Sunomata Citadel stands on the confluence of the Sai and Nagara rivers, within the metropolis of Ōgaki in Gifu Prefecture. It’s a typical Japanese citadel with a powerful basis of stone and a multi-storied wood constructing on prime with a gable roof and adorned eaves. So far as castles go, Sunomata could be very small, but it surely has an enormous story. Legend has it that the Sunomata Citadel was constructed throughout the course of a single night time.
Sunomata Citadel, also called Ichiya Citadel (or the “one night time citadel”), was constructed within the mid-Sixteenth century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of many generals of the highly effective feudal lord Oda Nobunaga, throughout the buildup to the siege of Inabayama Citadel in 1567.
Sunomata Citadel in Ōgaki. Picture: mTaira/Shutterstock.com
Oda Nobunaga’s greatest rival was the Saitō clan of the neighboring Mino Province, even if he was married to the daughter of Saitō Dōsan, the rival chief. Certainly, his marriage was a political truce his father solid within the hope that it could finish the rivalry between the 2 clans.
Saitō Dōsan initially deliberate to move his inheritance to his eldest son Saitō Yoshitatsu, as any father would have. However when he noticed the grace with which Oda Nobunaga dominated his kingdom, he began pondering that perhaps his son-in-law could be a extra deserving candidate than his personal sons. When Yoshitatsu discovered that his father was planning to provide away his inheritance, he seized energy by a coup d’etat in 1556, after which murdered his father as effectively his youthful brothers.
In 1561 Yoshitatsu died after a protracted sickness and his son, Saitō Tatsuoki, succeeded to the management of the clan. Nevertheless, Tatsuoki was younger and incapable of efficient management. He was seen with contempt by his subordinates, and even despised by the native peasantry. Making the most of this example, Nobunaga satisfied many Saitō retainers and warlords within the Mino space to desert their incompetent grasp, and defect to the rising alliance beneath the Oda clan, promising them rewards for his or her assist.
In anticipation of the upcoming marketing campaign, Nobunaga assigned his trusted retainer Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who would go on to change into one of the crucial highly effective males in Japan, to construct a citadel between the fork of the Sai and Nagara rivers the place they each converged at Sunomata. This new citadel would function a staging level for the Oda forces from the place they may launch an assault towards Inabayama Citadel. Nevertheless, Sunomata was situated inside enemy territory and any building work was more likely to be hampered by Saito’s forces. However Hideyoshi had a plan.
Hideyoshi started by felling timber on the alternative financial institution of the Nagara River and common them into prefabricated sections of the citadel partitions and towers. These had been then floated down the river on rafts and re-assembled at Sunomata throughout the course of a single night time. Early subsequent morning when Saito Tatsuoki gazed down from Inabayama Citadel on the stout new fort, which had seemingly appeared in a single day, a chill went down his backbone. In actuality, the “fort” was little greater than a skeleton with a façade, meant to psychologically intimidate, shock and demoralize the enemy. Stalled by the enemy’s warning, Hideyoshi’s males had been capable of rapidly remodel the delicate framework right into a functioning fortification, after which into a whole citadel.
Hideyoshi climbing the steep slopes of Mount Inaba (now Mount Kinka) to guide an assault on Inabayama Citadel. Woodcut print by Yoshitoshi (1885)
In 1567, with Hideyoshi’s help, Nobunaga was capable of launch the conclusive assault on Inabayama Citadel. His military of round 5 thousand troops crossed the Kiso River and marched straight to the citadel city of Inoguchi (now Gifu metropolis) attracting the assist of many Saito retainers alongside the best way. The defenders had been demoralized to see the banners of Saito retainers among the many attacking military, however the mountaintop citadel was nonetheless in an almost impregnable place. The siege took about two weeks. In the direction of the tip of the siege, Hideyoshi led a small celebration up the steep cliffs of Mount Kinka, infiltered the citadel from the unguarded rear, and threw open the entrance gates, permitting the attacking forces to enter. After Tatsuoki was defeated, Nobunaga claimed the citadel and renamed it Gifu Citadel.
Gifu Citadel. Picture: hayakato/Shutterstock.com
The present citadel at Sunomata is a reconstruction in-built 1991, modeled after the close by Ogaki Citadel. The citadel serves as a museum highlighting its historical past and significance. Inside, one can see a mannequin of what the citadel would have actually regarded like in actuality together with samurai armor items and weapons of that point. The citadel can be among the finest websites to view cherry blossoms throughout spring because the banks the place the citadel is situated are coated with a whole bunch of cherry timber.
Sunomata Citadel. Picture: mTaira/Shutterstock.com