Kanazawa CastleKanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

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Kanazawa Castle DATA
Other nameOyama Castle, Onoe Castle, Kinjo
castle construction1580
address1-1 Marunouchi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

It is an echelon-style Hirayama castle from the Sengoku period to the Edo period, built on the tip of the Kodatsuno Plateau between the Sai River and Asano River, which flow through the center of the Kanazawa Plain.

Access to Kanazawa Castle
About 15 minutes by Hokutetsu bus from JR West/IR Ishikawa Railway Kanazawa Station, get off at Kenrokuen Shita, then walk about 5 minutes.

HISTORYTalking about the past and future of Kanazawa Castle, which was the center of Kaga Hyakumangokoku.

The Kaga clan was called ``Kaga Hyakumangoku.'' Kanazawa Castle was the center of the feudal government. The castle was built by Toshiie Maeda and continued to be the center of feudal government until the Meiji period. On the other hand, it is also a castle that has suffered the tragedy of being destroyed by natural disasters many times. In this article, let's take a look at the history of Kanazawa Castle.

Kaga was an area under the control of the Ikko sect.
Kaga was a country where the Ikko sect established autonomy from the end of the Muromachi period. After the Ikko Ikki occurred in 1488 and the Togashi clan, the guardians, were expelled, the disciples built Kanazawa Mido (also known as Oyama Gobo) as a base. This is the predecessor of Kanazawa Castle. The disciples built a temple town around Kanazawa Mido, with a main hall and accommodation. The autonomy of the Ikko sect continued for nearly 100 years. As a remnant of Kanazawa Mido, there is the Gokuraku Bridge that spans Kanazawa Castle.
Oda Nobunaga destroys his disciples
The autonomy of Ikko sect followers came to an end in 1580. Oda Nobunaga, who was pushing for the unification of Japan, had been at war with the Uesugi army since 1577. Oda Nobunaga struggled against Uesugi Kenshin's tactics, but with Kenshin's death in 1578, Oda Nobunaga immediately invaded the Uesugi clan's territory. At the same time, the Ikko-Ikki uprising was quelled. At this time, the Oda army was led by senior vassals such as Toshiie Maeda, Katsuie Shibata, and Narimasa Sassa. Oda Nobunaga, who had destroyed the followers of the Ikkoshu, demolished Kanazawa Gobo and built Kanazawa Castle, and placed Morimasa Sakuma as the castle's lord.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi gives Kaga to Maeda Toshiie
After Oda Nobunaga's death, Sakuma Morimasa and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Hashiba Hideyoshi) clashed at the Battle of Shizugatake, and Sakuma Morimasa and Shibata Katsuie were killed. Hideyoshi then gave the land of Kaga to Toshiie Maeda and ordered him to become the lord of Kanazawa Castle. In this way, Kaga became a land ruled by the Maeda family. Toshiie Maeda, who entered Kanazawa Castle, began major renovation work on the castle in 1592, expanding the castle tower and moat, and building a five-story castle tower and turret. This is the current Kanazawa Castle ruins.
Kanazawa Castle in the Edo period
Throughout the Edo period, Kanazawa Castle was the residence of the Maeda family, the lords of the Kaga domain. The Kaga domain was consistently ruled by the Maeda family until the Meiji era, and although the Maeda family was a Tozama daimyo, they had strong ties to the Shogunate. Kenrokuen, which still exists today, began as a lotus pond garden that Maeda Tsunori, the 5th lord of the Kaga domain, had built as an attachment to Kanazawa Castle, and successive generations of lords modified it to give it its current form. The Kaga domain was a stable land until the Meiji era, but Kanazawa Castle's castle tower and other buildings were frequently destroyed by lightning strikes and accidental fires. As a result, it has undergone numerous renovations.
Kanazawa Castle after the Meiji period
In the Meiji period, when feudal domains were abolished and prefectures were established, Kanazawa Castle was handed over to the Ministry of War. It later became the home of the 7th Army Infantry Regiment. The castle buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1881, leaving behind the Ishikawa Gate, Sanjyukken Nagaya, and Tsurumaru Warehouse. Later, in 1898, the Army's 9th Division Headquarters was established and remained in existence until the end of World War II. After the war, Kanazawa University, a national university, was established in 1949, and the campus was located on the Kanazawa Castle ruins.
Kanazawa Castle ruins become a national historic site
Starting with Ishikawamon being designated as a national important cultural property in 1950, Sanjukken Nagaya was designated as a national important cultural property in 1957. In 1978, Kanazawa University decided to move from the castle grounds, and the relocation began little by little. In 1985, Kenrokuen was designated as a national scenic spot. Then, in 1996, the prefecture took over the land from the national government, and development began as Kanazawa Castle Park. Since the 1998s, the Hishi Yagura, Kahoku Gate, Hashizume-mon Ninomon, Kahoku-mon, Nezuta-mon, and Nezuta-mon Bridge have been restored one after another.
Current Kanazawa Castle ruins
The current Kanazawa Castle ruins is now Kanazawa Castle Park, a tourist destination that represents Kanazawa City. You can see the restored structures such as the Hishi Yagura, Kahoku Gate, Hashizume Gate, Kahoku Gate, Nezuta Gate, etc., as well as the stone walls and moat, which are reminders of Kanazawa Castle of yesteryear. In addition, you can enjoy seasonal flowers at the adjacent Kenrokuen Garden. As one of Japan's most famous gardens, it is visited by many tourists from Japan and abroad, and it is common for them to take a tour as well. It is a famous garden that is attractive throughout all seasons, but even in winter, when there are no flowers, the snow enclosure is a popular feature. Additionally, during the fall foliage and cherry blossom seasons, the castle ruins and other buildings are illuminated at night. The remains of the Edo period, such as the Ishikawa Gate, Sanjyukken Nagaya, and Tsurumaru Warehouse, are open to the public several times a year.

