Kuwana Castle

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Kuwana1.jpg

History

In the Sengoku Period, three nearby castles (Higashi Castle, Nishi Castle, Misaki Castle) made up what was known as the Three Castles of Kuwana. After Nobunaga conquered the area, the three castles were ruled together under both Nobunaga and then Hideyoshi. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Honda Tadakatsu was given command of Kuwana and built present day Kuwana Castle roughly on the site of the Higashi Castle. Honda spent 10 years building up a prosperous castle town and a massive castle that made use of three rivers to create moats. At it's peak, the castle had 3 three level yagura, 24 two level yagura, 24 connected yagura, 12 tamon (one level) yagura and 46 gates. It sat at a vital point overseeing the Tokaido Road and the only section of waterway along the the course.

In 1617, Tadakatsu's son Tadamasa, the 2nd lord of Kuwana Castle, was transferred to Himeji and Matsudaira Sadashige became the new lord of Kuwana Castle. Matsudaira lords ruled over Kuwana Province from Kuwana Castle until the Meiji Resoration. After the Boshin War, the castle was dismantled and much of the stone walls were used to build the port at Yokkaichi.

Visit Notes

Photos by Jcastle user RaymondW


Gallery


Castle Profile
English Name Kuwana Castle
Japanese Name 桑名城
Alternate Names Ougi Castle
Founder Hionda Tadakatsu
Year Founded 1601
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features turrets, water moats, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Kuwana Sta. (Kansai Line); 20 min walk
Visitor Information open any time
Time Required 30 mins
Website http://kanko.city.kuwana.mie.jp/history/kuwanajyo/
Location Kuwana, Mie Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 3' 52.67" N, 136° 41' 55.39" E
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Admin
Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Added to Jcastle 2013


1.50
(4 votes)
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ARTDaimyo

one month ago
Score 0++
My second visit to Kuwana Castle proved much more fruitful than my first. Initially I had only had chance to see the reconstructed yagura (turret) around sunset. This time I was able to enter said turret and then proceed to the castle's inner baileys. This part of the castle is a park today, surrounded by broad moats which essentially make Kuwanajō a series of islands. The honmaru (main bailey) used to be wholly surrounded by a mizubori (water moat) but is now connected to the sannomaru (third bailey) which is now occupied by a water park. In the honmaru the remains of the tenshudai (donjon platform) can be found, along with several religious structures, and the ruins of a couple of yaguradai (turret platforms). To the northeast of the honmaru is the asahimaru, now a baseball field, also now connected to the honmaru, its moat having been filled in. After visiting the honmaru I went onto explore some of the outer areas of the castle and waterways of Kuwana. There is also a substantial amount of ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) left lining the outer moat. The yoshinomaru is now built over with housing. Originally there were bukeyashiki (samurai residences) here housing high-ranking retainers. According to an Edo Period map of the castle, one of the bukeyashiki here belonged to Hattori Hanzō. Beyond the yoshinomaru were the homes of lower ranking samurai. Beyond the asahimaru there was a bailey with a race ground for horses. More bukeyashiki, probably for more middle ranking retainers, occupied space between outer moats and canals to the west of the castle, beyond which was the rest of the castle town (districts for shops, temples, &c.). The Ban'yū-yagura, located toward the northwestern limits of the citadel, is reconstructed and was originally surrounded by bukeyahsiki, occupying a defensive position between the river mouth, waterways, and the northern precincts of the castle.