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Travel Kogane Castle

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This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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Takagi Taneyoshi (高城 胤吉, 1484 or 1501-1565), a vassal of the Hara clan, built Kogane Castle (小金城) in 1537 by order of the Chiba clan, themselves descendants of the Taira and rulers of Shimōsa Province (in modern-day Chiba). The Takagi controlled large lands in northwestern Chiba, including present-day Matsudo, Ichikawa, Funabashi, Kashiwa and Abiko at the end of the Sengoku Period, and held the castle for three generations.

The Takagi supported the Hōjō in both battles of Konodai (1538 and1564) and fortified the castle in 1560 against the advancing Uesugi clan. In 1566, the castle held off a siege by the Uesugi but fell to Toyotomi Hideyoshi after the Siege of Odawara (1590). The Takagi clan eventually shared the fate of the Hōjō and the castle was abandoned in 1593.

Kogane Castle, located in Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture, made skilful use of the complex topography of the western Shimōsa plateau. The castle area was vast, stretching between current Kita-Kogane Station and Kogane-Joshi Station, about 800 meters east to west and 600 meters north to south. Most of the site has been turned into residential land, but parts have been preserved as Oyaguchi Historical Park.

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(This map is based on the Tokyo Terrain Map powered by gridscapes.net)

I started out from Kogane-Jōshi Station.

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I soon reached the plateau where the castle was built.

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Oyaguchi Historical Park (大谷口歴史公園 Ōyaguchi rekishi kōen) is located in the area of former Kanasugi Gate.

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At the site of the castle, some characteristic dry moats were preserved: shojibori (障子堀 "lattice-pattern moats"), ridge moats with embankments that prevented enemies from attacking (see photos).

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The inner bailey was on the top of the hill, surrounded by earthworks.

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Another type of dry moat was unebori (畝堀) with ridges that made it hard for attackers to advance. The ridges, however, had been shaved, as can be seen on the photography at the time of the excavation).

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A grove in the Umayashiki area.

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Earthworks near the Umayashiki grove.

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Keirin-ji temple (慶林寺) was located near the former Ōtemon Gate. The temple had been founded by Takagi Tanetatsu in the 1550s to worship the spirit of his mother.

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Date of visit : 28th July 2013


Access:
  • Address: Oyaguchi, Matsudo-shi, Chiba Prefecture (Map)
  • Transportation: (To Oyaguchi Historical Park)
    A 7-minute walk from Ryutetsu Nagareyama line Kogane-Jōshi Station
    A 15-minute walk from JR Joban line Kogane-Jōshi Station
  • Other sights: Recommended Walking Course(Japanese: Matsudo City Sightseeing Affair HP)


Map:

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Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.

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