Sakato Castle (Mikawa)




Sakatojō was a fortified residence constructed by Nagasaka Nobushige. Later it was a residence used by Hiraiwa Chikayoshi, a vassal of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Nagasaka Nobushige's brother, Ujishige, founded the Hiraiwa Clan. The Hiraiwa were based at Sakazakiko Castle (MIkawa).

Visit Notes

Sakatojō is a fortified residence site in the Shimasaka Township on the border of Okazaki Municipality with Anjō Municipality. No fortification ruins remain and the site is now a shrine, Sakando-jinja. Sakando-jinja claims to be the site of the very first saké brewery in Japan, back in the 6th century! At that time the power of the Yamato Kingdom was still spreading, supported by cultural and technological transfusions from the Middle Kindgom. Sakando-jinja venerates Prince Sakato, the member of the royal family who brewed the first Nihon-shu, and, according to its own explanatory sign, the 'god of food' - so, Ukemochi-no-kami? Saké was first brewed here due to the abundance of water and rice. The area today is still surrounded by rice paddies.

Note: The English transcription on the sign for this shrine calls it 'Sakato-jinja', but Japanese sources give the reading as 'Sakando-jinja'. The sign calls the aforementioned prince 'Prince Sakato', but he may have been called 'Sakahito' or 'Sakando' or even 'Sakaudo'. The name of the castle was Sakato (坂戸), but the kanji is different from the name of the shrine, which is 酒人 (literally 'Saké Person'). Why is the kanji different and which was used first? When was the shrine founded? Maybe different characters were used for the castle because using the ones for the shrine would've seemed a bit silly. Did the manor hall and shrin exist simultaneously? By the way, I've translated 酒 here as 'saké' because it's obvious from context that the alcohol being referred to is nihon-shu (Japanese rice wine). However, 'sake' in Japanese refers to all alcohol, and what English-speakers call 'saké' is 'nihon-shu (日本酒)' in Japanese.


Castle Profile
English Name 三河坂戸城
Japanese Name 三河坂戸城
Alternate Names 酒人城
Founder Nagasaka Nobushige
Year Founded Muromachi Period
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Nishi-Okazaki Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line; 25 minute walk to Sakata Shrine
Visitor Information 24/7 free; shrine
Time Required 10 minutes
Location Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 56' 19.61" N, 137° 6' 30.82" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku
Umoreta Kojō
Aichi Shiro

(0 votes)
Add your comment welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.