The castle was built when Kira Yoshitsugu became the lord of Tôjô land in 13th century. In 1222, Ashikaga Yoshiuji became the Shugo Daimyo of Mikawa, and he gave his son Yoshitsugu the land of Tôjô. Until the fall of Ashikaga clan in Sengoku period, Tojo was important for the government of Mikawa.
The 12th lord, Kira Mochihiro, married the sister of Matsudaira Kiyoyasu, the grandfather of Tokugawa Ieyasu. When Kiyoyasu was killed, he saved his son (Senchiyo, the father of Ieyasu) and raised him until he became adult. After the battle of Okehazama, Ieyasu made alliance with Nobunaga and defeated Tôjô Castle. However, when Ieyasu unified Japan, he found a descendant of Kira Mochihiro and hired him as Hatamoto.
Tôjô castle was governed by the Matsudaira clan, after Ieyasu defeated this castle, and kept until 1607. Then, it was destroyed.
After visiting Nishio-jo i went to this castle. It is 2 stations away from Nishio station on the Meitetsu Nishio line. Get out at Kamiyokosuka Station. Go directly right and the next road to the right to go over the railroad tracks. Just after take left and follow always road 42 untill you reach road 318. There take right and normally you'll see the watchtower of the castle afar.
Original profile and photos by Jcastle user Furinkazan (2014).
Update by ART (2023):
Unfortunately, the reconstructed yaguramon (gatehouse) and miyagura (watchtower) which once stood proudly at this site are now gone. The reconstructions dated to 1992 and were demolished in 2021 after becoming dilapidated and unsafe. Apparently they were funded through the 'Village Revitalisation Project' which was a scheme to grant every municipality in the country 100,000,000 yen - no questions asked - to use on development projects; this was before the bubble burst in the early Heisei period. This was also before the Great Heisei Municipal Mergers, so the municipality in question was Kira Township, later merged into the expanded Nishio Municipality. They had a lot of money to spend as a relatively small muncipality, so they restored Tōjōjō, a famous castle of the medieval Kira Clan.
The Kira Clan later became infamously associated with Kira Yoshinaka and his assassination by the 47 Rōnin. But, though not a popular character virtually everywhere else because of the telling of that tale, the familiarly known 'Kira-sama' is well regarded here in this small township, and it's a pity that the reconstructions at the castle of his ancestors were not maintained.
Tōjōjō is a hilltop fort featuring earthworks such as dorui (earthen ramparts) and kuruwa (baileys). Although the reconstructed yaguramon and miyagura have been recently pulled down, the site still has restored babōsaku (cheval-de-frise) and a pair of kabukimon (gateways) without doors. The ruins are mostly maintained as a park, and there are toilet facilities housed in a sort of mock Sengoku-style building.
The koguchi (tiger's maw) gate area is a prominent feature of this site. The transient yaguramon sat between tall ramparts topped with babōsaku. The koguchi area is still an imposing sight. As for the miyaguramon, only the stumps of its supports remain. Dorui is evident wrapping around much of the bailey below the koguchi, and segments of dorui can be found in other baileys too, including the bailey which now hosts a shrine to Hachiman, the god of war.
|No main keep but other buildings
|Pre Edo Period
|Kamiyokosuka Sta. (Meitetsu Nisho Line), 2.3 km walk
|Free entrance. I didn't saw any closing hours.
|Nishio, Aichi Prefecture
|34° 50' 6.00" N, 137° 5' 26.02" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited