Reaching the foot of the mountain on which the Gifu Castle stands, you will instantly realize how good its location was, from a military point of view. Actually, during its heyday, the castle (which by then was known as Inabayama) was close to impossible to conquer, even for a strong army.
However, it wasn’t impossible for a small team led by a brilliant strategist, Takenaka Shigehari, known today as Hanbei. Infiltrated in the castle under the pretext that he wanted to visit his ailing brother, he attacked the castle lord, Saitō Tatsuoki, who was known as a weak leader. The result was that the lord fled, and Inabayama-jō fell to a team of only 16 warriors…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: