Knowing the history before going to Gujo Hachiman Castle can make your trip more enjoyable!
History of Gujo Hachiman Castle
Gujo Hachiman Castle was ruled by 5 families for 19 generations. It was started in 1559 at the end of the Warring States period (1467 – 1590), when Endo Morikazu set up a camp for the war. His son, Endo Yoshitaka, who succeeded him, built a castle town and a castle. After that, it was renovated by Inaba Sadamichi to make it a full-scale mountain castle. It is said that in 1667 during Edo period (1603 – 1868), Endo Tsunetomo, the grandson of endo Yoshitaka, undertook a major renovation of the castle with the permission of Shogunate government and built a castle town of water which remained the same up to the present day. These achievements were recognized by the shogunate, and the name of Lord of castle was allowed to use. After that, Inoue family and Kanamori ruled one after another, untile Aoyama Yoshimichi ruled Gujo domain after Horeki Riot (Gujo Ikki). The era of Aoyama family has continued for 111 years.
What is Yamashiro (Mountain castle)?
Yamashiro refers to a castle built on a mountain. It is said that many were built during Nanbokucho era (1337 – 1392) to the Warring States period (1467 – 1590), when wars continued for a long period before the unification of the country. This kind of castle has been created by shaving, digging steep mountains, and piling soil to create the castle base, and is also called a middle age castle. Gujo Hachiman Castle is also one of the Yamashiro built as a highly defensive fortress using steep mountains. It is enjoyable by walking up the slope leading to the castle, imagining a medieval castle attack, and thinking about how to defend the mountain castle.