Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Imjin War book cover Japanese Castles 1540-1640

Matsushiro Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady

松代藩

Matsushiro Domain


森氏
1600 - 1603

Mori Clan

137,000 Koku

松平氏
1603 - 1616

Matsudaira Clan

120,000 Koku

松平氏
1616 - 1619

Matsudaira Clan

120,000 Koku

酒井氏
1619 - 1622

Sakai Clan

100,000 Koku

真田氏
1622 - 1871

Sanada Clan

88,000 Koku

松代城
Matsushiro Castle is classified as a flatland castle (its layout: Rinkakushiki), and is located in Nagano Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Shinano Province. It is associated with the Sanada clan. Dates in use: 1553 - 1872.

Located at a strategic location by the Chikuma river, this castle served many clans including the famed Takeda clan & later, the Sanada clan. By 1873 only the stone foundations remained but in 2003, much of the castle was restored using traditional designs & methods.

I can easily recommend this castle to visit if you are in the area. And it's not just the well-cared for remains or the tidy and rebuilt gates. The historical buildings located to the South of the castle are outstanding. Old storehouses, private residences, gates, and to top things off there's a fine school for the Samurai sons of the domain.

Timeline

1553 The castle was built by order of Takeda Shingen. It was then known as Kaizu Castle.
1582 With the demise of the Takeda Clan, the Mori Clan took control of the castle.
1603 The Echizen branch of the Matsudaira Clan were transferred here.
1622 The Sanada Clan were transferred here from Ueda Castle.
1711 The castle was renamed Matsushiro Castle.
1717 All buildings were lost in a blaze.
1862 The Palace was rebuilt.
1872 The castle was abandoned & everything sold off.
1873 All remaining buildings were lost to arson.
2003 Some buildings, including the Taiko Gate were rebuilt.

Historical recognition

SiteNational Historic Site