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Castle Tenjinyama Castle (Tottori)

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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Tenjinyama Castle was a stronghold of the Inaba Yamana clan. It was also known as Fuse-Tenjinyama Castle (布勢天神山城 Fuse-tenjinyamajō). The notion that Yamana Katsutoyo (山名勝豊), the fifth shugo (military governor) of Inaba, constructed the castle in 1466 seems unlikely, given that Katsutoyo died in 1459. The castle was first documented in 1513 when historical sources mention Yamana Toyouji (山名豊氏) as its builder.

The castle is located on a hillside at Koyama Pond (more a lake than a pond), about five kilometres west from the centre of Tottori City. Nowadays, it is located right behind the building of Tottori Ryokufu High School.

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The map is based on Google Earth.

It was difficult to locate the castle without clear directions and landmarks. If you drive down the slope south from Tottori University along Prefectural Route 264, you should turn left as soon as you see the hill left hand.

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Remains of the original enclosure.

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The structure felt more like a hill mansion than a castle. The castle and the hills nearby were surrounded by moats. The moats measured some 2.6km in length and connected to Koyama Pond.

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The modest defences were typical for the early Sengoku Period. In 1563, Takeda Takanobu (武田高信, 1529-1573) of the Inaba Takeda clan, rebelled against the Yamana and took Tottori Castle. Tenjinyama Castle was abandoned when shugo Yamana Toyokazu (山名豊数) retreated. Later, in 1573, Takeda Takanobu suffered a crushing defeat against Yamana Toyokuni (山名豊国, 1548-1626) who moved his headquarters and the three-storied donjon from Tenjinyama to his new stronghold at Tottori Castle.

Koyama Pond as seen from the castle.

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Date of visit: 14 July 2013

Access:

  • Address: Koyama-cho-minami, Tottori-shi, Tottori
  • Transportation: a 15-minute walk from JR Sanin Line Tottori-daigaku-mae Station
    6 kilometres from Tottori Expressway Tottori Interchange via Prefectural Route 264
  • Other sights: Tottori Castle
    Tsuzurao Castle
    Tottori City Sightseeing Pamphlet (Tottori Tourism Website, in English)
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Tsuzurao Castle
Previous article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Wakasa-Onigajo 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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Series table of contents

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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Location
天神山城跡 〒680-0945 Tottori-ken, Tottori-shi, Koyamachōminami, 3-848

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