Images: Daniel O'Grady
小笠原氏1600 - 1607
平岩氏1607 - 1616
成瀬氏1616 - 1868
犬山城Inuyama Castle is classified as a hilltop castle, and is located in Aichi Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Owari Province. It is associated with the Oda, Naruse clans. Dates in use: 1469 - 1871.
Perched rather picturesquely upon a hill sits what was once thought to be Japan's oldest Tenshu. A full restoration in the 1960's breathed new life into the old structure but also managed to disprove that the main tower had been transferred here (from Kaneyama castle) many centuries earlier. Had the main tower been carted in, it would have been a prime contender for the Japan's oldest Tenshu crown. The three story tower looks to be rather small but, inside there are actually six levels, two of which are within the stone foundations of the main tower.
Ownership of this castle was transferred to the Emperor during the Meiji restoration. Uniquely, this castle was returned to its former lord's family where it remained in private possession until 2004. The castle is a favourite of many, but aside from the genuinely old main tower, there is little else of interest unless you're will to go hunting for the former castle gates that were relocated to temples in the area.
|1469||Oda Hirochika constructed the castle (at a nearby site?).|
|1537||Oda Nobuyasu became lord of the castle. At that time, the central tower was just two stories tall.|
|1544||Nobuyasu died in battle atop Mt. Inabayama (the location of Gifu Castle.) Oda Nobukiyo became lord of the castle.|
|1547||Ikeda Tsuneoki became lord of the castle.|
|1600||The Ogasawara clan were transferred here.|
|1607||The Hiraiwa clan were transferred here.|
|1611||For the following six years, the castle was without a lord.|
|1617||The Naruse clan were transferred here. The castle underwent its final expansion, and thus attained its final form.|
|1871||The castle was decommissioned. All buildings were removed except for the main tower.|
|1891||The South-East attached turret of the main tower was damaged in an earthquake.|
|1935||The main tower was designated Nation Treasure status and again in 1952 following amendments to the criteria.|
|1965||During a complete restoration of the castle, the main tower was dismantled & no evidence could be found to support the theory that the main tower had been transferred from Kanayama as had been previously believed.|
|2004||The Naruse family relinquished possession of the castle.|
|Main Tower||National Treasure|