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Travel Ueshi Castle

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This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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Ueshi Castle (羽衣石城) was constructed in 1366 in Hōki Province (伯耆国 Hōki no kuni, modern-day western Tottori Prefecture) and was the seat of the local Nanjō clan (南条氏 Nanjō-shi).

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The map is based on Google Earth, the location of enclosures are based on my estimates, so they may not be entirely correct.

History


During the Sengoku Period, the Nanjō clan and the castle were involved in constant skirmishes with the Amago clan (尼子氏 Amago-shi), the Mōri clan (毛利氏 Mōri-shi) and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Amago Tsunehisa (尼子経久, 1458-1541), who had invaded and attacked from Izumo (current eastern Shimane) in 1524, brought all castles in Hōki, including Ueshi, under his control. Supported by the Mōri, Nanjō Munekatsu reoccupied the castle in 1563.

Later, Nanjō Mototsugu (南条元続, 1549-1591) broke with the Mōri and sided with Oda Nobunaga when Hashiba Hideyoshi, Nobunaga's trusted general who would later be known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, attacked the San-in district. However, after Hideyoshi’s withdrawal in 1582, the castle was captured by the Mōri and Mototsugu escaped to Kyōto. Mototsugu was reinstated after the Mōri and Hideyoshi reconciled in 1585.

In the Battle of Sekigahara, however, Nanjō Mototada joined the western forces and was defeated. He was ousted from his position and the castle was subsequently abandoned.

The castle


I approached the castle from Prefectural Road 22 and turned south close to Ueshi Bridge. There is a parking lot at the dead end of the road leading up to the castle. From the parking lot, it is a 20-minute walk up a narrow path up to the castle. There are enough signs along the path to prevent you from losing your direction. Nowadays, we can use the car, but back then it must have been tough to reach the foot of the castle. There are other footpaths from Matsuzaki Station and from Misasa Onsen from where it should take well over an hour to crest the hill.

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The trail was maintained reasonably well.

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Further up the hill is a Hachiman Shrine. Back in the day, the residences of the retainers were located around the shrine.

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A stone wall on the hillside.

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On the way up the hill was the rock which gave Ueshi Castle its name. Legend has it that a celestial maiden laid her robes on the rock and bathed.

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The main enclosure houses a ferroconcrete imitation donjon which makes you wonder whether the celestial maid had helped them bring the material up.

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Monuments within the perimeter of the main enclosure.

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Below the view from the main enclosure: clearly visible Lake Togo Pond and the Sea of Japan.

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Date of visit: 14th July 2013

Access Information

  • Address : Ueshi, Yurihama-machi, Tohaku-gun, Tottori Map
  • Access: (To parking space) 12km from Aoya-Hawai Road Tomari-Togo IC via Prefectural Route 22
About author
Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.

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