Murai Koya Castle


MuraiKoyajou (7).JPG


It is said that Muraijō was the fort of Tezuka Mitsumori, a vassal of Minamoto Yoshinaka. The Murai Clan are also thought to have later inhabited the site from the Kamakura period onwards, which was where the fort got its name. During this time Muraijō would've been the site of the clan's main fortified residence (yakata) on the plain, and Sugawarajō served as a branch castle. In 1548 Takeda Shingen went to war against Ogasawara Nagatoki. Muraijō belonged to Ogasawara and was used to defend central Shinano. Ogasawara was defeated at the Battle of Shiojiri Pass (located to the south of Muraijō) and the castellans of Muraijō, the Murai Clan, were wiped out. Takeda Shingen conquered Muraijō and used it to advance upon and capture Hayashijō. In 1550 Hayashijō fell and Muraijō, being replaced by Fukashijō (later renamed Matsumotojō), was abandoned.

Visit Notes

I first visited this site in 2019. I went back this year, 2023, to find some scant remains which are said to exist in the form of dorui (earthen ramparts) around and near a temple in the vicinity. I was able to identify two possible dorui sites, both at the temple and in a field between nearby homes and what looks to be a depot for tractors.

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  • Description in Japanese on signboard
  • Dorui (earthen ramparts)
  • Possible dorui remains
  • Dorui

Castle Profile
English Name Murai Koya Castle
Japanese Name 村井小屋館
Alternate Names Koya-yakata (小屋館)
Founder Murai Clan
Year Founded Kamakura Period
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui
Visitor Information
Access Murai Station on the Chūō Main Line; walk 5 minutes
Visitor Information 24/7; free
Time Required Thirty Seconds
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 10' 39.50" N, 137° 57' 17.46" E
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Added to Jcastle 2019
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Umoreta Kojō
Shiro to Kosenjō

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15 months ago
Score 0++
I revisited here. There may some scant remains after all. Will update shortly.