Myodaiji Castle


Myoudaijijou (12).JPG


Myōdaijijō was built by Saigō Tsugiyori in the first half of the 15th century (1430s), relocating from Ôkusajō. The Saigō Clan first appeared in Mikawa as vassals of Niki Yoshinaga after he became the province’s governor in 1351. In 1455 Saigō Tsugiyori constructed Okazakijō, or at least the first iteration of it, on a small hill called Ryūtōzan (‘Dragon Head Mount’). Myōdaijijō then became known as Higashijō (‘East Castle’) in relation to Ryūtōzanjō. Myōdaijijō once again became the seat of Saigō Tsugiyori following his retirement. Tsugiyori’s father, Moriyori, and son, Yoritsugu, both lived at the castle.

In 1524, Yoritsugu’s son, Saigō Nobusada, who was the third generation head of the Okazaki-Matsudaira by adoption, inherited Myōdaijijō. That year he also built Yamanakajō. Nobusada was bellicose and conquered territory, but this prompted backlash from within the Matsudaira Clan. Matsudaira Kiyoyasu attacked Yamanakajō. Kiyoyasu captured Myōdaijijō, took Nobusada’s daughter as his wife, and forced Nobusada to retire to Ohkusajō where he died in 1525. Kiyoyasu then rebuilt Okazakijō in 1530, abandoning Myōdaijijō. It seems Myōdaijijō was used continually for about a century.

Visit Notes

The site of Myōdaijijō is now that of Rokusho Shrine in downtown Okazaki. The shrine is a splendid complex of historical structures and tall stone-piled retaining walls. Myōdaijijō could be considered one of the precursors to Okazaki Castle.

For associated sites see Myodaijiko Castle and Hiraiwa Castle (Mikawa).


Castle Profile
English Name Myodaiji Castle
Japanese Name 明大寺城
Founder Saigō Tsugiyori
Year Founded 1430-1440
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Higashi-Okazaki Station on the Nagoya Main Line; 5min walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; shrine
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 56' 57.84" N, 137° 10' 6.96" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku
Umoreta Kojō
Aichi Shiro
Shiseki Yawa

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