Muro Castle


Murojou (1).jpg


Murojō was constructed in the early 16th century by Tominaga Masayasu. The Tominaga Clan were vassals of the Kira Clan who held territory to the south. Murojō could therefore be considered a branch fortification of Tōjōjō. For a time, Matsudaira Hirotada, the father of Tokugawa Ieyasu, stayed at Murojō during his time in pseudo-exile following the assassination of his father, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu in 1535; at which time Hirotada would've been around ten years old.

Both the Matsudaira and smaller clans would pivot between support of the Imagawa and Oda clans - Matsudaira Hirotada was reinstalled as clan leader with the aid of the Imagawa - until after the defeat of the Imagawa at Okehazama allowed Matsudaira Motoyasu (Tokugawa Ieyasu) to assert his clan's independence on the national stage. The Kira Clan rebelled against the Matsudaira in 1561. The Kira had early success at Yoroiǵatake, vanquishing Matsudaira Yoshikage. In response, Motoyasu attacked Kira territory with seven hundred knights the following year. Murojō was attacked by Matsudaira forces in 1562. It's lord, Tominaga Hanshirō, was killed, and the castle was destroyed.

Visit Notes

Murojō is a hilltop fort ruin in Muro Township, Nishio Municipality. The ruins feature dorui (earthen ramparts), trenches and other earthworks. A road runs through the site with the eastern bailey now being the grounds of a shrine. The main bailey above is now a cemetery but ruins can be scried around it.

Taking the path up from the road where there is a signboard with information about the castle, one passes between the remains of a trench with dorui embanked above. The main bailey has more dorui to the rear. The rear of the bailey is also terraced. There is also a strange pit in the middle of the bailey.

Beneath the western castle-mount is a temple (probably originally part of the same religious complex as the shrine before they split the castle ruins between them in the Meiji period). In front of the temple is a narrow field beneath stone retaining walls which struck me as being like the trace of a moat. Was the temple the site of the castle's kyokan (residential area)?

Surrounding locale names retained, such as 'tonoyashiki', 'ôyashiki', 'ichiba' and 'kamiyashiki', which is a koaza (neighbourhood name), suggest that the fort was the centre of a town where retainers and services clustered. It is therefore speculated that Murojō was originally larger, with the base of the hill also fortified to some extent. Murojō's eastern bailey was referred to as the kurayashiki and used as a place to store tribute.

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  • There is a trench beneath this berm
  • Temple at the foot of castle mount
  • Dorui

Castle Profile
English Name Muro Castle
Japanese Name 室城
Alternate Names 牟呂城
Founder Tominaga Masayasu
Year Founded Early 16th century
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Hori, Kuruwa, &c.
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Nearest station is Nishioguchi on the Meitetsu-Nishio Line
Visitor Information 24/7 free; temple
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Nishio, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 51' 39.28" N, 137° 5' 58.20" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku

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