Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877 Samurai's Blood

Utsunomiya Castle

Images: Fujinamiism

宇都宮藩

Utsunomiya Domain


奥平氏
1601 - 1619

Okudaira Clan

100,000 Koku

本多氏
1619 - 1622

Honda Clan

155,000 Koku

奥平氏
1622 - 1668

Okudaira Clan

120,000 Koku

松平 (奥平)
1668 - 1681

Matsudaira (Okudaira) Clan

150,000 Koku

本多氏
1681 - 1685

Honda Clan

100,000 Koku

奥平氏
1685 - 1697

Okudaira Clan

90,000 Koku

阿部氏
1697 - 1710

Abe Clan

100,000 Koku

戸田氏
1710 - 1749

Toda Clan

67,000 Koku

松平 (深溝)
1749 - 1774

Matsudaira (Fukōzu) Clan

65,000 Koku

戸田氏
1774 - 1868

Toda Clan

70,000 Koku

宇都宮城
Utsunomiya Castle is classified as a flatland castle, and is located in Tochigi Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Shimotsuke Province. It is associated with the Utsunomiya, Honda clans. Dates in use: 1063 - 1864.

Compromises have been made with the reconstructed sections of Utsunomiya castle that, I believe, make it a complete and utter eyesore. That's right folks, when I cast my gaze upon the rebuilt turrets and earthen walls and elevator and tunnel, I am physically ill.

Okay, so way back in 2007, the West-northwest section of the castle was rebuilt. This consisted of the Fujimi Turret, the Kiyoaki Dai (Turret) and a mighty section of an embankment. Piercing the guts of this embankment is a concrete-lined tunnel. Is it too much of an effort for people to just walk around?

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Timeline

1063 It is said that the first fortifications were built by Fujiwara Sōen whose descendants would take the name Utsunomiya.
1597 The Utsunomiya clan was removed from their lands and replaced by the Gamō clan.
1601 The Okudaira clan were transferred here.
1619 During the reign of the Honda clan, the castle was improved & expanded.
1683 The Ni-no-maru palace burnt to the ground.
1868 The castle was completely destroyed during the Boshin war.
2007 A large section of the castle, including two turrets, was reconstructed.