Read about incidents related to Kanazawa Castle

Battle of Suemori CastleToshiie Maeda is in a big pinch! Confronted Narimasa Sassa in Hokuriku
Toshiie Maeda was a close aide to Oda Nobunaga, ran the government as one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's five elders, and built Kaga Hyakumangoku. The battle that Toshiie found himself in a big crisis was on September 9, 1584, at Suemori Castle in Noto Province (present-day Ishikawa Prefecture).
Battle of Suemori Castle
Battle of AsainawateSekigahara in Hokuriku, Toshinaga Maeda VS Tanba Ju
In September 1600, the Eastern Army led by Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Western Army led by Ishida Mitsunari clashed at Sekigahara (now Sekigahara Town, Gifu Prefecture) in the Battle of Sekigahara. Actually, do you know that around the same time, battles between the Eastern Army and the Western Army were being waged in various places other than Sekigahara?
Battle of Asainawate

Read biographies related to Kanazawa Castle

Toshiie Maedaleft side of the spear
The late Muromachi period was an era called the Warring States period, which was compared to the history of China. The Edo period marked the end of the Warring States period and a period of peace. Throughout the Edo period, the Maeda family ruled over a large area of territory, second only to the Tokugawa family. child
Toshiie Maeda

History of the Kaga Domain, whose domain office is Kanazawa Castle

Kaga domainRuled by the Maeda family, a prestigious foreign clan.
The Kaga domain was ruled by the Maeda family, whose ancestor was Toshiie Maeda, throughout the Edo period. It is very rare for one family to rule one domain throughout the Edo period. Toshiie Maeda served Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and although he was a Tozama daimyo,
Kaga domain
Kaga Domain DATA
Domain officeKanazawa Castle
old areaIshikawa District, Kaga Province
stone height1.02 million koku
main lordMaeda family
Estimated population554,352 people (Kyoho 6)

Toshitsune Maeda, the third generation of the Kaga domain, solidifies the foundations of the domain's government. He is known for playing the fool in order to avoid the warnings of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Japanese Castle Photo Contest.03