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Daishoji castle

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  • Status: Ruins
  • Japanese: 大聖寺城 (Daishouji-jou)

Daishôji castle was the central powerbase of Shibata Katsuie in his 1580s campaign to conquer Kaga province and the surrounding regions. In the Edo period it became the center of the domain of Daishôji han.

The castle, located in what is today the city of Kaga, roughly five km from the Ikkô temple-fortress Daishô-ji from which it takes its name, was always a spiritually and strategically key location, since its establishment in the Kamakura period.

The castle saw much action during the wars of the Nanboku-chô period; Shibata Katsuie seized it in 1575, and repaired and rebuilt the structure. He emerged victorious that autumn over the Kaga Ikki which had controlled the province.

The castle later came to be controlled by the Yamaguchi clan, retainers of Kobayakawa Hideaki. Maeda Toshinaga seized it from Yamaguchi Munenaga in 1600. Maeda Toshitsune, the third daimyô of Kaga, established it as the center of a new domain, Daishôji han, in 1639, appointing his son Maeda Toshiharu its first lord. Toshiharu chose not to made his residence in the castle, however, constructing a mansion at the foot of the hill called Kawabata-ochin or Chôryû-tei, a nationally designated Important Cultural Property which survives today.

Though little sign remains of the honmaru today, ruins remain of the East and West baileys, the Ninomaru, the pond where horses were bathed, and other elements of the site. Though there is today relatively easy access to the castle, its mountainous location presents considerable challenges should a different route be taken, entering the complex from a different side.

Lords of Daishôji

  • Shibata Katsuie (1575-?; under Oda Nobunaga)
  • Yamaguchi Munenaga (?-1600; under Kobayakawa Hideaki)
  • Maeda Toshinaga (1600-?)
  • Maeda Toshiharu (1639-?)

References

  • Terada Shôichi (ed.) Meijô wo aruku 2: Kanazawa-jô. Tokyo: PHP Kenkyûsho, 2002.
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