The first castle on this site dates back to 1238 when Nagai Tokihiro became lord of the Dewa region. The Nagai continued to rule for about 150 years until they were taken over by the Date. After Date Masamune defeated the Ashina in 1589, he moved his main castle to Kurokawa Castle and placed his son Date Munekiyo as castellan. Hideyoshi did not agree with this change and made Masamune move back to Yonezawa. In 1591, Hideyoshi ordered Masamune to Iwadeyama Castle and Yonezawa Castle was handed over to Gamo Ujisato. Uesugi Kagekatsu then became lord of the castle when Gamo's son was moved to Utsunomiya in 1597. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1601, the Uesugi were stripped of most of their lands for except a small portion centered around Yonezawa from which they ruled until the Meiji Restoration.
Apart from the moat there is nothing to give you the feeling of being at a castle. The main attraction is obviously the Uesugi Shrine. The Uesugi Museum was also quite nice. I picked up some good castle materials in the gift shop and pamphlets for Tateyama Castle (Yamagata) at the museum too.
|English Name||Yonezawa Castle|
|Alternate Names||Uesugi-jinja, Maizuru-jo|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Next 100 Castles|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Yonezawa Sta.; bus or 30 min walk|
|Visitor Information||park, open anytime|
|Time Required||40 mins|
|Location||Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture|
|Coordinates||37° 54' 33", 140° 6' 17"|
|Visits||November 3, 2017|