Wagou Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)

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Wagōjō is thought to have been constructed as a satellite castle of Katsuraojō across the plain to the north by Murakami Yoshikiyo. In the 1550s the Murakami lost the castle to Takeda Shingen, who gave command of the castle to the Tada Clan. After the fall of the Takeda Clan in 1582, Wagōjō was taken over by the Uesugi Clan, who made Shimaźu Tadanao castellan. At that time Wagōjō was used to deter the Sanada Clan located in the east. In 1583 Katsuno Masaharu had designs on the castle, but Tadanao maintained a vigilant defence. In order to prepare for an attack by the Tokugawa, the Uesugi ordered the fortified complex on Mount Kokuzō reinforced. Mori Tadamasa used Wagōjō as an encampment during the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Thereafter the site was abandoned.

Visit Notes

Wagōjō is the starting point on Mount Kokuzō, and the trail encompasses many fortification ruins. Wagōjō is relatively easy to get to and is also one of the richer sites in terms of fortification remains. Ruins include ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts), with lots being hidden around the sides of the first and second baileys. The site is well maintained, almost civilised, and offers nice views from all sides.

The layout consists of four integral baileys arranged in a straight line along the ridge, a simple renkaku-shiki (連郭式) layout. The first bailey overlooks the plain. In between the first and second bailey is an embankment carved from the mountain, and trenches separate the other baileys. The main bailey is also surrounded by dorui (earthen ramparts) and ishigaki lines segments of the ramparts without. The trail from Wagōjō continues on to Takatsuyajō, although before that there are two forks in succession, the first leading down to Monomijō, and the latter to Kemurinojō.

  • Shukuruwa

Castle Profile
English Name Wagou Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)
Japanese Name 村上和合城
Founder Murakami Yoshikiyo
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Ishigaki, Hori, Dorui, Kuruwa
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Nishi-Ueda Station on the Shinano Railway; 20 minute walk to trailhead.
Visitor Information Free; 24/7; Mountain
Time Required 50 minutes
Location Ueda, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 25' 25.00" N, 138° 11' 55.00" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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