over the Mochigase-machi area. The Chizu traffic went along the Sendai River between the mountains. In modern times too, with JR Inbi Line and Tottori Expressway running through, it is an important traffic intersection.

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This was another amazing thing which I found in Tottori: an enormous earthworm, almost 35cm in length!

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What was its destination? it was sliding down the rocky pathway. Surely, it must have been dehydrated under the summer heat, but as I tried to remove it from the path it resisted violently. Such a big specimen it was, it looked like an eel.

Date of visit: 13 July 2013

Access:

  • Address: Mochigase-machi Mochigase, Tottori-shi, Tottori
  • Transportation: a 15-minute walk from JR Inbi Line Mochigase Station
    4 kilometres from Tottori Expressway Mochigase Interchange via National Route 53
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Wakasa-Onigajo Castle
Previous article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Kawahara Castle
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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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Hiroto Uehara
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