Marugame CastleMarugame City, Kagawa Prefecture

Marugame Castle in Spring 1Marugame Castle in Spring 2Marugame Castle in Spring 3Marugame Castle in Spring 4Marugame Castle in Spring 5Marugame Castle in Spring 6Marugame Castle in Spring 7Marugame Castle in Spring 8Marugame Castle in Spring 9Marugame Castle in Spring 10
Autumn Marugame Castle 1Autumn Marugame Castle 2Autumn Marugame Castle 3Autumn Marugame Castle 4Autumn Marugame Castle 5Autumn Marugame Castle 6Autumn Marugame Castle 7Autumn Marugame Castle 8
Marugame Castle DATA
Other nameKameyama Castle, Hourai Castle
castle constructionEarly Muromachi period
addressIchibancho, Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture
telephone number0877-22-033
Opening hours9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Entry until 4:00 p.m.)
closing daynone
Admission feeAdults 200 yen / Elementary and junior high school students 100 yen

Marugame Castle is one of the 12 existing castle towers. A castle with the highest stone wall in Japan.

Access to Marugame Castle
About 10 minutes walk from JR Marugame Station.

HISTORYMarugame Castle, a castle with beautiful stone walls called the Stone Castle

Marugame Castle is a Hirayama castle located in Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture. Built on the top of Kameyama, it is characterized by four layers of stone walls from the foot of the mountain to the top, and the castle tower that sits atop the stone wall is the smallest of the 12 existing castle towers. Let's unravel the history of Marugame Castle.

