Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

3d Himeji-jo 3D Puzzle Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty

Sasayama Castle

Images: Wikipedia Commons


Sasayama Domain

松平 (松井)
1608 - 1619

Matsudaira (Matsui)  Clan

50,000 Koku

松平 (藤井)
1619 - 1649

Matsudaira (Fujii) Clan

50,000 Koku

松平 (形原)
1649 - 1748

Matsudaira (Katahara)  Clan

50,000 Koku

1748 - 1871

Aoyama Clan

50,000 Koku

Sasayama Castle is classified as a hilltop castle (its layout: Rinkakushiki), and is located in Hyōgo Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Tanba Province. It is associated with the Matsudaira (Katahachi), Aoyama clans. Dates in use: 1609 - 1871.

Sasayama Castle is yet another example of stone foundations being built for a main tower yet no tower ever being built. Nearby Akashi castle, though built a little later, shared the same fate. Why was this? Tokugawa Ieyasu himself declared these castles to be sufficiently strong without a Tenshu & too big a threat with one.

Twenty Daimyō from 15 provinces were ordered to assist in the castle's construction. The designing of the castle was left to one of the greats of castle construction, Tōdō Takatora.

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1609 Construction of the castle was initiated. It took just six months to complete.
1619 The Fujii branch of the Matsudaira clan were transferred here replacing the Matsui branch of the Matsudaira clan. They remained here for two generations.
1649 The Katahachi branch of the Matsudaira clan were transferred here. They remained here for five generations.
1748 The Aoyama clan were transferred here. They saw out the active life of the castle remaining here for six generations.
1871 The castle was decommissioned.
1944 The Ōshō-in burnt to the ground.
1956 The site was awarded National Historical site recognition.
2000 The Ōshō-in was rebuilt.

Historical recognition

SiteNational Historic Site