Iwaki Taira Castle

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IwakiTaira (37).JPG


After the Battle of Sekigahara, Torii Tadamasa was sent to Iwaki to establish a new domain (han) as defense against Date Masamune. Tadamasa's father Mototada was killed at the Siege of Fushimi just before the Battle of Sekigahara and this assignment was a reward for his father's service. Torii started to construct Iwakitaira Castle in 1603 and took 12 years to complete the castle and castle town. It is said that Tokugawa Hidetada was so impressed with the castle built by Tadamasa that he reassigned him to Yamagata and doubled the size of Tadamasa's territory. The lordship of Iwakitaira changed hands several times through the Edo Period. During the Boshin War the castle was burned down at the Battle of Iwaki.

Visit Notes

Photos and profile contributed by ART. I think this is my first contribution to the site!

  • extant ishigaki
  • Temporary to-scale cut-out of one of the castle's towers, erected in 2018

Castle Profile
English Name Iwaki Taira Castle
Japanese Name 磐城平城
Alternate Names Tairajō, Ryūgajō
Founder Torii Tadamasa
Year Founded 1603
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Artifacts Ishigaki, Moats, Relocated Gates
Features gates, water moats, trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Iwaki Station (Joban Line), 5 min walk
Visitor Information Free, partially restricted (private land)
Time Required 45 mins
Website http://tairajyou.com
Location Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture
Coordinates 37° 3' 36.61" N, 140° 53' 22.74" E
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Added to Jcastle 2015
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(one vote)
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34 months ago
Score 0++
Have added maps and pictures of relocated gates to gallery.


40 months ago
Score 0++
moved to "Iwaki Taira Castle" (Iwaki is district name)


40 months ago
Score 0++
updated to yellow; has neary relocated gates. will add photos and mark on maps when i do refurbishment of Touhoku sites (that i've uploaded).


75 months ago
Score 1++
I've found out there are two surviving relocated gates in Taira from this castle so I'll check them out.


93 months ago
Score 1++

This is my local major castle site but it only opens on special occasions, meaning until a recent beer festival held here I was not able to inspect most of the remaining baileys. Most recently a special event was held to recreate the tenshu with a cowboy film set style cut-out with a painting of the building – it was fairly well done. You only know for sure how they made the castle appear “over night” once you see it from behind. At this time there were musical performances ranging from folk songs to cheerleading squads. I went in the museum / former domain office for the first time too and learnt a lot about the castle, including about an abandoned effort to rebuild the castle in the 1950s, from which ferroconcrete foundations existed for over 40 years before being cleared to create lawn space. History: Iwaki-Tairajō was built from 1603 to 1615 for the new fiefdom of Iwaki, created by the Bakufu to guard against the powerful Date clan to the north and given to Torii Tadamasa for his family’s service during the Battle of Sekigahara. Tairajō had 17 yagura (sentry turrets) and 24 gates. According to paintings of the castle at the time, the Honmarukan (main bailey offices) had red tiles on its rooftops, it seems like it would’ve been very splendid. Apparently the Shōgun was so impressed with Torii’s construction of the castle he was assigned to build and lord over Yamagatajō, a substantial promotion from Iwaki. Subsidiary domains were created in 1634, Izumi-han, and 1670, Yunagaya-han. These small fiefdoms had only small forts called Jin’ya as their headquarters and Iwakitaira-han remained dominant. I have visited these Jin’ya ruins too. Izumi has a gate remaining and Yunagaya has a moat and bailey left. These fiefdoms joined Iwaki in joining the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei, a coalition or Pro-Shogunate powers in the north of Japan. Pro-Meiji forces subsequently invaded and during the Battle of Iwaki, one of the first conflicts of the Boshin War, Iwaki-Tairajō was destroyed. During Japan’s industrial revolution Iwaki developed as a coal mining hub and the outer moat o the castle was filled in to construct Taira Station (now Iwaki Station). Subsequently most of the castle became a residential area but the inner moat area was preserved as a public park. List of rulers of Iwaki-Tairajō: Torii Tadamasa (1602-1622) Naitō Clan Rule (1622-1747): Naitō Masanaga, Naitō Tadaoki, Naitō Yoshimune, Naitō Yoshitaka, Yoshishige, Naitō Masagi Inoue Masatsune (1757-1758)

Andō Clan Rule (1758-1868): Andō Nobunari, Andō Nobukiyo, Andō Nobuyoshi, Andō Nobuyori, Andō Nobumasa, Andō Nobutami, Andō Nobutake


105 months ago
Score 1++
Private land. You can't go on the Honmaru. But you can see it through the gate at least. The moat portion which wasn't filled in to build Taira Station (now Iwaki Station since it was incorporated as a city) is very pleasant. The castle's notice boards are now bare. There is no information available in English but you can get good information in Japanese from the tourist booth at the station.