Kimura Castle

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Kimurajorakuji21.jpg

History

Also known as Jorakuji-jo (常楽寺城), Kimura-jo was the residence of the Kimura clan, retainers of the Rokkaku at Kannonji Castle and priests of the Sasaki Shrine. The area known as the Azuchi Castle Town today was first developed by the Rokkaku. The Kimura managed the waterways into Lake Biwa and facilitated trade for the Rokkaku. The castle itself stood at one intersection of these waterways in the first few photos below.

The Kimura became an important magistrate in the development of the new Azuchi Castle town too. There are records of Nobunaga and Akechi Mitsuhide visiting the Kimura shortly after the Fall of Kannonji Castle. It seems likely Nobunaga was already building out plans for Azuchi Castle with the help of the Kimura well before they started construction in 1576. The castle was likely abandoned or repurposed after Nobunaga built Azuchi Castle.

These waterways and canals were in use until the end of the Edo Period. The stonework you see around the canals dates to Nobunaga's period of development but it may have been modified or repaired over the years as the canals were in use until the early Showa Period (early 1900s). The walls were also repaired and restored in 1983.


Visit Notes

No castle like structures have been found on the site and the castle was likely more of a fortified residence than a castle. The exact location and size is unknown but the right angle shape of 2 canals seems to be the likely site of the castle. Many other artifacts dating to the Sengoku Period found here also indicate it was a well used site.

Most of the photos below are of the canals of Azuchi town but it seems appropriate to put them here for the connection to Kimura Castle and because they may have been used, in some part, by each of Azuchi Castle and Kannonji Castle


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Gallery
  • castle site
  • castle site
  • castle site
  • dock area on the left


Castle Profile
English Name Kimura Castle
Japanese Name 木村城
Alternate Names Jorakuji-jo
Founder Kimura clan
Year Founded unknown
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features
Visitor Information
Access Azuchi Sta. (JR Tokaido Main Line); 10 mins walk
Visitor Information parks, open any time
Time Required 45 mins
Location Azuchi, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 8' 38.69" N, 136° 7' 39.18" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2021
Admin Visits December 12, 2021


1.00
(2 votes)
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RaymondWDaimyo

12 months ago
Score 0++
The ruins of Azuchi Port are overlooked by most people when they visit Azuchi Castle. As Eric’s photos have shown here, there are some extant stone walls and canals to be seen. Even though I have been to the site of Kimura Castle a few times in my exploration of Azuchi Port, I have not included it on my list of castles and castle ruins visited for the simple reason there are absolutely no castle ruins left from the days when the Rokkaku Clan ruled this region.