Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Japanese Castles 1540-1640 The Baur Collection: Japanese Sword-Fittings and Associated Metalwork

Kawagoe Castle

Images: Fujinamiism

川越藩

Kawagoe Domain


酒井氏
1609 - 1634

Sakai Clan

20,000 Koku

堀田氏
1634 - 1639

Horita Clan

30,000 Koku

松平 (大河内)
1639 - 1694

Matsudaira (Ōkōchi) Clan

60,000 Koku

柳沢氏
1694 - 1704

Yanagisawa Clan

72,000 Koku

秋元氏
1704 - 1767

Akimoto Clan

50,000 Koku

松平氏
1767 - 1866

Matsudaira Clan

150,000 Koku

松平 (松井)
1866 - 1870

Matsudaira (Matsui) Clan

80,000 Koku

川越城
Kawagoe Castle is classified as a hilltop castle, and is located in Saitama Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Musashi Province. It is associated with the Ōta, late Hōjō, Sakai clans. Dates in use: 1457 - 1870.

No gates or towers have survived from the Edo period. Even the moats & stone walls have long since disappeared. There is however, the castle lord's palace which dates from the mid 1800's & an old hall. Throughout most of its active life, Kawagoe castle played a role in the defence of the capital, Edo.

There remain numerous historical buildings in the old town of Kawagoe. Most famous is the Kurazukuri storehouses, which feature thick, plastered walls & rather heavy-looking roofs. In the city centre is an old bell tower that was rebuilt in 1894 following a massive fire the year before.

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Timeline

1457 The castle was built by Ōta Dōshin. The Ōta were vassals of the Uesugi clan.
1537 Taken over by the late Hōjō.
1546 The Battle of Kawagoe Castle. Against an army far greater than those defending the castle, the Hōjō were not only victorious but very nearly brought about the complete end to the once mighty Uesugi clan.
1590 The Hōjō lost the castle at the time of their defeat to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
1639 One of the many branches of the Matsudaira clan were transferred here. In the following years, the castle underwent extensive renovation.
1848 The extant palace was built to replace the one that burnt down two years prior.
1870 The castle was decommissioned.
1967 An old hall was moved back to the castle grounds though, in a different location.

Historical recognition

SitePrefectural Historic Site