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Odawara-jo Castle / The Short Summary Of Odawarajo

Odawara-jo Castle was originally a mountaintop castle built on Mt.Hachiman-yama by Omori Clan ruled the western part of Sagami-no-kuni (the southern part of Kanagawa Prefacture). (Some said the Kobayakawa Clan built the castle, and the Omori Clan at Suruga-no-kuni seized it in 1416.) There are no specific information of the date of construction and the scale of the castle, but it was said that the castle might be built in the fifteenth century.

The Odawara-jo Castle first appeared on the main stage of the Japanese History in the Sengoku Periode (the Warring States Period). In 1495, Soun Hojo (the founder of Go-Hojo Clan) seized the Odawara Castle in the western Kanagawa Prefecture from the Omori Clan with fraud. After Soun moved to Odawara, he developed his influence through the area of Kanagawa Prefecture actively and aggressively, and his clan had ruled it almost 100 years around the Kanto Region. Soun and his descendants reconstructed the castle as a flatland-mountain castle and the length of the barriers of the Odawara Castle was finally 9 km long, so it was developed as the one of the largest castle in the Sengoku Period. Moreover, the 3rd lord Ujiyasu Hojo, the grandchild of Soun had completely protected his territory from several attackings by Kenshin Uesugi at Echigo-no-kuni, Shingen Takeda at Kai-no-kuni and so on, so it was called the impregnable castle. However in 1590, Hideyoshi Toyotomi who was the was the Kanpaku Dajo-daijin (the supreme minister and chancellor) won the Siege of Odawara, and he buit the Ishigakiyama Castle on the way of Tokai-do road near Mt.Hakone, on the west side of the Odawara Castle in a night to show his power. The Hojo Clan recognized themselves and disappointed at their lesser power to fight against Hideyoshi, and gave up, then the Odawara-jo Castle was opened. So the Go-Hojo Clan lost the war and ruined. After that, the Odawara-jo castle belonged to Ieyasu Tokugawa and the Tokugawa Clan.

During Edo Period, Odawara was of course the castle town of the Odawara-jo Castle, and also it was most flourished post town in Tokai-do fifty-three post towns. The lords owning the Odawara-jo Castle were given some important roles to protect Edo. Odawara was the western barrier of Edo, so the Edo Bakufu chose reliable daimyos in hereditary vassalage to the Tokugawa such as Okubo, Abe and Inaba.

Now the Odawara-jo Castle is designated as the Historic Landmark by the National Government, and its garden is covered with full of plum blossoms in February every year.


参考
小田原市ホームページ
小田原市観光協会ホームページ
神奈川県ホームページ
デジタル大辞林
ブリタニカ国際大百科事典
クロニック戦国全史
ウィッキペディア

The Map Of Odawara-jo Castle