A rather small castle was originally set up here by Yanada Narisuke in 1457. Together with Koga and Noda it formed a majpr defense for the Kanto regions. When the Tokugawa came to Edo in 1590 they too realized the importance of the site and sent Matsudaira Yasumoto here to help defend Edo from the Date and Satake clans in the North.
As the Tokugawa were busy constructing Edo into the nation's new capital, the Tonegawa river wreaked havoc on their plans by continually flooding and damaging their works. In 1654 they rerouted the course of the Tonegawa to dump into the Pacific Ocean above the Boso Peninsual rather than going down through Edo and into the Tokyo Bay.
Itakura Shigetsune, then lord of Sekiyado castle took advantage of this opportunity and dug a channel behind his castle connecting the Tonegawa and Edogawa Rivers. This caused a great windfall for the people of Sekiyado and even the Tokugawa government. It greatly speeded the transportation of goods and people by boat from the Northern provinces to Edo as they no longer had to take the much longer and more dangerous route around the Boso Peninsual and up into Tokyo Bay. The Tokugawa also recognized the strategic importance of the location and set up an administration station to control river traffic. They installed lord Kuze to command over the area. The Kuze family continued to rule until the Meiji Restoration.
Under the Kuze the castle was considerably fortified and the main keep was constructed in the likeness of the Fujimi Yagura at Edo Castle in 1671. Sekiyado Castle was dismantled in 1874 after the Meiji Restoration.
The reconstructed castle main keep contains a very well done local history museum. The museum is very well done for a rather small out of the way local museum. The history and displays of life on the Tonegawa and the Tokugawa's changing of the river's course are fascinating.
|English Name||Sekiyado Castle|
|Castle Condition||Reconstructed main keep|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Main Keep Structure||3 levels, 4 stories|
|Year Reconstructed||1995 (concrete)|
|Features||main keep, gates, turrets, stone walls, walls|
|Access||30 minute bus ride from Tobu Dobutsukoen Station (Isezaki Line) or 30 minute bus ride from Kawama Station (Tobu Noda Line)|
|Location||Sekiyado, Chiba Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 6' 0.68" N, 139° 46' 56.17" E|
|Visits||April 29, 2003|
|Added to Jcastle||2003|