Monjuyamajō was constructed by the Okudaira Clan in 1572. The Okudaira were entering into vassalhood under the Kai-Takeda at that time, and Monjuyamajō was to be built as a fortified watchtower to entrench Takeda power in the area along with Furumiyajō. It is said that when the Takeda grew weary of what they perceived as stalling tactics on the part of the Okudaira, they grew forceful in negotiations, and the Okudaira were compelled to build Monjuyamajō very quickly to prove their loyalty, lending the fort the moniker ‘one night castle’, as though it were built in a day or two. There is also a theory that some kind of watchtower was in place much earlier, and Monjuyamajō was ‘the eye of Kameyamajō’, the main base of the Okudaira. Either way it seems to have been expanded or re-fortified around the time that the Takeda expanded their power into Mikawa via Tsukude. Though it is interesting to note that nearby Sainokamijō appears to have been modified at a later date, suggesting that it may have played a more important role than Monjuyamajō during the Takeda era.
Monjuyamajō is a yamajiro (mountaintop) castle site in Tsukude Village, Shinshiro Municipality. It has a reconstructed miyagura (watchtower) and a hammock, which are both highly appreciated. Although some parts have fallen down, there is also a loosely arranged palisade or babōsaku (cheval de frise) around parts of the ramparts. Other features include earthworks, such as dorui (earthen ramparts) and dry moats. The circular layout is essentially comprised of a large single bailey complex with a koshikuruwa (sub-bailey) wrapping around the central bailey below.
An octogenarian in the castle carpark gave me a pamphlet about castle ruins in the village. He said he was the lord of the castle. By which I took it to mean that he was the descendant of a castellan. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s nice of him to share his castle with everyone.
|English Name||Monjuyama Castle|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Miyagura, Obikuruwa, Hori, Kuruwa, Babōsaku, Kirigishi, &c.|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; mountain|
|Time Required||40 minutes|
|Location||Shinshiro, Aichi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 58' 9.08" N, 137° 24' 54.58" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2023|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|
|Oshiro Tabi Nikki|
|Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku|