Kameyama-jo Castle (亀山城 (丹波国))
Kameyama-jo Castle was in Kameoka, Kuwata-gun, Tanba Province (the present Aratsuka Minami in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture). It was built by Mitsuhide AKECHI as his base to govern the Tango area, and later, at the beginning of the Edo period, it was renovated into a new type castle of the time in order to create a strategically important stronghold. Omoto (a religious sect) has its headquarters on the site today.
The Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States)
Mitsuhide AKECHI started building this castle at Kameyama in 1578 in Kuchitanba which was the center of the Kameyama basin when he was attacking the Tanba area under the order of Nobunaga ODA. After conquering Tanba, Mitsuhide was based here in order to govern Tanba, but later he brought about the Honno-ji Incident (his attack on Nobunaga at Honno-ji Temple) in 1582, and he was killed during his retreat after losing the battle with Hideyoshi. After that, Hideyoshi's family members Hidekatsu HASHIBA and Hidetoshi HASHIBA managed this castle in turn, as it was an important stronghold for Hideyoshi who dominated the whole country.
Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, who gained the control of the whole country after Hideyoshi's death, valued this castle as he transferred Nagamori OKABE, who was a Fudai Daimyo (hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa or allies in the Battle of Sekigahara), to this castle as the lord (1609 - 1621) of Tanba-Kameyama Domain in 1609. Also, the Bakufu (Tokugawa Shogunate) ordered the Saigoku Daimyo (territorial lords in western Japan) to drastically renovate Kameyama-jo Castle into a new structure of the time under 'Tenka Fushin' (the Bakufu's order of national construction of infrastructure). Takatora TODO arranged its walls and buildings, and it was completed in the summer of 1610, with a five-story Soto type (integrated castle tower design in the Edo period) Tenshu (main keep) in the Honmaru (the main area of the castle). This Tenshu, which had been intended to be used for Imabari-jo Castle, was chosen to build Kameyama-jo Castle.
After the Meiji Restoration
In 1873, the Ministry of Army decided to abolish this castle, and disposed of some of its buildings.
In 1877, the government decided to do away with the castle.
In 1889, the government sold it to local governments.
In 1919, Omoto (a religious institution) bought the castle as it was poorly maintained and dilapidated, refurbished it, and has occupied it to the present day.
Most of its Tenshu (main keep or tower), stone walls, moat, and mound were destroyed in 1935 during a government crackdown on Omoto. Its Shingoten-mon Gate (Nagaya-mon Gate) was transferred to Kameoka City Chiyokawa Municipal Elementary School.
It is ten minutes on foot south of Kameoka Station on the JR Sanin Main Line. To see the building, an application for admission is required at reception because it is the property of the religious institution Omoto. It is five minutes on foot westward from Chiyokawa Station to Chiyokawa Elementary School where the Gate has been transferred.