Nagisa Castle




Nagisajō was built in the early 15th century by Ogasawara Nagahide as a fortified residence. Even though it is commonly referred to as a castle it seems to have been more akin to a yakata (fortified manor house). Nagahide was made Shugo (governor) of Shinano. The power of local feudal lords had been increasing and in 1400 the Battle of the Great Tower took place, in which Nagahide and his allies were defeated. The Great Tower (Ōtō) appears to refer to an old mountain castle in what is now Shinonoi. In 1405 Nagahide stepped down as Shugo. Even though the new Shugo was his brother, Shinano continued to be dominated by local lords. It is said that Nagisajō was built at this time. The Ogasawara, although they could not control all of Shinano, retained some control and would go on to expand their territory again during the Sengoku Period until their defeat by Takeda Shingen.

Visit Notes

Nagisajō possesses no ruins, and the only evidence that a fortification ever existed here is to be found on a small stone slab erected beside the temple gate which explains about it. I went around the back of the temple too just to make doubly sure I wasn't missing anything, and there is cleared land here which once likely was part of the castle, now no doubt waiting to be developed over. I wouldn't have come here except I was passing right by it and thought, hey, it's a bonus; I was actually on my way to Inukaijō. The stone marker calls the fortification Nagisauchijō, but various online sources simply call it Nagisajō. The ’uchi’ in Nagisauchijō could simply refer to an inner part of a fort, perhaps? But I don't get the impression that this base was ever very big. ’Nagisa’ usually refers to the part of a shore where the tide breaks, but given that Matsumoto is nowhere near the coast I guess that the name is a reference to the water's edge of the nearby rivers which surround the site on three sides (the Narai River in the west and the Ta River in the East, splitting in the north). In this context ’Nagisauchi’ would mean something like ’between riversides’, a reference to its fortifiable position between waterways. Nagisa is also the name of this area in western central Matsumoto between the aforementioned rivers and there is also a Nagisa Station.


Castle Profile
English Name Nagisa Castle
Japanese Name 渚城
Alternate Names Nagisauchijō
Founder Ogasawara Nagahide
Year Founded Early 15th Century
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts 遺跡なし
Features walls
Visitor Information
Access Nagisa Station on the Kamikouchi Line; walk 7 minutes
Visitor Information 24/7; free
Time Required one minute
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 13' 53.36" N, 137° 57' 27.22" E
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Added to Jcastle 2019
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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