The Kira Clan was awarded with the Setagaya lands by Ashikaga Motouji in 1366. The residence of the Kira clan was established around 1394-1426 and further fortified into a small castle by Kira Naritaka in the mid 1400's. Naritaka also became a close ally of Ota Dokan and was entrusted with the defense of Edo Castle when Ota Dokan left to put down the Nagao Kageharu Rebellion. This is actually the only record of the Kira clan participating in any battles. Naritaka also established an alliance with the Hojo who were gradually swallowing up the Kanto plain. The Kira ruled until the fall of the Hojo in 1590. Following the fall of the Hojo, Tokugawa Ieyasu put the Setagaya area under the control of the Hikone Ii clan. The Ii established their funerary temple here at Gokokuji and administered the area from the nearby Daikansho which still exists today (sorry, no picture). It is said that the stones from the castle were taken and used for the construction of Edo Castle.
There's really very little to see here besides the outlines of some earthen embankments. The stone walls were recreated with the park for atmosphere. Combined with a trip to nearby Gotokuji Temple, it is a worthwhile trip if you live in Tokyo. Gotokuji Temple houses the graves of the Hikone lords, the Ii clan. One legend states that the world famous Japanese manekineko cats also derive from a story at this temple and that means it's also related to the Hikone Castle mascot, Hikonyan. Click through to the photo for these exciting details.
|English Name||Setagaya Castle|
|Alternate Names||Kira Gosho, Setagaya Gosho|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Miyanosaka Sta. (Tokyu Setagaya line), walk 7 mins|
|Visitor Information||Park is open anytime|
|Time Required||20 mins|
|Coordinates||35° 38' 46", 139° 38' 51"|
|Visits||Sept 7, 2013|
|Added to Jcastle||2014|