Kakegawa-jo Castle / The Short Summary Of Kakegawajo Castle
Kakegawajo Castle was bulit by Asahina Clan by order from their master
Imagawa Clan, the military governor of Suruga Province in order to expand
to Totomi Province
in early Sengoku Period (the warring States Period), it was the strategically
important castle to protect and invade to Totomi Province. So Kakegawa
was in Totomi Province (west part of Shizuoka Prefecture
) and it was near the boundary between Suruga
(central part of Shzuoka Prefecture) and Totomi. This was the beginning
of the history of Kakegawa Castle. Kakegawa Castle we could see now rebuilt
by Kazutoyo Yamanouchi in Azuchi-Momoyama Period
Kakegawa was the strategic center of the eastern Totomi Province to seize Tokaido road in Sengoku Period, then conflicts to gain the castle oftne occured among the sengoku daimyos.
Yoshitada Imagawa commanded Yashuhiro Asahina to built Kakegawajo Castle
to gain Totomi Province in the middle of Muromachi Period
, and the Asahina Clan stayed to protect it as the jodai (castle keeper), so his son Yasuyoshi and his grandchild Yasutomo succeeded the position to keep it. In 1497, Ujichika Imagawa and Soun Hojo invaded to Totomi Province and conqured. Then the Asahina Clan built a new Kakegawajo Castle on Mt.Ryutosan 500 meter southeast left from the Old Kakegawajo Castle. Imagawa Clan ruled Totomi Province and Asahina Clan ruled Kakegawa. Imagawa ruling 2 provinces, they tried to expand and they finally gained the power to rule Mikawa province in 1549 when Ieyasu Tokugawa
who was the 5 years old lord of the province was taken as a hostage. Then
the Imagawa Clan seized 3 provinces and it became the strongest and most
influential daimyo in eastern Japan. However, the Imagawa Clan lost the
Battle of Okehazama in 1560 and Yoshimot Imagawa, the head of the family
was killed by Nobunaga Oda, the clan soon lost the power. Ieyasu Tokugawa,
he became a hostage once, but he went back t and took back his position
in Mikawa Province (eastern part of Aichi Prefecture), and he tried to
gradually expand his territory to Totomi Province. In 1568, Shingen Takeda,
the lord of Kai-no-kuni (Yamanashi Prefecture) invaded Suruga Province,
then Ujitsuna, the son of Yoshimoto escaped to Kakegawa Castle, but next
year, he opened the castle and gave it to Ieyasu Tokugawa. Tokugawa Clan
gained the power to rule Totomi, and he left the castle to Ienari Ishikawa
and his son Yasumichi Ishikawa to keep. But it was not stable, Takeda Clan
next to him also tried to expand to Totomi. In 1571, Shingen attacked Takatenjinjo
Castle on the south of Kakegawa Castle, but he could not gain it because
of its strong protection. In 1574, Katsuyori Takeda, the son of Shingen
took over Takatenjinjo Castle. Ieyasu then built Yokosuga Castle to regain
it. In 1581, Ieyasu succeeded to take back it. The Kakegawa Castle was
the front line between the Tokugawa and Takeda for 10 years, the Ishikawa
and the Tokugawa successfully protected the castle.
In 1586, Ieyasu Tokugawa submitted to Hideyoshi Toyotomi
who was the Kanpaku
Dajo-daijin (the supreme minister and chancellor) having the power to rule
the samurai society,, and he became his vassal. In 1590, Ieyasu moved to
), then Kazutoyo Yamanouchi, a vassal of Hideyoshi moved to Kakegawa Caslte
from Nagahama Castle in Shiga Prefecture. Kazutoyo rebuilt the castle,
so he built the stone walls, the donjon, otemon gate and other buildings
with tile-roofs, he also constructed levee in Ooigawa river to prevent
flood, so he worked hard to keep the castle well. Kakegawa Castle we could
see now was rebuilt by him at that time.
In 1600, Ieyasu won the Battle of Sekigahara and gained the power to control Japan. He took back Kakegawa Castle, so Kazutoyo moved to Kochi Prefecture, and Sadakatu Matsudaira was given it by Ieyasu. In Edo Period
, Kakegawa was a strategically very important post town to protect Edo, then Matsudaira, Ii, Honda and Ota
, daimyos in hereditary vassalage to the Tokugawa, were appointed such
as the lords of Kakegawa to control. Moreover, Kakegawa was connected to
Edo by Tokaido road, so the tourist industries were flourished with two
post towns Kakegawa and Hisaka. However, almost buildings of Kakegawa Castle
were broken down by Ansei Tokai Jisin (the big earthquake) in 1854. Ninomaru
Goten palace was only rebuilt in 1861 untile Edo Period ended. In Meiji
Era, Kakegawa Castle was abandoned by the Ordiance Abolishing Castle in
In 1994, the donjon was rebuilt with wood, so Kakegawajo Castle's Tower was the first wooden donjon reconstructed, then it has been called the best castle in Tokai region. And Kakegawajo Castle was selected one of the 100 best castles in Japan in 2004. There ara hundreds of Cherry Trees around the castle and many visitors come to see them in spring.
Taiko Yagura (The Tower for the Drum)
Taiko Yagura is the tower to store the drum to tell time for residents around Kakegawajo Castle in Edo Periodl The drum used in the period was preserved in the main hall at Kakegawajo Goten (the palace at Kakegawajo Castle) and visitors could see it there.
According research, any remains imply where Yonsokumon Gate was is not found, then the gate was designed based on Shoho Siro Ezu (the picture of the castle in Shoho Era). Yonsokumon Gate has a gate with four pillars. It was a kind of a toll gate having a place to watch visitors inside the gate. It was a important gate on the way to the donjon.
Mikazukibori (the crescent-shaped moat)
Mikazukibori is a crescent-shaped moat in front of the main gate of the donjon. The depth is 8 meter. This is one of inner moats, Sorobanbori moat and Matsuoike pond are other inner moats.
The Legend Of Kirifuki Ido Well
There are some legends remained of Kakegawa Castle, the legend of Kirifuki Ido well is one of that.
When Shingen Takeda and Ieyasu Tokugawa had invaded to his territory, Ujizane
Imagawa escaped to Kakegawajo Castle that was kept by Yasutomo Asahina.
While Ieyasu surrounded the castle to overtake it, Kakegawa Castle was
blanketed in a fog set from a well beside the donjon, then Tokugawa army
could not attack it. After that, Kakegawajo Castle was called Kumokirijo
Castle ( a castle wrapped in a fog or a cloud).
Kirifuki Ido Well exists beside the donjon now.