Gochaku Castle

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Gochaku4.jpg

History

Kodera Masataka, vassal of the Akamatsu clan, built Gochaku Castle in 1519. Kodera was the castellan of Himeji Castle and may have built this as added fortification along the Sanyodo Highway and as a retirement castle for himself. It was a large castle including a castle town. With Miki Castle and Araga Castle, it was one of the "Three Great Harima Castles". For a time, Himeji Castle was actually the satellite castle of Gochaku Castle. Gochaku Castle was taken by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1579 and decommissioned.

The castle may be most well known today, as the home of the Kuroda clan, including Kuroda Yoshitaka (Kuroda Kanbei). Yoshitaka's grandfather, Shigetaka, moved the family to Gochaku Castle from the Omi Province (present day Nagahama). The Kuroda family were the castellans of Himeji Castle and did much of the renovations before Hideyoshi took control. Kuroda Yoshitaka was the one who surrendered the castle to Hideyoshi. There is a small mausoleum on the site to Yoshitaka's grandfather, Shigetaka and mother, Akashi.

Visit Notes

There is not much to see here but it is an easy walk from nearby Gochaku Station and an easy castle to drop by if you have some time after visiting Himeji Castle. Even though it was a fairly large castle it has been mostly developed over. There is a small portion of earthen embankment nearby that is thought to date to the original castle. Excavations have also found cornerstones and moats. It is most famous today for the Kuroda family mausoleum and is often listed as an attraction in Kuroda related history sites.

The stone bridge on the site is not related to the castle but is an interesting historical artifact. It was built over the Amakawa River in 1828. It is now preserved here arching over the remnant of one of the moats of Gochaku Castle. The extra stones are from making the bridge shorter to fit the location.

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Castle Profile
English Name Gochaku Castle
Japanese Name 御着城
Alternate Names Amagawa-jo, Chausuyama-jo
Founder Kodera Masataka
Year Founded 1519
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features
Visitor Information
Access Gochaku Station (JR Kobe Line),10 min. walk
Visitor Information Park, open 24/7
Time Required 10 mins
Location Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 49' 6.67" N, 134° 44' 27.24" E
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Admin
Year Visited 2019
Contributor Eric
Visits February 28, 2019
Added to Jcastle 2020


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ARTShogun

6 months ago
Score 0++
I like the shirofuu building there. Nice to hear some more about this area's Sengoku Period history.