History from the Muromachi period to the construction of Marugame Castle
There is a theory that Marugame Castle began in the early Muromachi period when Nara Motoyasu, a senior vassal of Kanrei Yoriyuki Hosokawa, built a fort in Kameyama.
As time progressed, in 1597, Chikamasa Ikoma, one of the three senior officers of the Toyotomi government, was given 126,200 koku in Sanuki Province, and together with his eldest son, Kazumasa, began construction of Marugame Castle. .
At this time, Chikamasa Ikoma had Takamatsu Castle as his main castle, and Marugame Castle was only treated as a branch castle.
Marugame Castle was completed in 1602, taking about six years.
At that time, Marugame Castle, like Azuchi Castle built by Oda Nobunaga and Osaka Castle built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was not only a castle, but also samurai residences and the castle town were defended with moats and earthworks. This kind of structure is called ``soukae.''
When Marugame Castle was completed, the Battle of Sekigahara, which was said to be the ``battle that divided the world,'' had already ended, but Chikamasa Ikoma fought for the western army, while his eldest son Kazumasa Ikoma fought for the eastern army to ensure the survival of his family. He may have been wary of the Tokugawa shogunate.
In addition, Chikamasa Ikoma moved his vassals from Utazu to form a castle town in 1601.
History of Marugame Castle in the Edo period
In 1615, the One Country One Castle Order was issued, ordering feudal lords to destroy all castles other than their residences. At this time, the Ikoma family had Takamatsu Castle as their main castle, so Marugame Castle was in danger of being destroyed.
However, Masatoshi Ikoma, the feudal lord at this time, tried to protect Marugame Castle from destruction by covering the castle with trees and strictly restricting access.
Thanks to this, Marugame Castle has survived to this day. During this period, Marugame Castle was temporarily abandoned.
In 1640, a family turmoil broke out in the Ikoma family (Ikoma Riots), and the Ikoma family was annexed and transferred to Yajima, Dewa Province.
As a result, the Takamatsu domain, which had been ruled by the Ikoma family, came under direct control of the Shogunate, and in the following year, 1841, Ieharu Yamazaki was transferred from Tomioka, Higo Province (present-day Amakusa District, Kumamoto Prefecture) for 50,000 koku, and Marugame A clan was established.
At this time, Ieharu Yamazaki began rebuilding Marugame Castle. According to one theory, the Shogunate was wary of the Christians living on the islands in the Seto Inland Sea rising all at once, and built Marugame Castle as a precaution.
In fact, the shogunate went out of its way to provide Ieharu Yamazaki with 300 kan of funds and even exempted him from sankin kotai to hasten the castle's renovation.
As a result of this renovation, a stone wall with a unique curvature known as the ``fan slope'', which has been passed down to this day, was completed. The foundation of this stone wall is made of field planks and wooden blocks, and the top has a unique curvature so that it is vertical.
Furthermore, the total height of all the stone walls of Marugame Castle is 66m, making it the highest in Japan in terms of total height.
In the first year of Manji (1658), the Yamazaki clan died out after three generations without an heir, resulting in the extinction of the family, and Takakazu Kyogoku transferred from Tatsuno, Harima Province (present-day Tatsuno City, Hyogo Prefecture) for 60,000 koku, and ruled the Marugame domain until the Meiji period. I was able to control it.
Furthermore, in 1660, Marugame Castle was built by Kyogoku Takakazu, who renovated the seaside Arimetemon gate at the back entrance of the castle into the Otemon gate, and built the existing three-story, three-story Gosankai turret. Masu.
These renovations were completed and Marugame Castle took on its current appearance in 1673.
After that, Marugame Castle became the domain office of the Marugame clan until the Meiji Restoration.
Marugame Castle after the Meiji era
In the Meiji era, the Meiji government issued an ordinance to abolish castles, and castles all over Japan were destroyed, but Marugame Castle was destroyed in a fire in 1869 - the main palace and Sannomaru's Inui Yagura. .
For this reason, the buildings that were left over from the fire were once auctioned off, but the auction was closely watched as it came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Military Affairs.
Additionally, from 1876 to the following year, the turrets and castle walls other than the existing buildings were demolished. Later, in 1919, Marugame City leased the upper part of the mountain and opened it to the public as Kameyama Park.
In 1933, Enjukan, the villa of the Kyogoku family, the lord of the Marugame domain, was relocated to Sannomaru (the main residence was demolished in 1985, and only the villa remains today).
In 1943, the castle tower was designated as a former national treasure under the National Treasure Preservation Law, but in 1950, the castle tower was re-designated as an important cultural property under the enforcement of the Cultural Properties Protection Law. Fix.
Later, in 1953, it was designated as a national historic site, and in 1957, Ote Ichi-no-mon and Ote-ni-no-mon were designated as important cultural properties.
In 2006, it was designated as one of Japan's top 100 castles, and as a tourist attraction representing Marugame City, many people from Japan and abroad visit.
Current Marugame Castle
Today's Marugame Castle is basically open to the public every day of the year. Since it is located on the summit of Marugame, the road to the castle is steep, but there are no ropeways or other facilities.
In addition to the castle tower, the Ote Ichi-no-mon Gate, Ote-Ni-no-mon Gate, the main entrance gate for the feudal lord, the guardhouse, the cage room, and the tenement house still exist, as well as the "Ote Ichi-no-mon Gate", the Ote-Ni-no-mon Gate, the main entrance gate for the feudal lord, the guardhouse, the Gokamo room, and the tenement house. A three-dimensional wooden model called ``Marugame Castle Wooden Map'' still exists and can be viewed at the adjacent Marugame City Museum.
Many people from inside and outside the prefecture visit during the Marugame Castle Festival and Marugame Castle Cherry Blossom Festival.
In addition, the ``Nikkari Aoe'' sword, which has been passed down as the treasured sword of the feudal lord Kyogoku family, became more well-known when it was featured in the browser game ``Touken Ranbu'', and is now released every year.

History of the Marugame clan, with Marugame Castle as its domain office

Marugame domainruled by three houses
The history of the Marugame clan began when Masachika Ikoma received 126,200 koku from Sanuki Province from Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Strictly speaking, the "Marugame clan" was established when the Ikoma family became Kaiki and the Yamazaki family was confined in Marugame, but now the Ikoma family
Marugame domain
Marugame Clan DATA
Domain officeMarugame Castle
old areaSanuki country
stone height51,000 koku
main lordIkoma family, Yamazaki family, Kyogoku family
Estimated population135,000 people (first year of the Meiji era)
Japanese Castle Photo Contest.03