Tōjō-toride was mostly a latter day addition to the defensive network centred around Kasugayamajō. It was developed after Uesugi Kagekatsu had been relocated to Aiźu, by Hori Hideharu, the son of Hori Hidemasa. Hori entered Kasugayamajō, a yamajiro, but did not intend to use it as his main residence. To that end he expanded the fortification at Tōjō-toride and built the Kenmotsubori. The Kenmotsubori is named for Hori Naomasa, the retainer of Hori Hideharu who was in charge of its construction (since “hori” actually means “moat”, I’m sure everyone thought they were being quite clever). This new hirayamajiro was short-lived, however, as Hori Hideharu ultimately decided to relocate to Echigo-Fukushimajō on the coast (at Naoetsu), abandoning Tōjō-toride.
Tōjō-toride, “Eastern Castle Fort”, is a branch fortification of Kasugayamajō, the famous yamajiro (mountaintop castle) of the Uesugi clan. The fort’s principal baileys straddle a hill wedged between the plain and a reservoir. There are two principal baileys on the hill. The higher situated one is the less preserved of the two, now serving as cemetery. Nonetheless, dorui (earthen ramparts) can be found here. The lower bailey is well maintained as part of the historical park, and it has dorui encasing it, with two entry points. A fence has been erected on the dorui. There is a reconstructed building in this bailey, too. As I recall there are no reconstructed buildings at Kasugayamajō itself. The earthworks here are exciting, and they sweep up high on both sides like the prow and aft of a ship (by the way, as a suffix “-maru” can refer both to a ship and to the bailey of a castle).
An impressive structure known as the Kenmotsu Moat is located beneath the hilltop fort on the plain (making Tōjō-toride a hirayamajiro). This moat-and-berm construction zig-zags across the plain. A dobashi (earthen bridge) and koguchi (gate) ruin are located close to the hill fort. One side of this Kenmotsubori links up with the dorui around the hill fort, climbing up the hillside. The terminus of the other side is at the road which leads up to Kasugayamajō, but it originally enclosed the space beneath the hill by going all the way to the far side of the Kasuga Shrine.
|English Name||Toujou Fort|
|Year Founded||Momoyama Period|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Mizubori, Saku, Kuruwa|
|Features||water moats, trenches|
|Access||Kasugayama Station on the Myōkōhaneuma Line; 20 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7; Free; Park|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Jouetsu, Niigata Prefecture|
|Coordinates||37° 9' 12.60" N, 138° 13' 16.03" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|