Mihara Castle[The feature on the castles; Japanese history]

三原城/アクセス・場所・地図 小早川隆景が築城した瀬戸内海の浮城 三原城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

[Castle name]
Mihara Castle
a floating castle built by Kobayakawa Takakage in the Seto Inland Sea

Mihara Castle used to stand in current Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture It was called “Floating Castle” because it used to stand by the sea.
It was built by Kobayakawa Takakage, the third son of Mori Motonari. The Kobayakawa family originally used navy as its main power. So he built some castle to dominate the Seto Inland Sea. they were Takayama Castle, Nitakayama Castle, and Mihara Castle.

三原城/アクセス・場所・地図 小早川隆景が築城した瀬戸内海の浮城 三原城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

The Kobayakawa family had split into the Numata Kobayakawa family and the Takehara Kobayakawa family. Takakage united both families and became the head. In the 1st year of the Koji period (A.D.1555), his navy fought as the ace of Mori Navy and win the Battle on Itsukushima.

After that, he repaired Mihara Castle and developed the castle town. At that time, Oda Nobunaga ruled the center of Japan and sent his army to many areas. The Mori family fought with Hashiba Hideyoshi, who was in charge of uniting the Chugoku region for Nobunaga, again and again. Hideyoshi gradually invaded Mori estate.

三原城/アクセス・場所・地図 小早川隆景が築城した瀬戸内海の浮城 三原城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

While the battle, in the 10th year of the Tensho period, Oda Nobunaga was killed by his man Akechi Mitsuhide. Hideyoshi wanted to avenge for Nobunaga, so he made peace with the Mori family without telling the death.

Then Hideyoshi went back to Kyoto and defeated Mitsuhide in the Battle of Yamazaki. Later on, he defeated Shibata Katsuie and Takigawa Ichmasu, they had been a senior statesman of Nobunaga, too. He was gradually getting all of Japan.

The Mori family decided to join Hideyoshi group and worked for him in the conquest of Shikokus region and Kyusyu region. During the time, they moved their main home from Yoshida Koriyama Castle to Hiroshima Castle in Seto Inland Sea. Kobayakawa Takakage had worked well in many battles, so he got Chikuzen province and Najima Castle.

三原城/アクセス・場所・地図 小早川隆景が築城した瀬戸内海の浮城 三原城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

Furthermore, he invited Hideyoshi’s nephew Kobayakawa Hideaki as his heir to stabilize the family. In the 4th year of the Bunroku period (A.D.1595), he made Hideaki the head of the family and went back to Mihara Castle to retire. In the 2nd year of the Keicho period (A.D.1597), he died of a disease in Mihara Castle.

In the 5th year of the Keicho period (A.D.1600), during the Battle of Sekigahara, Hideaki defected to the eastern army, the Ieyasu side, and given Bizen Okayama Castle. However, later on, he died of illness in his youth. There was no heir in the Kobayakawa family, so it was deprived of their feudal estate and status.

On the other hand, the main branch of the Mori family lost 1/4 of their estate because they fought as the leader of the western army in the Battle of Sekigahara. Their home base, Hiroshima Castle, was given to Fukushima Masanori and they were forced to move to Hagi Castle, which was in the Japan Sea coast.

三原城/アクセス・場所・地図 小早川隆景が築城した瀬戸内海の浮城 三原城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

Regarding on Mihara Castle, the Fukushima family sent Masayuki, a son of Masanori, to rule it as branch castle. However, Tokugawa Ieyasu got all Japan and deprived feudal lords related to Hideyoshi of their feudal estates and statuses. The Fukushima family was not an exception. After all, Masanori lost Hiroshima Castle and was exiled to Kawanaka Jima. It happened in Tokugawa Hidetada period, the second shogun.

At Hiroshima Castle, Asano Nagaakira, the head of the Ki’i Wakayama domain. At Mihara Castle, a chief retainer of the Asano family got in charge. After that, the Asano family had been ruled the castles until the Meiji Restoration.

三原城/アクセス・場所・地図 小早川隆景が築城した瀬戸内海の浮城 三原城【お城特集 日本の歴史】

Now, in the ruin of Mihara Castle, there only a castle tower, a moat, stone walls, and turrets remain. The ruin has been repaired to be a park from 2004.

723-0004 Yakata Town, Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture 1-1-1


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