Murakami Wagou Castle
Wagōjō is thought to have been constructed as a satellite castle of Katsuraojō across the plain to the north by Murakami Yoshikiyo. In the 1550s the Murakami lost the castle to Takeda Shingen, who gave command of the castle to the Tada Clan. After the fall of the Takeda Clan in 1582, Wagōjō was taken over by the Uesugi Clan, who made Shimaźu Tadanao castellan. At that time Wagōjō was used to deter the Sanada Clan located in the east. In 1583 Katsuno Masaharu had designs on the castle, but Tadanao maintained a vigilant defence. In order to prepare for an attack by the Tokugawa, the Uesugi ordered the fortified complex on Mount Kokuzō reinforced. Mori Tadamasa used Wagōjō as an encampment during the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Thereafter the site was abandoned.
Wagōjō is the starting point on Mount Kokuzō, and the trail encompasses many fortification ruins. Wagōjō is relatively easy to get to and is also one of the richer sites in terms of fortification remains. Ruins include ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts), with lots being hidden around the sides of the first and second baileys. The site is well maintained, almost civilised, and offers nice views from all sides.
The layout consists of four integral baileys arranged in a straight line along the ridge, a simple renkaku-shiki (連郭式) layout. The first bailey overlooks the plain. In between the first and second bailey is an embankment carved from the mountain, and trenches separate the other baileys. The main bailey is also surrounded by dorui (earthen ramparts) and ishigaki lines segments of the ramparts without. The trail from Wagōjō continues on to Takatsuyajō, although before that there are two forks in succession, the first leading down to Monomijō, and the latter to Kemurinojō.
|English Name||Murakami Wagou Castle|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Ishigaki, Hori, Dorui, Kuruwa|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Nishi-Ueda Station on the Shinano Railway; 20 minute walk to trailhead.|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Mountain|
|Time Required||50 minutes|
|Location||Ueda, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 25' 25.00" N, 138° 11' 55.00" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|