Shinpu Castle : A Study of Japanese Bibliography

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"Kōjō ezu (picture in Edo Period)" from 国立国会図書館

Collected by the Inagaki family, the Toba Daimyō from the mid-Edo period to the Meiji Restoration, as materials for military studies. There are about 350 illustrations, but there is no uniformity because only illustrations of castles, illustrations including castle towns, and old battlefield illustrations are mixed.

Another typical example of castle picture in the Edo period exists, "The Shōhō Shiroezu", picture of the castle and castle town that the Edo Shogunate ordered the daimyō to create and submit,aggregating military information such as the buildings inside the castle, the height of the stone wall, the width of the moat and the water depth, etc., it also details the location and shape of the castle town and the mountain river.

Profile : Shinpu Castle Ruins

LocationNirasaki City, Yamanashi Prefecture
Also known asNirasaki Castle
Type of castleHilltop
Mountain's name
DesignationNational Historic Sites
Year built1581
Castle lordTakeda Katsuyori
Refurbishment lordTokugawa Ieyasu
Portrait of Takeda katsuyori from Wikipedia
Family Crest of Takeda Clan from Wikipedia

The family crest was originally created from the pattern that the emperor and the royal family put on the kimono, and the pattern was made into a fixed pattern, and the one attached to his own oxcart is said to be the beginning of the family crest. The warlords drew large crests on the flag-fingers, used to distinguish enemy views on the battlefield, and used by the generals to determine which warlords were active and how much.

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Shinpu Castle Images 

Ruins of Honmaru

Takeda Katsuyori, "Kai Region Ruler", was in a critical situation around 1581. Mr. Hōjō in Sagami Region formed an alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu of Tōkai district, in addition the army of Oda Nobunaga who was aiming for the invasion of Kōshin district was approaching. Under such circumstances, Katsuyori decided to build a new base, Shinpu Castle, because of the need to strengthen the defense system of Takeda's territory. Katsuyori moved to Shinpu Castle at the end of the same year, but following the invasion of the Oda army in March 1582, he set fire to the castle and escaped. It is said that it was only the 68th day in the castle.
Shinpu Castle was constructed using almost the entire mountain, with Ninomaru on the west side, Nishi-sannomaru and Higashi-sannomaru on the south, centering Honmaru on mountaintop. It is 600m north-south and 550m east-west, and stone walls like modern castles are not used, but a 2.5m-high earthwork is laid. At the foot of the mountain from the north side to the east side, there is a moat and kuruwas protected by earthworks. At the southeastern end, there was Ōtemon (main gate), which was completely protected by defence system such as Masugata-Koguchi, Maru-Umadashi and Mikazukibori. At the northwest end , there was Inui-mon gate (back gate) with a Masugata-Koguchi and kuruwas with a watchtower. The main feature is that it has a solid gun position, called "Degamae", in order to expose it to cross fire in preparation for an enemy attack from the northern highlands,
Tomb of Takeda Katsuyori
Signboard of Shinpu Castle by Agency for Cultural Affairs

Link : Castle closely related to Takeda Clan

【east japan】Minowa Castle 【central japan】 Komoro Castle 【central japan】Matsushiro Castle 【central japan】Takatō Castle 【central japan】Nagashino Castle 【central japan】Tsutsujigasaki-yakata 【east japan】Shinpu castle


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