Kameyama Castle

From Jcastle.info

IseKameyamajouART (5).jpg

History

The original Kameyama Castle was founded by Seki Sanetada in 1264 to the west of the present Kameyama Castle. When Seki Kazumasa was relocated to Shirakawa in 1590, Okamoto Munenori was given control of the castle. Okamoto moved the castle ot the southeast and constructed all the main structures. In 1632 when the Tokugawa Government issued a declaration that the main keep of Kameyama Castle in Tanba be rebuilt, Horio Tadazane confused it with this Kameyama Castle (in Ise) and destroyed the main keep and started work on the stone walls before the mistake was discovered. Even so, the Tokugawa government would not grant them permission to rebuild the main keep at (Ise) Kameyama Castle, so it was never rebuilt. Some also say, that this was all part an elaborate plan by the Tokugawa government. In 1636, Honda Toshitsugu moved into the castle and built a tamon yagura on the site of the original main keep that was mistakenly destroyed. He also renamed a three story yagura in the honmaru and used it as a main keep.


Visit Notes

Kameyamajō is a hirayamajiro (hilltop and plainsland castle) ruin in Kameyama Municipality. The ruins of Kameyamajō are maintained as a park, and the tamon-yagura, which sits atop very impressive ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts), can be entered on weekends. Inside there is a burnt section of one of the original pillars on display. It apparently results from a fire that occured during the restoration of the turret in 2011. Restorations can actually be a dangerous time for old buildings as electrical sources and potential for accidents increase (for example, Notre Dame Cathedral). That 2011 restoration of the tamon-yagura also restored the exterior walls, changing them from clapboard which had been affixed since the Meiji period, to a more historically true (white) shikkui plaster finish.

To the rear of the main bailey is a karabori (dry moat) hidden in the trees, a sort of secret. To the north is the second bailey with an obikuruwa (terraced bailey) and gate ruin. The dobei (parapet) walls were restored in 2007, though they do not have loopholes. Beneath here is a large karabori, made from augmenting a large creek which served as a defensive barrier. A temple in the Kameyama-juku called Henshōji has a main hall incorporating the genkan (entrance parlour) believed to have been relocated from the castle where it was used as the entranceway for the second bailey goten (castellan's palace).

Updated notes and gallery by ART (2024).


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Gallery
  • Appearance of turret after 2012 restoration
  • Appearance of turret before 2012 restoration
  • tamon yagura
  • Entrance to tamon-yagura
  • Gatehouse of Kato Samurai Residence
  • Storehouse of Kato Samurai Residence
  • Second bailey ramparts
  • Dorui
  • Gate site in second bailey and ramparts
  • (Mock) Dobei around koshikuruwa (belt bailey)
  • Residence where Meiji Emperor briefly stayed
  • Relocated Genkan
  • Rear dry moat behind main bailey


Castle Profile
English Name Kameyama Castle
Japanese Name 亀山城
Alternate Names Kocho-jo
Founder Okamoto Munenori
Year Founded 1590
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features turrets, palace, samurai homes, trenches, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Kameyama Sta. (Kansai Line); 10 min. walk
Visitor Information Turret open weekends, 10:00-16:00 (free)
Time Required 80 minutes
Website http://www.city.kameyama.mie.jp/kanko/shiseki.html
Location Kameyama, Mie Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 51' 22.21" N, 136° 27' 2.02" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2008
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Nearby Samurai Homes
1.92
(12 votes)
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ARTShogun

16 days ago
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The genkan (entrance parlour) of Ise-Kameyama Castle's second bailey shoin (palatial drawing room), was repurposed as the portico of the main hall of Henshōji, a temple in town. The genkan represents the precious last traces of the Kameyamajō goten (castellan's palace); it was relocated to the temple in 1872, having been erected in the castle's second bailey only a decade prior.

Henshōji sits on a sloping promontory beneath the old Kameyama-juku on the above plateau. It's quite unusual to go down when following a temple's causeway, as opposed to up, but the temple is orientated toward the old inn town which was built in an elevated area. Kameyama is a town built on hilly terrain with terraced plateaus; the station is located on lowland beside the Suzuka River.
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ARTShogun

21 days ago
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I revisited this site early this month... Have updated profile description. Added samurai residence profile for nearby Katou-bukeyashiki. Added some more pictures of earthworks, such as the rear dry moat. Added co-ordinates to gallery photos. Will shortly add a pic and pin for the relocated genkan at nearby Henshouji to complete update.
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ARTShogun

8 months ago
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I have embossed the gallery with some more recent pictures showing the renovated yagura, and some other stuff like earthworks and surrounding architecture.
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ARTShogun

93 months ago
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Kameyama Castle is a small site with an originally built turret atop of a high and sturdy ishigaki (stone wall) segment. There are archaeological remains of dorui (earthen ramparts), particularly where you can tell that yagura (turrets) and a gate once stood by the shape of the mounds.
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ARTShogun

96 months ago
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Now i completely understand, thanks for clarifying, Eric.
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Jcastle.oldHatamoto

96 months ago
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ART, you have the facts basically together. The original main keep on this site was destroyed. What you see is an original yagura that was built on the site of the main keep. Restoration work done in the Meiji Period and later neglected to cover the walls with white paster. The restoration work this time added the plaster returning it to the way it looked at the end of the Edo Period.
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ARTShogun

96 months ago
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What's the deal with the yagura? It's now white. So far i've read that, 1. The above pictured yagura is original, 2. The original yagura was destroyed somehow and 3. The new white yagura is truer to the original.

Well not all of these things can be true!
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FurinkazanDaimyo

124 months ago
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The works are done and i'll send some photos to the webmaster when back home. There is really not much to see here. If i wasn't in the vicinity, i wouldn't get at this site.
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RaymondWDaimyo

153 months ago
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Missed the connecting train to Matsusaka, so decided to pop out of the JR station and quickly re-visit this castle ruin before the next train came in 45 minutes. Well, there isn't much to see as the turret built on top of the tenshudai is being restored to a more original condition. Once it is finished, it will have white walls and more authentic windows like the ones you can see in other turrets and gates found at other Japanese castles. The restoration is scheduled to finish by 31st March 2012.
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RaymondWDaimyo

190 months ago
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Went to Kameyama Castle on the same day as Iga-Ueno. The place in early December looks pretty much as it does in the photos on this website. However, you cannot walk around most of the area around the yagura as part of the tenshu base is being repaired. On the sign, it said that it would be done by Boxing Day 2008. You cannot go inside the yagura as it is closed to the public. This castle ruin is easily accessible from JR Kameyama Station, around 8 to 10 minutes on foot. From JR Iga-Ueno to JR Kameyama, it takes around 45 minutes. There is only one train every hour. Go and see this castle if you are in the area, but I would not go out of my way to seek this out.