Kogane Castle (Mikawa)

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MikawaKoganejou (11).jpg


Koganejō was constructed at some point before 1556 by the Sugunuma Clan. Likely it was built as a mountain fort toward the middle of the century to protect the valley below where their residence was located. In the latter half of the 16th century the castle was besieged by Matsudaira-aligned forces after the Sugunuma conspired with Takeda Shingen. The castle was destroyed in the conflict.

Visit Notes

Koganejō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) site on a ridge between the townships of Makihira and Kakatsugawa in Okazaki Municipality. An old forestry road leads up to a small clearing where there is a ‘boat stone’ monument. I think boat stones are used as basins for storing water at temples, but this one has been stood erect and surrounded by stone blocks. It looks like a short, dark, hooded figure in the forest. According to the map I was using, this was formerly considered the site of the castle. But why? For castle-explorers the actual ruins may not be much but they’re unmistakable. Maybe it was a topographic error! Anyway, I continued on from here onto the real site of the castle. There was no path and I had to pick my way through foliage whilst following the ridge.

Koganejō is an earthworks fort site featuring baileys and some indications of trenches and gate sites. I was anticipating not being able to easily identify the site due to apparent confusion over its location, but, coming upon it from below, I saw the distinctive artificial mounds of a castle bailey and knew immediately that I’d arrived. There are two very small but well-levelled pocket baileys beneath the crest of the main bailey. My map indicated a tatebori (climbing trench) segment to the north here but it was hard to make out with the interceding foliage. There is a sort of inubashiri (“dog’s run”), or narrow trail, which goes beneath the main bailey on its northern side, with a small pocket bailey adjacent to the tatebori. Following the inubashiri brings one to another tatebori trace at the opposite end of the bailey. The main bailey is elevated, spacious, and retains a mostly flat surface. It’s obviously a fortification site. Depressions may indicate sunken gate sites.

Beneath the main bailey is a koshikuruwa (‘hip bailey), the terraced second bailey, divided by a slight change in elevation, but basically forming a single large bailey that wraps around the main bailey above. There are sunken pits in these baileys. I thought they may have been pits used for making fire signals, but the blogger I was following suggests that they may have had some defensive function, perhaps for soldiers waiting in ambush or hiding. The pits are in the lower half of the second bailey. There is a koguchi (tiger’s maw) gate ruin in the upper part of the second bailey. There is a smaller third bailey beneath the second bailey. Koganejō has some mysteries but is otherwise fairly standard for a small scale yamajiro based around a single bailey complex.

  • Terraced Lower Bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Kogane Castle (Mikawa)
Japanese Name 三河小金城
Alternate Names Makihirajō (牧平城)
Founder Sugunuma Clan
Year Founded 1556
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Kuruwa, Tatebori, Koshikuruwa, Koguchi, &c.
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Nearest station is Motojuku Station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line; Higashi-Okazaki IC
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 40 minutes
Website https://blog.goo.ne.jp/shiro-rekishimeguri/e/e2efa10f7100bee9a3f166d6e42be70d
Location Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 54' 37.73" N, 137° 18' 16.96" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku

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