Marune Castle


Marunejou (7).jpg


Even though the physical evidence of Marunejō’s existence as a solid fort stands right before our eyes, the castle didn’t leave much of a paper trail. There is a lot of speculation about the castle, including that it was first built by Marune Iekatsu, a vassal of the Matsudaira Clan. Takahashi Yorisada is also said to have been the castellan. At that time the castle would’ve been a fortified manor hall with a single bailey. In 1506 Matsudaira Munetada, from the Nagasawa-Matsudaira branch clan, used Marunejō to attack the Takahashi clan’s manor. There is a theory that a branch clan developed called the Marune-Matsudaira which came into conflict with other branches of the clan. The castle’s ruins we see today date to the middle-to-late 16th century, and the last renovations may have been made by Matsudaira Motoyasu (Tokugawa Ieyasu) after he captured the castle from Marune Muneyoshi. The castle was likely used in the conflicts between the Oda, Imagawa and Matsudaira clans. Considering where Matsudaira territory expanded in the Sengoku period, it’s highly likely this castle was occupied and used by the Matsudaira Clan. Little is known for sure, but I have outlined a plausible history above.

Visit Notes

Marune is a moderate scale earthworks hirajiro (flatland castle) site in Nomi Township, Toyota Municipality. These ruins chiefly feature large karabori (dry moats), which are impressive. There are two baileys, the main bailey and north bailey. The north bailey is entirely surrounded by well-preserved karabori. The karabori continues to wrap around the main bailey in the northwest. In the southwest there are terraces without dorui (earthen ramparts), giving the impression that the earth has collapsed here. There is a prominent corner segment of dorui in the main bailey's northeast. The main bailey is itself very spacious, and could’ve easily accommodated a palace or, and perhaps more likely, barracks for a large garrison.

Marunejō (Marune Castle) is not to be confused with Marune-toride (Marune Fort), also in Aichi. Marune-toride, which I visited not long after this site, is a minor site but has some renown in association with the siege of Ohdaka Castle and the Battle of Okehazama. Is this a rare instance of a ‘fort’ being better known than a ‘castle’ of the same name? Marune Castle, this site, doesn’t have a well-known history, but it is certainly the more interesting and better preserved site.

  • Karabori (dry moat)

Castle Profile
English Name Marune Castle
Japanese Name 丸根城
Founder Marune Iekatsu; Matsudaira Munetada
Year Founded Unknown; 1506
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Karabori, Dorui, Kuruwa
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Uwagoromo Station on the Meitetsu-Mikawa Line; 40 minute walk; or, Toyota-Matsudaira IC
Visitor Information 24/7; Free; Park
Time Required 40 minutes
Location Toyota, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 4' 3.68" N, 137° 10' 45.98" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Umoreta Kojō
Aichi Shiro
Shiro Meguri Bibōroku

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