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Castle Sone Castle

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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Sone Castle (曽根城 or 曾根城 Sone-jō) was a castle located in Sone-chō, Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture dating back to the Sengoku Period. It has been designated a historic site by Ogaki City.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

The castle was a flatland castle built on a bend of the Hiranoi River (平野井川), a tributary of the Ibi River (揖斐川). The castle was built by Inaba Michitomi (稲葉通富) in the late Muromachi period. His descendent Inaba Yoshimichi (稲葉良通, also known as Inaba Ittetsu 稲葉 一鉄, 1515-1589) was a member of the Mino Triumvirate (西美濃三人衆 Nishi-Mino Sanninshū), and served the Saitō clan and later Oda Nobunaga, holding 50,000 koku. Kasuga-no-Tsubone (春日局, 1579-1643), the daughter of Saitō Toshimitsu and later the influential wet nurse of Tokugawa Iemitsu, later married Inaba Masanari (稲葉正成, 1571-1628), Ittetsu's son. In 1588, Nishio Mitsunori (西尾光教, 1544-1616) became castellan of Sone Castle. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Mitsunori was transferred to Ibi Castle, as a reward for his successful relief of Ogaki Castle. Sone Castle was abandoned and its castle ground turned into rice fields. In 1734, Kakeiji Temple (華渓寺), built by Ittetsu to commemorate his mother, was relocated to the site of the former castle.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

Aerial photographs taken from Geographical Survey Institute maps. The location of the enclosures is estimated.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

This is the second of the three Nishi-Mino castles that we visited. If you go north along the road on the west side of Gifu Keizai University, you will see a small sign saying Sone Castle Park, so follow it. At the entrance to the castle ruins, there was a self-watering well. Water is abundant in this area.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

Though few relics remain, stones were excavated on the northern side of Kakeiji Temple. They were used to restore the stone wall below.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

In the pond shown in the picture above, hariyo (ハリヨ, 針魚 Gasterosteus aculeatus subsp., "smallhead stickleback") are being bred. They are rare fish that build nests to raise their young. They are a symbol of Ogaki.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

Sone Castle Park (v), to the north of Kakeiji Temple, looks like a regular park.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

This is the bank of the River Hiranoi, which flows on the eastern side of the castle ruins.

Sone Castle (曽根城)

Inaba Yoshimichi (稲葉 良通)

Inaba Yoshimichi (稲葉 良通, 1515-1589), also known as Inaba Ittetsu (稲葉 一鉄)

The Mino Triumvirate

The Mino Triumvirate (西美濃三人衆 Nishi-Mino Sanninshū, lit. "Western Mino's Order of the Three") was commanded by three Japanese samurai generals serving the Saitō clan during the Sengoku Period :

  • Ujiie Naomoto (氏家直元, 1512-1571), also known as Ujiie Bokuzen (氏家ト全)
  • Andō Morinari (安藤守就, 1503-1582), also known as Andō Dōsoku (安藤 道足)
  • Inaba Yoshimichi also known as Inaba Ittetsu

The historical records of the Mino Triumvirate were compiled by later generations. While the records pertaining to the Inaba family are relatively abundant, those belonging to the Ando and Ujiie families are scarce. The Sanninshu all resided in Mino for several generations, first serving the Toki clan, and then the Saito. During Oda Nobunaga's Mino campaign, they were vassals of Saito Yoshitatsu. In August 1567, they renounced the Saitō and joined Oda Nobunaga. Under the Oda clan, they participated in Nobunaga's campaigns, including Kyōto in September of 1568.

In 1571, Ujiie Naomoto died in battle against the Nagashima Ikkō Ikki (長島一向一揆), and his son Naomichi succeeded him. However, in August 1580, Andō Morinari was exiled on Nobunaga's orders, leading to the dissolution of the Mino Triumvirate. It is said that Nobunaga intended to reorganize the Mino and Owari armies under his son Nobutada, and the presence of Morinari, who was once an enemy and had a significant influence in Mino and was not conducive to this plan. After the Incident at Honnōji in June of 1582, Inaba Yoshimichi defeated Andō Morinari, Andō Naoyuki, and other former allies.

Date of visit: 22 March 2014


  • Address: 1-715 Sonecho, Ogaki, Gifu 503-0011
  • Access: a 35-minute walk from Higashi Akasaka Station (東赤坂駅) on the Yōrō Line; seven kilometres from Ogaki Nishi Interchange of Tōkai Kanjō Expressway via Route 21.
  • Parking: free parking lot ('P' on the map above).
  • Other sites: Ogaki Castle
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Ōgaki Castle
Previous article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Kitagata 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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〒503-0011 岐阜県大垣市曽根町1丁目715

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