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Iwasaki Castle, often overlooked in history books and tourist guides, is located in modern-day Nisshin City, approximately 15 kilometers southeast of Nagoya City. Positioned on a hill, it offers clear views of the surrounding plain.

The castle is believed to have been built by Oda Nobuhide, father of Oda Nobunaga, in the early 16th century to protect his eastern borders and support his base at nearby Shobata Castle. In 1529, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu, Tokugawa Ieyasu’s grandfather, seized the castle by force. Six years later, Kiyoyasu was killed by one of his retainers during a misunderstanding, and his son, Matsudaira Hidetada (Ieyasu’s father), entrusted the castle to Niwa Ujikiyo.

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Iwasaki Castle played a significant role in the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute in 1584. Ikeda Tsuneoki led the Toyotomi Hideyoshi forces against the Tokugawa-held castle. The Toyotomi strategy aimed to bypass Tokugawa lines and attack Ieyasu’s stronghold at Okazaki, making quick strikes on small castles along the way to confine them. However, at Iwasaki Castle, Ikeda’s forces were fired upon, and Tsuneoki himself was shot, falling from his horse. Enraged and humiliated, he commanded a full-scale assault. Despite a strong defense, the castle fell with heavy casualties, including over 300 dead. This delay allowed Ieyasu’s forces to catch up and defeat the Toyotomi at the Battle of Nagakute.

The Niwa clan held the castle for nearly 60 years until the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, after which they were awarded a castle in present-day Toyota City, leading to Iwasaki’s abandonment. Reconstructed in concrete in 1987, the castle is now surrounded by two hectares of preserved parkland. Despite its visual appeal, the reconstruction is not historically accurate. An excavation revealed the remains of a well and a lookout tower. The structure below the keep now houses a museum dedicated to the history of the castle, the battle, and the Niwa clan.

 


See also 

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