Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

The Baur Collection: Japanese Sword-Fittings and Associated Metalwork Japanese Castles 1540-1640

Shiroishi Castle

Images: Fujinamiism


Shiroishi Domain

1602 - 1871

Katakura Clan

* Koku

Shiroishi Castle is classified as a hilltop castle (its layout: Teikakushiki), and is located in Miyagi Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Mutsu Province. It is associated with the Gamō, Katakura clans. Dates in use: 1591 - 1875.

Atop the low laying hill where the main tower of Shiroishi Castle stood were four highly protected enclosures. On the side of the hill were a further five fortified enclosures and an additional two enclosures were located across the river.

This castle escaped demolition at a time when domains all over Japan were being limited to just one castle as ordered by the Tokugawa Shogunate.


1591 The castle was built by a retainer of the Gamo clan.
1598 The Uesugi clan were stationed here. The defences were renovated.
1600 Date Masamune seized control of the castle.
1602 The Katakura clan were stationed here.
1819 A major fire in the main enclosure destroyed all buildings.
1823 The three-level turret was reconstructed.
1875 The castle was abandoned. The three-level turret was demolished.
1995 The castle was restored using traditional methods.