Seiganji Castle

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Seiganjijō was a fortified compound and temple of the Naitō Clan in the mid' 16th century. It was a satellite fortification of Himejō, the main residence of Naitō Kiyonaga. Along with other local fortified temples (Honshōjijō, &c.), Seiganjijō joined the Mikawa-Ikkō-Ikki uprising in 1563, and it may have been fortified by the rebels for that purpose. Naitō Kiyonaga joined the uprising and was censured after it was quelled by Tokugawa Ieyasu; living out his enforced retirement at Ogijō. However, the Naitō Clan were divided when it came to rebelling, and Naitō Kiyonaga's son, Naitō Ienaga, had remained loyal.

Seiganji itself traces its origins back to 649 when it was built to enshrine a statue of Kannon brought by Princess Aya, daughter of Emperor Kōtoku, when she turned up in a boat one day. Maybe this is so; the area is full of kofun (ancient burial mounds), showing it was a place long inhabited and considered sacred. The temple was fortified in the 16th century by the Naitō Clan.

Visit Notes

Seiganjijō is a fortification and temple site in Himeogawa Township, part of the built-up Sakurai area in Anjō Municipality which follows the Meitetsu-Nishio rail line. Ruins of the castle remain in the form of a segment of dorui (earthen ramparts) in the northwest. This mound is a corner segment by the looks of it, and it trails on in the west.

To the east a segment of a moat remained up until very recently. However, whilst the moat was being used as a pond in garden across the road from the temple, that whole property has been of late cleared; the pond has been filled in and its is now a brownfield site. This is most unfortunate. The moats, now dry, beneath the western embankments could be said to remain, as slight depressions, though I'm not sure I was able to photograph these last dregs of moats well.

The site has seemingly been a temple as well as a fort for a long time, and was probably an extant temple which was fortified. The cenotaphs of the Naitō Clan can be found here, and the temple was therefore likely used as the clan's bodaiji (ancestral temple). It just so happens that Seiganji, the modern temple which now stands on the site of the historical temple-fort, uses as its main gate a recycled gate relocated from Terabe Castle (Toyota Municipality), and so there is also an original castle gate on this site, which is a nice bonus.


Castle Profile
English Name Seiganji Castle
Japanese Name 誓願寺城
Founder Naitō Clan
Year Founded 1563 or before
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Gate relocated from Terabejō; Dorui; Karabori
Features gates, trenches
Visitor Information
Access Sakurai Station on the Meitetsu-Nishio Line; 10 minute walk to Seiganji
Visitor Information 24/7 free; temple
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Anjō, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 54' 58.90" N, 137° 5' 34.98" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Oshiro Meguri

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