Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877 The Baur Collection: Japanese Sword-Fittings and Associated Metalwork

Kanayama Castle

Images: Fujinamiism

Kanayama Castle is classified as a mountain castle, and is located in Gunma Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Kōzuke Province. It is associated with the Iwamatsu clan. Dates in use: 1469 - 1590.

This castle is recognized as a castle of great significance, both in the Kantō region & nationally. It was also included as one of Japan's top 100 castles. Kanayama Castle proved virtually impossible to capture after numerous attempts to do so failed, such was the strength of its location & design.

Despite its obvious strengths, following the defeat of the Hōjō clan by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the castle was decommissioned.

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1469 The castle was build by the Iwamatsu clan who ruled over it for the following 60 years.
1528 The Yokose clan, who were retainers of the Iwamatsu clan, were given control of the castle.
1574 The castle was laid siege to by Uesugi Kenshin's armies.
1580 The castle was laid siege to by Takeda Katsuyori's armies.
1583 The castle was laid siege to by Satake Yorishige's armies.
1584 The Hōjō had captured some people of status, including the lord of Tatebayashi castle. They were set free when control of the castle was relinquished to the Hōjō clan.
1590 Toyotomi Hideyoshi destroyed the Hōjō and the castle was abandoned.

Historical recognition

SiteNational Historic Site