Shouzui Castle


Shôzuijô (3).JPG


Shôzui Castle was the political, economic and cultural centre of Awaji, Sanuki and Awa provinces from the Kamakura to the Azuchi periods, and was known as the "best castle in Japan." It is an important castle ruin in the history of medieval Japan. It is located on a natural levee on the south bank of the old Yoshino River, bordering the Imakiri River to the east and wetlands to the south. The castle town flourished to an unprecedented extent for a medieval provincial city, and served as the base of operations for nine generations of the Hosokawa clan and three generations of the Miyoshi clan for approximately 240 years, making it a major historical stage. Shozui Castle is located within the grounds of Kenshoji Temple, the family temple of the Miyoshi clan, and the castle ruins are a square measuring approximately 80m east to west and 60m north to south, surrounded by a 14m wide moat, with some earthworks still remaining, and it was thought to have been the site of a guardianship for the Hosokawa clan and the residence of the Miyoshi clan. There are various theories about when the castle was built, but the earliest one is that it was built when Ogasawara Nagakiyo, who became the governor of Awa after the Jōkyū War, established a guardian's office there. However, recent excavations have pointed out the possibility that it was built as a hastily constructed final stronghold at the time of the Battle of Nakatomigawa. This battle involved the incursion of the Chosokabe clan and the destruction of the castle in 1582. (source : Partial translations of Japanese Wikipedia page: )

Visit Notes

There are 2 sites to see. The first one is the castle ruins itself, which is the first you'll see, coming from the station. A much larger site is in the south-west of the first part. It is much larger and excavations are still going on. This is where the lords had their residences. A little museum and information office has been built on these grounds. Some information panels(even in English) are explaining the history of the place and the advancement of the excavations. The Next 100 Meijô stamp is in this office.

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  • Shôzui castle grounds
  • Castle marker
  • Water moat
  • Kensho Temple on the castle grounds
  • earthen rampart
  • Water moat
  • Going to the residence ruins
  • Entrance to the excavations of the residence
  • Moat and building foundation stones
  • Where a building stood
  • Karesansui arden remains
  • Office with museum and information

Castle Profile
English Name Shouzui Castle
Japanese Name 勝瑞城
Founder Ogasawara Nagakiyo
Year Founded 13th century
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Next 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features water moats, trenches
Visitor Information
Access it's about 600m west from Shôzui station
Visitor Information free access
Time Required 45min
Location Shôzui, Tokushima Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 7' 55.42" N, 134° 31' 22.62" E
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Added to Jcastle 2024
Contributor Furinkazan
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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