Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ogyu Castle -Combination of huge rocks and stone walls-

Ogyu Castle

-Combination of huge rocks and stone walls-



Name: Ogyu Castle
Place: Ouchicho Toyota city, Aichi
Type: Hill Castle
Built: Originally 15th century, expanded in 16th century
Remaining remnants: Stone walls, clay walls and moats

Brief History

Ogyu castle (大給城) is located at Shiroyama mountain, a small mountain of 100 meter height from hillside lies 6 kilometer eastward from central Toyota city. The place of the castle is a crossing point of current Route 301 which connects Toyota city and Shinshiro city through Tsukude highland, and a road from Okazaki city to Asuke area, and it was an important area of communication.

Ogyu castle and Ogyu Matsudaira clan

The precise year of construction is unknown, but Ogyu castle was captured by Matsudaira clan, ancestor of Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616), the first Shogun of Edo Shogunate, in 14xx. Matsugdairago area, the native place of Matsudaira clan, locates inside of Ogyu castle, thus this castle was an important castle for Matsudaira clan as a gate to their territory and bridgehead to expand Toyota and Okazaki area.

Matsudaira clan placed Norimoto Matsudaira (1446-1537), relative of the leader, as a commander of this castle. Later son of Norimoto was called as Ogyu Matsudaira clan regarded as one of 18 branch family of Matsudaira clan, and had supported main stream of Matsudaira clan and Tokugawa clan. During this process, as a residence of major relative of Matsudaira clan, Ogyu castle was reformed and expanded.

Structure of Ogyu castle

The castle is located at a mountain spread to east and westward, and this Shiroyama mountain is covered by huge natural stones. Stones inside the castle were merely obstacles but not removed, and some stones are used as a gate. Main areas at hilltop consist of central area and secondary area, and walls separate these two areas and major gates are protected by stone walls. But this stone wall is a primitive one built by piling up flat stone blocks, not consist of large stones generally seen in modern castles. 

On the edge of central area there is a huge flat stone over 10 meter, and holes are digged upper surface of this stone. This huge stone has a good view and might be used as a watching place, but detail is unidentified.

At the middle of north slope there is a valley used for water source. This valley is horizontally separated by stone walls, and there was well and water pool in each space. Of course water source is critical to defend the castle, this area is surrounded by steep clay walls and moats. On the other side of the mountain, there was a terrace used as a ground of the palace of the lord. Total size of the castle is 250 meter length and 200 meter width, and comparatively a large castle in this area.

Afterward of the castle

Ogyu castle had been used until 1590, when Ogyu Matsudaira clan was transferred to Kozuke province (Gunma prefecture) along with Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616), the leader of Matsudaira clan. Under the Edo Shogunate, as a descendant of important relative of Ieyasu, houses stem from Ogyu Matsudaira clan became the lord of important castles such as Nishio castle (Aichi prefecture), Iwamura castle (Gifu prefecture), Funai castle (Oita prefecture) and Tatsuoka castle (Nagano prefecture).

Now all buildings of the castle were lost but the shape of the castle still well remain on the mountain. The combination of huge stones and broken old fashioned stone walls in the woods give visitors a mysterious image different from other castle.


20 minutes drive from Tokai-Kanjo Expressway Toyota-Matsudaira interchange.

Related Castles

Iwamura Castle -Castle of tragic female commander-
Nishio Castle -Castle had main tower in secondary area-
Tatsuoka Castle -Western style fortress at deep inland built by progressive lord-

Pictures (click to enlarge)

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