The Floating Castle (Movie)

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Movie Information

Japanese Title: Nobô no Shiro のぼうの城

  • Japan, 2012
  • Language: Japanese
  • color

This is a historical movie based on an incident in the Odawara Campaign.


Having conquered western and central Japan, in 1590 Toyotomi Hideyoshi has turned his attention to the Kanto Plain (the area around present-day Tokyo), which is ruled by the Hôjô clan of Odawara. Hideyoshi decides not to attack the strong Odawara Castle, but to besiege it and pick off one by one the other Kanto castles held by the Hôjô family members and vassals. He assigns Oshi Castle 忍城, in present-day Gyôda 行田, Saitama, to his close aid Ishida Mitsunari. The Hôjô prepare for the siege by holing up in Odawara and summoning the lords of the various castles to come to Odawara leaving substitutes in their castles.

The lord of Oshi castle is Narita Ujinaga. He departs for Odawara as ordered, but before leaving informs his retainers that he has secretly agreed to surrender to Hideyoshi and orders them not to fight. The castle is then in charge of his happy-go-lucky cousin, Narita Nagachika, the main character in the movie.

Mitsunari’s envoy Matsuka Masaie arrives expecting surrender, but he is so arrogant that despite orders Nagachika announces that they will fight rather than surrender, and he manages to persuade his retainers to agree, including the clan elder Shibasaki Atsutoshi.

Oshi puts up a stiff fight against attacks, using tricks like false gates and oil slicks, and Mitsunari finally decides to flood the area with a dam, a tactic successfully used by Hideyoshi against Takamatsu Castle (Bitchu). It does flood the area. Nobuchika takes a boat onto the flooded area and dances in front of the besiegers. Realizing who he is, Mitsunari relunctantly orders him shot. Nobuchika is wounded but survives. Later the dam is destroyed by peasants.

However, in the meantime the Hôjô have surrendered. Nagachika negotiates the terms of the surrender of Oshi castle with Mitsunari. Atsutoshi asks for news, and Mitsunari says that Oshi was the last place in the Kanto to surrender, and it would long be remembered.


  • Nomura Mansai