Chozui Castle Ruins
[Location] Ikaba, Yamasaki-Town, Shiso City
Located approximately 5 kilometers from the city, this hilltop castle is built on the summit of Mt. Chozui (Elevation: 584 meters) between the Ikaba and Uno districts. It is said to have been built by Sokuyu, the third son of Akamatsu Enshin, during the Nanboku-chō period. Uno (Akamatsu clan), who had held the Shugodai (deputy governor) position of Nishi-Harima, had his headquarters located in Sasanomaru castle until the mid-Muromachi period. However, it is believed that by the time of the Sengoku period, he relocated to Chozui castle which was more fortified.
The scale of this castle was large when compared to others in the North-Western Harima region, having its main compound(10 meters in the East-West side, and 23 meters in the North-South side) be located on the crest where the current main Shintoku-ji temple is standing . The gradually leveling roofs of the main compound stretches approximately 100 meters from the North-South to North-East. The stone walls of the main compound at its tallest is approximately 6 meters, but the main portion is believed to have been re-stacked in later periods.
Furthermore, Isui Elementary School in the Uno region is said to be the residential remains of the old district. From the regional name left on old archives, it is thought that there was a primitive castle town in this region. In addition, in the Ikaba district, which was the Karameteguchi (back gateway), there used to be a castle called the Ikabagamae.
On April 1580, after making his main stronghold at Hijiriyama castle and clearing away the bases of the Uno clan one by one, Hashiba Hideyoshi made fortifications and strengthened himself in various locations before fighting numerous battles in Aga (present-day Himeji city). In May of the same year, although fighting valiently, Uno Masayori and Sukekiyo (father and son) tried escaping from the castle towards Mimasaka, but was caught and died at Chikusa Omori fighting the army led by Hachisuka Iemasa, Araki Shigekata and Mikoda Masaharu.
In the “Chozui Gun-ki” that was made during the later Edo period, Chozui castle was said to have been fallen due to the betrayal and arson of a trusted retainer (under a scheme by Kuroda Kanbe, a famous strategist of Japan). Although the facts are unclear, due to the loss of Uno, the Harima clan who opposed the Oda clan where wiped out, leading to the end of the Sengoku period of the region.
Later, Shisou became the territory of Mikoda Masaharu and later Kuroda Kanbe, and Ikeda Teruzumi became lord of Shiso in 1615, he built Yamasaki castle and maintained the castle town where Chozui castle ended its reign.
Includes “Hyogo-ken no Chusei Jokan/Syoen Iseki (The Ruins of Castles and Manors from Medieval Times in Hyogo Prefecture)” edited by the board of education of Hyogo Prefecture
This signage was installed by utilizing “The Local Dream Promotion Project.”
--Counselor of Nishiharima Prefectural Government Rejuvenation Committee--