Many people may know about King Arthur, a legendary British leader of the late 5th to early 6th centuries who led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders.
Still, we don’t know whether it is based on a true history or just a legend. King Arthur is also famous for his weapon, the ExcaliburW.
In Japan, there used to be a SamuraiW who was and still is famous for his weapon of six-meter (19.68 ft) long spearW, which was called ‘Dragonfly Cutter’. This strange name derived from the myth that a dragonfly landed on its blade and was instantly cut in two…
The Samurai’s name with his famous spear was Honda TadakatsuW. He served Tokugawa IeyasuW and was one of his four skilled ‘GladiatorsW’. He was well known as a tactician as well a brave warrior. Even though he participated in 57 battles, the only wound he got in his life was a small cut on his finger from engraving his name on a wooden hilt of his small sword and not from the battle.
After the death of Oda NobunagaW, there was the Battle of Komaki and NagakuteW in 1584. The battle took place between Toyotomi HideyoshiW and the forces of Oda NobukatsuW who was the son of Nobunaga and Tokugawa IeyasuW, in which Honda Tadakatsu fought with his 500 warriors against 20,000 troops of Hideyoshi. Through this battle, which was a draw in the end, he was admired as one of the strongest samurai in East Japan by Hideyoshi. When Ieyasu was transferred to Kanto region, Ieyasu gave the area now called Isumi in Chiba to Tadakatsu who lived in Otaki Castle until 1601, when he was transferred to Kuwana in Mie PrefectureW.
In 1870, the third year of Meiji period, Otaki Castle was destroyed, but was reconstructed in 1975 under the blueprints of 1835. Today, the beautiful castle displays numbers of related relics of the past inside, set as a museum.
Inside the four-storied castle, you will be able to see many gorgeous armors, swords of Sengoku periodW. Moreover, you can see various crafts, books, tools and other related items with which you can assume the culture and lifestyles of people in towns and villages under Otaki Castle. Even though the explanation of the exhibition is all in Japanese, we are sure that you can enjoy them enough. Especially, on the ground floor, there are two kinds of helmets, the replicas of Tadakatsu’s, which you can try on. You will be amazed with how heavy they are, imagining how the worriors’ lives of Sengoku period were like….
How to access by cars :
Take Aqua Line for Kisarazu Higashi (East) IC and continue the toll road, Ken-Ō ExpresswayW and get off at the exit 市原鶴舞 (Ichihara-Tsurumai) IC. Turn right to go on National Route 297, which is also called 大多喜街道 (Otaki Road) for about 10km. At 横山交差点 / Yokoyama Crossing, turn right. After the Otaki station, turn right and follow the signboard which goes up the slope for Otaki Castle.
Of course there are other ways to reach Isumi area. For other ways, please refer the past article:
– Michi-no-Eki ‘MIYOSHI-MURA, HINA-NO-SATO’
– ISUMI – Fair and pleasant eastern extremity, nothing barbaric
How to access by trains :
15 minute walk from Otaki Station of Isumi Railway It is interesting to walk all the way to Otaki Castle from Otaki Station because the streets with houses and shops turn out to have the appearance of the Edo period which would inspire you more about the place in the past!
Otaki Castle Museum
(OOTAKI CASTLE MUSEUM)
Address : 481 Otaki, Otaki-Machi, Isumi-Gun, Chiba Pref. Tel : 0470-82-3007 Website : http://www2.chiba-muse.or.jp/?page_id=362 (English page) E-mail : Not Avaliable Opening Hours : 9:00 - 4:30 Closed : Monday
(Closed on Tuesday when a National Holiday falls on Monday)
Car Park : Available with no charge Toilet : Available Fee : Adult / 200 Yen
Student / 100 yen
Child under 15 and Adult over 64 / free