On July 16, 2012 Yayoi's friend Etsuko and cousin Atsutada and ourselves took the new Tomei freeway from Shizuoka to the city of Hamamatsu to see the 'shiro' or castle. Hamamatsu-Jo (castle) is where Tokugawa lived for 17 years. Ieyasu Tokugawa and Shingen Takeda fought a major battle at Mikatagahara near here in the year 1572 where Tokugawa was badly beaten and had to retreat to Hamamatsu-Jo.
The Takeda troops camped near Saiga-gake which is a deep gully north of the current Saiga-gake Pavilion which is a museum commemorating what happened here. The Tokugawa troops placed a cloth bridge over the gully and then began to fire guns behind the Takeda troops to make them think that Nobunaga Oda was coming with his troops to aid Tokugawa. The Takeda troops felt compelled to cross the cloth bridge and many were killed or injured.
To commemorate these deaths each year on July 15 (the day before we visited) the Enshu Dai-nenbutsu dance is held in front of the Saiga-gake Pavilion.
Click on Hamamatsu to see photographs on Picasa.