|Admin's Rating||★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆|
|Historical Site||National Historic Site|
|Historical Value||Top 100 Castles|
|Location||Sendai, Miyagi Pref.|
|Access||Sendai Station (Tohoku main line), 15 minutes by bus|
|Visited||September 12, 2003; May 22, 2010|
|Notes||The otemon guardhouse in the picture above is a fair distance (10+ minute walk) from the honmaru and museum. Either find it on a map or ask for directions at the museum. I recommend taking the sightseeing bus to the main castle gate, visit the museum and grounds and then walk downhill towards this guardhouse. Then you can get back on the sightseeing bus from the nearby Sendai City Museum. The bus leaving the castle grounds tends to be very full and you may not get on easily from there.|
Date Masamune received increased lands around Sendai for giving his support to Tokugawa in the Battle of Sekigahara. Sendai Castle never had a large main keep like many castles of this time period. There are various theories why and some proof that there were plans to build a large 5 story keep though it was never carried out. Even without a large main keep it was still an impressive castle with three 3 story yagura and a great honmaru palace. Date Tadamune added the Ninomaru after he became lord of Sendai.
After the Boshin War, the honmaru was torn down. During a fire in 1882 most of the ninomaru was burned to the ground and the remaining buildings of the castle were destroyed during the bombings of WWII.
Date Masamune is one of the most interesting figures of his time period. Known as the "One Eyed Dragon" (he lost the use of his right eye to smallpox), he was feared by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and later became a deputy Shogun in the Tokugawa regime. Masamune actively promoted culture and industry. He built the Osaki Hachiman Shrine in Sendai and the Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima. He oraganized improvements to the rivers, forests and transformed the Osaki plain into a fertile rice field. Masamune also built a ship and dispatched his own men including Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Pope in Rome. Masamune was one of the most intelligent daimyo of his time.