Matsumoto Castle, National Treasure of Japan
Castle environs, Matsumoto

Establishment of the castle town

Town created by the lord of a castle

The written material about the establishment of the castle town is “Shimpu-tōki”compiled at the era of Mizuno clan. Let’s have a look at the details on establishment of the town castle by referring to this material.

  • The era of Sadayoshi Ogasawara (1582-1590)

    The land was allocated for the castle construction from Tensho 13 (1584). Town houses around Ichitsuji and Doromachi were all moved to Honmachi by Tensho 15 (1586). Higashicho and Nakacho were established. Asabacho and Nishiguchi were renamed Yasuharamachi and Isecho respectively. The land was allocated for Kakuedacho. Towns such as Izumicho, Yokotacho, Iidamachi, Koikecho, Miyamuramachi and Bakurocho were established, but there were a few houses sparsely scattered.
    A warrior residence was built based on the nawabari-layout with Minokuruwa-style through the processes of digging ditches, building a bank and setting five Okido gates including the front gate facing the south. Doromachi was renamed Yanagicho.

  • The era of Kazumasa and Yasunaga Ishikawa (1590-1613)

    The castle tower was build through the processes of dredging and expanding ditches, raising the level of earthwork, and building stone walls. Kuro gate and Taiko gate were established. Five Okido gates were used as yagura towers. Warrior residences were built constantly. The town called Kataha was established, and the residences for lower-ranking warriors were built in Miyamuramachi.

  • The era of Hidemasa Ogasawara (1613-1617)

    Tenjin Shrine was transferred to Miyamura-myojin Shrine. A horse-riding place was established in front of the shrine.

  • The era of Yasunaga Toda (1617-1633)

    The residences for lower-ranking warriors were established in the west part of Yasuharamachi. Ashigarumachi was established in the north.

  • The era of Naomasa Matsudaira (1633-1638)

    A stable called “Rokku Umaya” was established outside the South Gate along the Metoba river. Warrior residences were built in Shinmachi and Kataha. The residences for Yoriki and Doshin warriors were built in Tamachi.

  • The era of Masamori Hotta (1638-1642)

    A storehouse was build in Uwatsuchi.

  • The era of Mizuno clan (1642-1725)

    According to another historical record, warrior residences were built in Kitabanba, Takajomachi and Nishibori. It is also said that the castle town was established in the era of Mizuno clan.