Brief History by ART:
Masujimajō was built in 1585 by Kanamori Nagachika as a branch castle of his main base at Takayamajō. In 1692 the Shogunate transferred the Kanamori Clan to Kaminoyama Domain. After briefly being under the custodianship of the Maeda Clan of Kanazawa, Masujimajō was abandoned along with Takayamajō (Hida Takayama Castle) in 1695.
Additional commentary and information contributed by Chris Glenn:
Masujima Castle is a rare Hirajiro, a flat-land castle, in the mountainous Hida Takayama region of Gifu Prefecture. The castle was built in 1585 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered his general, Kanamori Nagachika to subjugate the Hida region. The Kanamori clan based themselves at nearby Takayama where they built a very fine castle, with Masujima established as a satellite castle to Takayama. Kanamori Nagachika's adopted son, Arishige, became the lord of Masujima Castle. When Arishige later became lord of Takayama Castle in 1608, his eldest son, Shigechika, became castellan of Masujima.
In 1615, the Tokugawa Shogunate’s Ichikoku – Ichijo Rei, the One Castle Per Domain law was enacted and so Masujima was demoted, becoming known as the Furukawa Ryokan Inn. The Kanamori clan continued to rule the Hida Takayama area until 1692, when they were transferred, and he Maeda clan of Kanazawa temporarily took control of Masujima Castle. In 1695 Hida became the direct domain of the Edo Shogunate, who wanted the resource rich area for itself, and, along with the elegant Takayama, Masujima Castle was demolished. In place of Takayama Castle, the extant Takayama Jinya was built, becoming the de-facto castle.
The walls of Nozurazumi ishigaki, rough stone construction, show its history and at eight meters high are the tallest stone walls in the Hida area. They do not rise out of the moat water like many castles, but are built on hard land just above the moat waterline. Today only part of Masujima’s wide water moat and stone wallsremain. There was no tenshu keep at Masujima, instead the main site of the small castle’s main yagura turret is now a shrine. The old castle grounds are now school grounds. Interestingly, Masujima’s layout was based on the design of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's sumptuous residence in Kyoto, the famed Jurakutei.
The ruins of Masujima Castle contain a small section of moat and stone fortifications. Where the small castle would once have stood there is now a shrine. The lower bailey of the old castle grounds now houses a school.
|English Name||Masujima Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||water moats, stone walls|
|Access||Train to Hida-Furukawa|
|Time Required||15 minutes|
|Website||https://www.hida-kankou.jp/kanko/foreign/en/plan-your-visit/pdf/Hida Furukawa Sightseeing Map.pdf|
|Location||Hida, Gifu Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 13' 27.37" N, 137° 11' 56.11" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2017|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|