Kano Castle

From Jcastle.info



Originally a small castle was built on the same site by the Saito in the 1400s, but it was abandoned by 1538. One source says it was not even completed.

After the Battle of Sekigahara, Okudaira Nobumasa was initially put in control of Gifu Castle. Gifu Castle was inconvenient and inappropriate for the new era of Tokugawa defenses so he had Okudaira build a new flatland castle south of Gifu Castle. Kano Castle would become one of the 12 major "tenkabushin" castles built by the Tokugawa. It is said that the layout of the castle was designed by Ieyasu himself and the Tokugawa's Kano Castle utilized materials from Gifu Castle including stones from the stone walls and the 3 story yagura in the Ninomaru Bailey was actually the tower moved from Gifu Castle atop the Kinkazan mountain. The commander of the castle changed several times until 1755 when Nagai Naonobu became lord of the castle. Nagai's descendents ruled until the Meiji Restoration.

Visit Notes

Kano Castle was a vast castle, but only the Honmaru is preserved as the Kano Park today. The moat around the honmaru is long gone now but that does allow you to get up close to the impressive castle walls. From the inside of the honmaru you can see the nicely preserved high earthen embankments.

Kano Castle is best visited in combination with Gifu Castle. Historically speaking you might want to visit Gifu Castle first and imagine the differences between these two closely related castles.

This Excavation Survey Report is in Japanese but has a lot of great illustrations of the castle territory and photos of the excavation process.

There are also three gates that I know of that are said to have been moved from Kano Castle, but I did not have time to look for them on this trip. I think they are fairly far from the castle itself.

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Castle Profile
English Name Kano Castle
Japanese Name 加納城
Founder Okudaira Nobumasa
Year Founded 1601
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Gifu Station (Tokaido Main Line); 15 min walk
Visitor Information Park, open any time
Time Required 45 mins
Website https://www.pref.gifu.lg.jp/kyoiku/bunka/bunkazai/17768/siseki/kanoujyou.html
Location Gifu, Gifu Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 23' 58.56" N, 136° 45' 37.22" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2019
Admin Visits August 2, 2019
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20 months ago
Score 0++
My second visit to Kanōjō was part of our jcastle group castle tour. This time I was able to see much of more of the site. The castle ruin is a park but has opening times. When I first came it was in the early morning before going to Gifujō (I then walked to Gifujō and climbed the mountain), and so the gates were closed and I couldn't enter beyond the ramparts. My siege of the castle was a failure. But this time I had reinforcements. Even though at first there were some workmen about trimming the grass with fearsome cutters, we sallied forth and were able to storm the castle's defences in short order. What remains of the castle today is the honmaru (central bailey) and its ramparts. The grass around the ishigaki (ramparts) is where a mizubori (water moat) would've been. The outer precincts of the castle, of which there were principally four, are now built over with houses, although we found a sign post on the way to the site indicating where the Ōtemon once stood. The central bailey is overall oblong in shape but with an interesting projecting portion where one of two entrances was located. The projection requires a turn which is flanked by ramparts, thus forming a heavily defended zone. The other entrance into the honmaru had a smaller masugata configuration formed from embankments. The modern entrances cut right through the embankments.