Goi Castle (Mikawa)

From Jcastle.info

MikawaGoijou (1).jpg


Goijō was first built in 1185 by Shingū Yukiie, a Minamoto clansmen, following the victory of the Minamoto in the Genpei War. His descendants were castellans in the early Sengoku period. During the reign of Tōjūrō Yukimitsu, Matsudaira Motoyoshi (also called Masanori) is said to have attacked the castle in the late 15th century. But this story may be apocryphal as the date's don't really match up, and it may be a conflation with the battle of Fukamizo Castle in 1465 in which Ôba Jirōzaemon was defeated by Matsudaira Nobumitsu, the father of Matsudaira Motoyoshi. The castle may have actually been captured or founded by Matsudaira Tadakage, the son of Motoyoshi. By the time Matsudaira Motoyasu (Tokugawa Ieyasu) had taken the reins of the Matsudaira Clan, Goijō was the seat of the Goi branch of the Matsudaira Clan. Chōsenji, the temple which stands on the site today, was first founded as the clan's bodaiji (ancestral temple) in 1508 by castellan Matsudaira Motomune (also called Nagakatsu). The castle was likely rebuilt at that time. The Goi-Matsudaira were loyal to Tokugawa Ieyasu, and followed him to Kantō in 1590, whereupon Goijō was decommisisoned / converted into a temple.

Visit Notes

Goijō is a fortification site in Goi Township, Gamagôri Municipality. The fort appears to have been built on a slope. It is now the site of Chōsenji, a temple. Not many ruins remain, but the pond near the entrance to the temple's adjacent shrine is thought to be the remains of a moat. If one looks at the terrain on either side of the pond, it certainly does appear that a moat ran here. Satellite imagery also shows the long depression in the earth which are now fields and orchards quite well even though parts have been filled in. The remaining dry part to the back of the pond was too overgrown to get a good luck at when I visited, unfortunately.

Goijō is said to have two extant gates, though they are thought to have been moved from their original positions. One gate I did not know the location of, but the one on site today is the sanmon (main gate) for Chōsenji. This sanmon is painted red and is flanked by impressive walls. The red paint from the gate has also given the tiles on the walls and the flagstones beneath a reddish hue.

Chōsenji, the Goi-Matsudaira Clan's ancestral temple, is also interesting. I was very happy to find a shōrōmon (belfry-gatehouse) built as part of the temple's rōka (cloister) which partially rings a courtyard before the hondō (main hall). I had not seen such a layout before (who says temples are all the same!). The cenotaph for the Goi-Matsudaira is found to the rear of the temple on a forested hillside.


Castle Profile
English Name Goi Castle (Mikawa)
Japanese Name 三河五井城
Alternate Names Goimurakojō (五井村古城)
Founder Shingū Yukiie; Matsudaira Tadakage
Year Founded 1185; 1505
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Moats, Gates
Features gates, water moats, trenches
Visitor Information
Access Mikawa-Miya Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line; 40 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; temple
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Gamagôri, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 50' 18.42" N, 137° 14' 40.67" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku
Umoreta Kojō
Shiseki Yawa
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Oshiro Tabi Nikki

(one vote)
Add your comment
Jcastle.info welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.