The first fortification on this site, a medieval fortified residence known as Kamakatajō, was built in the early 16th century by Udono Tamotsu (鵜殿長存). Kamakatajō was also known as Shimonogōjō in relation to the hilltop fort of Kaminogōjō to the north. Originally the Udono Clan served the Imagawa Clan, but Shimonogōjō switched allegiances to Tokugawa Ieyasu following the battle of Okehazama. However, Kaminogōjō did not, and was subsequently attacked by forces loyal to Ieyasu in 1562.
Shimonogōjō was abandoned in 1590 when Tokugawa Ieyasu - along with his entire franchise - was relocated to Kantō. This marks the end of the site's medieval history. The site was then unused militarily for over two decades.
In 1612, hatamoto (bannerman) Matsudaira Kiyomasa, from the Takeya-Matsudaira branch, built Kamakata-jin'ya to adminstrate the 5,000 koku worth of territory he held in Hoi County. He got this territory because his older brother was the lord of Yoshidajō with a fiefdom worth 30,000 koku but died without an heir. It was actually the responsibility of daimyō to not die without an heir, and so the clan was demoted and lost territory. However, out of consideration of past merit, the line was allowed to revert to Kiyomasa, and he was granted a small tenryō (Shogunal) fief. The jin'ya was built slightly southwest of the old medieval residence.
Kamakata-jin'ya is both a kyokan (medieval fortified residence) and jin'ya (proto-modern fortified administrative facility) site in the middle of Gamagôri Municipality. Ruins remain on-site in the form of tall, thick segments of dorui (earthen ramparts). These remains date to the time of the latter jin'ya. It appears this was an entrance area at the site's southwestern corner, the original environs were considerably larger. A surviving structure, a small kōraimon gate, has been relocated to Gamagôri City Hall.
Note: Some castle-explorers distinguish between the later Kamakata-jin'ya site and the earlier site of Kamakatajō, otherwise known as Shimonogōjō in relation to Kaminogōjō to the north. There is a tendancy for explorers / scholars to separate out castle 'profiles' if they are from different time periods, particularly if there is intervening time of inactivity. However, in this case both forts seem to have been on the same land, albeit the core of the jin'ya was to the southwest of the core of the medieval fortified residence (I do not know to what extent they overlapped exactly). Thus 'Kamakata-jin'ya', 'Kamakatajō', and 'Shimonogōjō' are all used as names for this site, and I am treating Kamakata-jin'ya and Kamakatajō as a single site here, and I will write about the history of both forts. Some bloggers also make reference to a 'Gamigôrijō', but this is surely a mistake, as the municipality name 'Gamigôri' is a modern one. A separate map pin on the website Jōkaku Hōrōki (and now consequently Google Maps) for Kamakatajō is used, but it is now just a carpark around the corner from the jin'ya remains, so I decided affirmatively not to look at that; no ruins remain of the earlier medieval residence.
'Kamakatajō' could also be used to refer to Shimonogōjō, a kyokan (residential annex), and Kaminogōjō, a hilltop fort, as a single complex, though unlike in a typical jōkan arrangement wherein the low-lying fort was permanently inhabited but the castle-mount wasn't, but rather used as a redoubt, Kaminogōjō was also a permanent residence, and eventually Shimonogōjō ('Lower Town Castle') and Kaminogōjō ('Upper Town Castle'), split into rival factions.
|English Name||Kamakata Jin'ya|
|Alternate Names||蒲形城 (Kamakatajō)・下ノ郷城 (Shimonogōjō)|
|Founder||Udono Tamotsu; Matsudaira Kiyomasa|
|Year Founded||Early 16th Century; 1612|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Relocated Gate|
|Access||Gamagôri Station on the Meitetsu-Gamagôri and Tōkaidō Main lines; 13 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; fields|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Gamagôri, Aichi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 49' 45.34" N, 137° 13' 45.08" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2023|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|
|Oshiro Tabi Nikki|
|Jōshi Meguri Bibōroku|