pix: Daniel O'Grady
大久保氏1614 - 1619
阿部氏1619 - 1632
稲葉氏1632 - 1686
大久保氏1686 - 1868
小田原城Odawara Castle is classified as a hilltop castle, and is located in Kanagawa Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Sagami Province. It is associated with the Hōjō, Ōkubo clans. Dates in use: 1417 - 1871.
The Hōjō clan were the most powerful clan of the Kantō region throughout most of the 1500's. They had within their lands a network of castles but based themselves at Odawara castle. It was indeed a strong & mighty castle and proved to be just that against attacks by the powerful Uesugi clan then the Takeda clan just a short time later. Despite the Hōjō's tenacious D the castle did eventually fall to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in his quest to conquer all of Japan.
The pace is hardly blistering but since the end of WWII, it seems that every couple of decades brings with it the restoration of a section of the castle grounds. Following the main tower in 1960, two gate complexes have been restored. The most recent addition to Odawara castle is the Uma dashi, a small enclosure to defend from, or if breached, a contained & exposed death-trap.
The main tower, while containing some interesting displays, is a slightly-aged, concrete reproduction. Video cameras, regular cameras, not even the camera on your mobile photo can be inside this building. You'll need a courtroom sketch artist to record any images.
|1417||Fortifications were built by the Ōmori clan.|
|1496||The castle withstood an attack by the Hōjō clan.|
|1561||The castle withstood an attack by the Uesugi clan.|
|1569||The castle fell to the Takeda clan.|
|1590||Toyotomi Hideyoshi assaulted this castle & defeated the Hōjō clan. The Ōkubo clan were stationed here & commenced restoration of the defences.|
|1633||The first main tower was built.|
|1703||The main tower collapsed due to a massive earthquake.|
|1706||The main tower was rebuilt.|
|1870||The castle was abandoned.|
|1872||The main tower & several turrets were dismantled. A shrine was built upon the base of the main tower.|
|1923||Remaining buildings (one or more turrets?) & the stone foundations were damaged in another earthquake.|
|1934||A corner turret was rebuilt.|
|1960||The main tower was reconstructed.|
|1971||The Tokiwagi Gate was reconstructed.|
|1997||The Akagane Gate was reconstructed.|
|2009||The Uma-dashi gate area was rebuilt.|
|Site||National Historic Site|