Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

The Baur Collection: Japanese Sword-Fittings and Associated Metalwork Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877

Ōtaki Castle

Images: Fujinamiism


Ōtaki Domain

1601 - 1617

Honda Clan

50,000 Koku

1617 - 1619

Abe Clan

30,000 Koku

1623 - 1625

Aoyama Clan

20,000 Koku

1638 - 1671

Abe Clan

10,000 Koku

1671 - 1702

Abe Clan

16,000 Koku

1702 - 1703

Inagaki Clan

25,000 Koku

松平 (大河内)
1703 - 1871

Matsudaira (Ōkōchi) Clan

20,000 Koku

Ōtaki Castle is classified as a hilltop castle (its layout: Renkakushiki), and is located in Chiba Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Kazusa Province. It is associated with the Satomi, Matsudaira (Ōkōchi) clans. Dates in use: 1590 - 1871.

As fine a looking central tower as that of Ōtaki's is, its design may not even resemble the one that burnt to the ground in 1842. Instead it is based upon details from an earlier incarnation, most likely that of the Mariyatsu clan. I wish I could offer more clarity but it really is hard to make sense of the conflicting sources of information out there.

Housed within the tower are the obligatory arms & armour related to the samurai of the castle & the surrounding area.

Google Map Views (グーグルマップ)

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Orbit view 軌道ビュー


1521 Fortifications were established in the vicinity by the Mariyatsu clan.
1544 The area was seized by the Satomi clan.
1590 Tokugawa Ieyasu placed Honda Tadakatsu here to keep the Satomi clan in check. A modern castle was built.
1617 The Abe clan were transferred here.
1619 The domain was abandoned.
1623 The Aoyama clan were ordered to re-establish the domain.
1625 After just two years the domain was once again abandoned.
1638 A different branch of the Abe clan were transferred here.
1671 Yet another branch of the Abe clan were transferred here.
1672 Permission was sought to undertake major rebuilding/repairs of the castle. Approval was given and the work was carried out.
1702 The Inagaki clan were transferred here. They would leave the following year.
1703 The Ōkōchi branch of the Matsudaira clan were transferred here.
1842 The main tower was lost in a blaze.
1844 Several buildings were rebuilt including a still-surviving gate, the Ni-no-maru Goten Yagui Gate, and in the place of the Tenshu (main tower), a two-story temple was built.
1871 The castle was abandoned.
1975 A three-layered main tower was built.

Historical recognition

SitePrefectural Historic Site