Kawagoe Castle Naka no Mon Remain

Kawagoe Castle Naka no Mon Remain

Kawagoe Castle Naka no Mon Remain
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ART196
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4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Solo
Kawagoejō is notable today for its well-preserved original go’ten palace building. There are fewer original go’ten than tenshukaku (main keeps) in existence today so Kawagoejō is a great opportunity to see one and is easy to get to within the Greater Tōkyō area. As for other structures there are none left but I found a yaguradai (sentry turret foundation) on a nearby hilltop, and a preserved moat segment. I found a model of the Fujimi Yagura at Kita’in where more original castle palatial structures have survived, those originally from Edojō.

History:

Kawagoejō was founded in 1457 by Ōta Dōshin. From this time onward Kawagoejō was involved in many conflicts between the Uesugi and Hōjō for control of the region. Hōjō Ujitsuna seized the castle in 1537, having took Edojō in 1524. However, the Uesugi continued to contest the region. In 1545 the Uesugi attempted to besiege Edojō but at the Battle of Kawagoe the garrison from the castle defeated the Uesugi army. This was a turning point and the Hōjō became dominant in Kantō from that point on, with Kawagoejō serving as a satellite castle of Edojō. In the lead up to the fall of Odawarajō in 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi conquered Kawagoejō. In the Edo Period the castle was the governmental center of Kawagoe-han (fiefdom of Kawagoe). It was an important strategic node in the defence of the capital and the castle town prospered as a trading hub. From the Mid-Edo Period onwards Kawagoe developed many “kura” stores and shop fronts which can still be seen in the town today, giving Kawagoe its nickname of “Little Edo.” One such neighbourhood became famous for its cheap confectionary and Edoko (Tokyoites) would come from the capital and go on shopping sprees here. After the Meiji Restoration castle structures were dismantled or sold off until only the Honmaru Go’ten remained.
Written November 13, 2016
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