Maebashi Castle




Maebashi Castle started from a castle known as Ishikura Castle, which was built as a satellite fortification to Minowa Castle by the Nagano in the late 1400's. In 1534, The Tone River, which ran to the east of the castle and was used as a natural defense, flooded and changed the course of the river, washing away much of the castle. Nagano Masanari, rebuilt the castle as Mayabashi Castle in what remained of the Sannnomaru Bailey. In 1551, Nagano Kenchu surrendered the castle to the Hojo, and fled to join forces with Uesugi Kenshin. Uesugi took Maebashi Castle in 1560 with the Nagano forces. Maebashi Castle was used as the main forward base for Uesugi's further incursions into the Kanto region. The castle was once taken by Takeda Shingen in 1563 but then was retaken by Ueseugi again. The Uesugi commander of Maebashi Castle, Kitajo Takahiro, flipped allegiances from Uesugi to Hojo in 1567 so the castle once again came under Hojo control. In 1569, Kitajo rejoined the Uesugi when an alliance between Hojo and Uesugi was formed to combat incursions by Takeda Shingen. After Uesugi Kenshin died (1578), Kitajo allied with Takeda Katsuyori until Katsuyori's death in 1582. Kitajo surrendered the castle to Ishikawa Kazumasa. A few months later after Oda's death Takigawa left Kanto as well and the castle once again was back in Hojo hands. After the Siege of Odawara (1590), Hiraiwa Chikayoshi, a vassal of Tokugawa Ieyasu was stationed at Maebashi Castle. After the Battle of Sekigahara (1601) Hiraiwa was moved to Kofu and Sakai Shigetada became the new lord of Maebashi Castle. Sakai renovated the castle into a modern Edo Period castle with a 3 level main keep. The Sakai were moved to Himeji in 1749 and the Matsudaira Tomonori became lord of Maebashi.Finally in 1767 the Matsudaira moved to Kawagoe and absorbed the Maebashi domain as part of Kawagoe. The castle was abandoned in 1769.The Maebashi domain was re-established in 1867 but this was short loved as the domain system was abolished in 1871. The castle grounds became the prefectural offices and all the castle buildings were destroyed.

Visit Notes

There only real remains are the embankments around the Honmaru bailey which is now the prefectural offices. There should be some stone wall foundation stones in the neighborhood but I could not find them.

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  • embankment and monument
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Monument atop the embankment
  • Earthen embankments
  • monument and embankment
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Earthen embankments
  • Upper reaches of Maebashi Castle
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Maebashi Castle
Japanese Name 前橋城
Alternate Names Mayabashi-jo
Founder Nagano Masanari
Year Founded Late 15th C.
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Maebashi Sta (Ryomo Line), 25 min walk
Visitor Information open any time
Time Required 20 mins
Location Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 23' 32.86" N, 139° 3' 40.57" E
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Added to Jcastle 2016
Admin Year Visited 2016
Admin Visits May 3, 2016

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