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Castle Konodai Castle

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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You see a vast plateau on the opposite bank when you cross the Edo River on the Keisei Line toward Chiba.

Konodai Castle

This is the Kōnodai (国府台) plateau with its long history that not only encompasses a Sengoku-era castle but reaches back to Paleolithic settlements.

Konodai Castle

This map is based on the Tokyo Terrain Map by Gridscapes.net.

The castle is said to have been constructed by Ōta Dōkan (太田道灌, 1432-1486), who established a temporary camp there. Kōnodai turned into an important strategic point between the provinces of Musashi and Shimōsa and a battleground of the Kantō warlords.

Kōnodai was the scene of the first Battle of Kōnodai (1538) between Hōjō Ujitsuna (北条氏綱, 1487-1541), the son of the founder of the Late Hōjō , Hōjō Sōun, and Satomi Yoshitaka (里見義堯, 1507?-1574), who refused to submit to the overlordship of the Hōjō; although supported by the forces of Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Yoshitaka was defeated by Ujitsuna.

The second Battle of Kōnodai (1564) saw the same clans pitched against each other, with the sons of the commanders at the first battle facing each other: outnumbering the enemy 20,000 to 8,000 men, Hōjō Ujiyasu triumphed over Satomi Yoshihiro.

Parts of the original castle ground are now maintained as Satomi Park.

I walked up to Kōnodai Castle from Keisei Line Kōnodai Station. The castle had been abandoned in the Edo Period; 1885 an army hospital was built in the southern stretch of the Kōnodai plateau. After World War II, a junior high school and a university were built nearby, turning the plateau into a school district. Passing the schools, I arrived at Satomi Park.

A castle monument is located in the southern part of the park.

Konodai Castle

Climbing up the slope in the northwest corner of the castle grounds, we can see earthworks and moats, giving the place a veritable "castle appearance".

Konodai Castle


Konodai Castle

From here, the City of Tōkyō can be seen on the opposite side of the river.

Konodai Castle

I can imagine that it was a challenging location for the Hōjō army to attack, as the castle was situated on a 20-meter-high plateau facing the river, while the defenders could easily spot and attack the enemy. The Hōjō, however, crushed the Satomi twice at Kōnodai. In the second battle, Yoshihiro was defeated when the Satomi held a premature victory party after fending off the attackers in the early stages of the conflict. We know that even a well-defended stronghold cannot make amends for the negligence of military leaders.

There is a Satomi clan memorial on the former castle's site.

Konodai Castle


Konodai Castle


konodai-tonegawa-fukei.jpg

View of Kōnodai, No. 95 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo; ukiyo-e by Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川 広重, 1797-1858).

Access:

  • Address: Ichikawa, Chiba 272-0827
  • Transportation: 16 minutes from Keisei Main line Konodai station (KS13) on foot
  • Other sights: Ichikawa Walking Map (Japanese: Ichikawa City HP)
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Usui Castle
Previous article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Setagaya 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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Iwatsuki Castle Shakujii Castle Oda Castle Tsuchiura Castle Miharu Castle Inohana Castle Setagaya Castle Konodai Castle Usui Castle Sakura Castle Kozukue Castle Masugata Castle Koga Castle Tenjinyama Castle Ogura Castle Sugaya Castle Sugiyama Castle Kogane Castle Kokokuji Castle Nagahama Castle (Izu) Nirayama Castle Hachigata Castle Futagamiyama Castle Edo Castle Kawahara Castle Kageishi Castle Wakasa-Onigajo Castle Tenjinyama Castle (Tottori) Tsuzurao Castle Ueshi Castle Jindaiji Castle Kururi Castle Mariyatsu Castle Narukami Castle Ryozen Castle Kori-Nishiyama Castle Tsutsujigasaki Residence Yogai Castle Kofu Castle Iwadono Castle Hachioji Castle Takiyama Castle Suemori Castle Nagoya Castle Inuyama Castle Kiyosu Castle Tatebayashi Castle Sano Castle Karasawayama Castle Ueda Castle Sanada Residence Sanada Honjo Toishi Castle Katsurao Castle Uchiyama Castle Hiraga Clan Castle Taguchi Castle Tatsuoka Castle Komoro Castle Matsushiro Castle Kajiki Castle Kakuto Castle Hitoyoshi Castle Ichiuji Castle Izaku Castle Chiran Castle Kiyoshiki Castle Kamo Castle Miyakono Castle Obi Castle Shibushi Castle Koyama Castle Mukasa Castle Sadowara Castle Tonokoori Castle Taka Castle Nerima Castle Kawagoe Castle Ashikaga Residence Koizumi Castle Kanayama Castle Shinagawa Battery (Odaiba) Tamba Kameyama Castle Yagi Castle Sonobe Castle Fushimi Castle Yodo Castle Shoryuji Castle Yamazaki Castle Tsukui Castle Katakura Castle Hirayama Castle Site Park Yamanaka Castle Sanuki Castle Sunpu Castle Koyama Castle (Shizuoka) Ryugenzan Castle Sagara Castle Tanaka Castle (Shizuoka) Ishiwaki Castle Hanazawa Castle Mochifune Castle Moriyama Castle (Aichi) Obata Castle (Aichi) Ryusenji Castle Gakuden Castle Komakiyama Castle Iwakura Castle (Aichi) Kano Castle Gifu Castle Kitagata Castle Sone Castle Ōgaki Castle Ōtaki Castle Obata Castle (Ibaraki) Mito Castle Kasama Castle Tanagura Castle Akadate Castle Inawashiro Castle Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle Mukai-Haguroyama Castle

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Hiroto Uehara
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国府台

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