Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Shiroishi Castle -Southern gate of Sendai domain-

Shiroishi Castle

-Southern gate of Sendai domain-



Name: Shiroishi Castle (Shiroishi-jo) Alias: Masuoka-jo
Place: Masuoka-cho Shiroishi city, Miyagi
Location: 38.00280333576891, 140.61718531275628
Type: Hill castle
Built: 1591
Remaining remnants: Gates (moved), stone walls, clay walls and dry moats
Title: 100 more famous Japanese castles

Brief History

Shiroishi castle (白石城) is located at Shiroishi city, at the southern border of Miyagi prefecture. Shiroishi area is on the path to Fukushima prefecture and an important place of communication.

At the end of Sengoku era this area was held by Masamune Date (1567-1636), but after a unification of Japan by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Date clan was moved to central Miyagi and this region was given to Gamo clan, a lord of Aizu (Fukushima prefecture). A general of Gamo built this castle as a residence, and next to Gamo, Kagekatsu Uesugi (1556-1623) became the owner.

After Hideyoshi Toyotomi's death, Kagekatsu Uesugi allied with Mitsunari Ishida (1560-1600), former magistrate of Toyotomi government, and resisted to Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616) who was aiming for next hegemony. In response to this, Masamune Date supported Tokugawa clan. In 1600, just before the battle of Sekigahara between Tokugawa and former Toyotomi group, Masamune attacked this castle and captured from Uesugi clan.

After the battle Date clan kept this castle, and Kagetsuna Katakura (1557-1615), a chancellor and confident retainer from young age of Masamune, was placed as a commander. Kagetsuna expanded Shiroishi castle as a southern gate of Sendai domain. This castle was admitted to exist as an exceptional treatment of Ikkoku Ichijo Rei (Rule of one castle in one domain), and kept by Katakura clan throughout Edo era.

Subsequent to the Meiji revolution all buildings were scrapped, but two gates were transferred to neighbor temples and remain until now although they are a bit reformed. Additionally, in 1995, the three story turret (substitution of main tower) and combined gates were rebuilt in original wooden style. 


15 minutes walk from JR East Tohoku-Honsen line Shiroishi station. 25 minutes walk from JR East Tohoku Shinkansen line Shin-Shiroishi station. 20 minutes drive from Tohoku Jidoshado Expressway Shiroishi interchange.

Related Castles

Sendai Castle -Residence of "Single eye dragon"-

Pictures (click to enlarge)

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