Be the first to like this
Oda Nobunaga wanted a castle built in the Sunomata area as a bridgehead for his final assault on Saito’s main castle, Inabayama (Gifu) Castle. It was a marshy region between Ogaki Castle, which was held by Oda forces, and Saito’s stronghold, Inabayama Castle. Previous attempts to build a castle in the area by Oda generals, Sakuma Nobumori and Shibata Katsuie, had failed. Kinoshita Tokichiro (later Toyotomi Hideyoshi) was ordered to try again. The construction materials were obtained by felling trees upstream and then floating the logs down the Sunomata River and tributaries of other rivers to the castle site. By cleverly pre-assembling some sections of defensive structures and hiding them before the final steps in the construction of this fortified site, Tokichiro was able to build his first castle ever and do it “overnight”. In reality, it took at least two to three days to put up the basic defensive structures and longer to dig the moats around the castle. As Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he was to repeat this clever psychological ploy on a grander scale with the construction of Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle to demoralize the Odawara Castle defenders. In comparison, Sunomata Castle was more akin to a border fort with some simple watchtowers, wooden palisades, and dry moats. There is a good model of what the castle may have looked like inside the Sunomata History Museum. After the successful conquest of Mino, and its integration into the growing Nobunaga empire, Sunomata Castle was decommissioned.