Masujima Castle

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History

Brief History by ART:

Masujimajō was built in 1585 by Kanamori Nagachika as a branch castle of his main base at Takayamajō. In 1692 the Shogunate transferred the Kanamori Clan to Kaminoyama Domain. After briefly being under the custodianship of the Maeda Clan of Kanazawa, Masujimajō was abandoned along with Takayamajō (Hida Takayama Castle) in 1695.

Additional commentary and information contributed by Chris Glenn:

Masujima Castle is a rare Hirajiro, a flat-land castle, in the mountainous Hida Takayama region of Gifu Prefecture. The castle was built in 1585 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered his general, Kanamori Nagachika to subjugate the Hida region. The Kanamori clan based themselves at nearby Takayama where they built a very fine castle, with Masujima established as a satellite castle to Takayama. Kanamori Nagachika's adopted son, Arishige, became the lord of Masujima Castle. When Arishige later became lord of Takayama Castle in 1608, his eldest son, Shigechika, became castellan of Masujima.

In 1615, the Tokugawa Shogunate’s Ichikoku – Ichijo Rei, the One Castle Per Domain law was enacted and so Masujima was demoted, becoming known as the Furukawa Ryokan Inn. The Kanamori clan continued to rule the Hida Takayama area until 1692, when they were transferred, and he Maeda clan of Kanazawa temporarily took control of Masujima Castle. In 1695 Hida became the direct domain of the Edo Shogunate, who wanted the resource rich area for itself, and, along with the elegant Takayama, Masujima Castle was demolished. In place of Takayama Castle, the extant Takayama Jinya was built, becoming the de-facto castle.

The walls of Nozurazumi ishigaki, rough stone construction, show its history and at eight meters high are the tallest stone walls in the Hida area. They do not rise out of the moat water like many castles, but are built on hard land just above the moat waterline. Today only part of Masujima’s wide water moat and stone wallsremain. There was no tenshu keep at Masujima, instead the main site of the small castle’s main yagura turret is now a shrine. The old castle grounds are now school grounds. Interestingly, Masujima’s layout was based on the design of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's sumptuous residence in Kyoto, the famed Jurakutei.


Visit Notes

The ruins of Masujima Castle contain a small section of moat and stone fortifications. Where the small castle would once have stood there is now a shrine. The lower bailey of the old castle grounds now houses a school.




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Castle Profile
English Name Masujima Castle
Japanese Name 増島城
Founder Kanamori Nagachika
Year Founded 1585
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features water moats, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Train to Hida-Furukawa
Visitor Information
Time Required 15 minutes
Website https://www.hida-kankou.jp/kanko/foreign/en/plan-your-visit/pdf/Hida Furukawa Sightseeing Map.pdf
Location Hida, Gifu Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 13' 27.37" N, 137° 11' 56.11" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2017
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed


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(3 votes)
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ARTShogun

39 months ago
Score 0++

Masujimajō (Hida) 増島城 [飛騨]

Masujimajō is apparently the only hirajiro (flatland castle) in Hida Province (the northern mountainous part of modern Gifu Prefecture). It is located on the grounds of a school and retains a a portion of its moat at the back, as well as ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) all around the bailey, and in general has the apperance of a mysterious stone-clad tumulus with a shrine and trees atop. There is an inubashiri ("dogs' run") between the moat and ramparts (as opposed to the moat submersing the lower part of the ishigaki). I didn't visit them, preferring instead to hunt down another castle site, but there are, according to wikipedia, relocated structures from this small castle at several temples, including at least three gates and a building, a shoin, which may have constituted part of the lord's residence. Since I would like to re-visit Hida I'll be sure to investigate these in future, especially the shoin. The castle's outer baileys are now a residential area and school grounds.

History:

Masujimajō was built in 1585 by Kanamori Nagachika as a branch castle of his main base at Takayamajō. In 1586 he appointed his son, Kanamori Shigechika, as castellan of Masujimajō. In 1692 the Shogunate transferred the Kanamori Clan to Kaminoyama Domain. After briefly being under the custodianship of the Maeda Clan of Kanazawa, Masujimajō was abandoned along with Takayamajōin 1695.