Kawagoe-yakata (河越館)

Kawagoe-yakata (also known as Kawagoe-kan) was a castle which existed in Uwado, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture. The site is on the edge of Koma-daichi Plateau.

Summary

It was the residence of Kawagoe clan, a legitimate descendent of Chichibu clan of Bando Hachi Heishi (the Eight Taira clans of the East). It is said to have been built by Yoshitaka TSUZURANUKI, the second head of the clan.

The Kawagoe clan expanded their power as developers and occupiers of Kawagoe no Sho (manor) in the Heian period, and later donated their own domain to Emperor Shirakawa and assumed the position as shokan (an officer governing shoen (manor)). During the time of Shigeyori KAWAGOE, he was taken into the confidence of MINAMOTO no Yoritomo and his daughter (Satogozen) became the wife of MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune however after the downfall of Yoshitsune, she was charged as an accomplice and sentenced to death.

However, even after this time, the Kawagoe clan remained in top positions in the vassals of the Kamakura Shogunate and were active as powerful busho (Japanese military commander) until the Muromachi period. It is believed that Kawagoe-yakata continued to be used as a residence for the Kawagoe clan during this period. Kawagoe clan was sentenced to death after the Musashi Hei Revolt of 1368 and fled to Ise Province with General Naoshige KAWAGOE, and records related to the Kawagoe-yakata disappeared from the historical stage.

However, it is said that in the Chokyo War at the beginning of the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States) (Japan), Akisada UESUGI, Kanto Kanrei (A shogunal deputy for the Kanto region), maintained an outpost in Uwado for seven years in order to attack Kawagoe-jo Castle, and it is hard to imagine the location for such an outpost maintained for so long in Uwado being anywhere other than Kawagoe-yakata.

Moreover, in the "Shinpen Musashi Fudo Kiko" (a topography of Musashi Province from 1804 to 1829) it is recorded that 'there was a fort in Uwado belonging to Masashige DAIDOJI' and it is presumed that this fort continued to function as an outpost castle after the construction of Kawagoe-jo Castle, and it is believed to have been destroyed at the same time as Kawagoe-jo Castle during the siege of Odawara by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI.

Part of the remains are now Joraku-ji Temple of the Ji Sect and this is said to have originated in the Jibutsudo of Kawagoe-yakata.

Structure

The remains are located on a plain on the western shore of the Iruma-gawa River to the north-west of the urban area of the current Kawagoe City, sandwiching the Joraku-ji Temple to the south-east and covering an area approximately 150 meters east to west and 200 meters north to south, with a mound about one to three meters high, and part of the moat remains on the outside, with the total area covering approximately 240 meters east to west and 300 meters north to south. The mound is single and the moat is double, and the width of the building remains is approximately 11 meters and the outer moat is approximately three meters deep and is thought to have connected with the Iruma-gawa River.

Excavation and Designation of Historical Remains

The excavation conducted by the Kawagoe Board of Education between 1971 and 1975 unearthed remains of the moat, well and dwellings dating from the end of the Heian period until the Sengoku Period, and virtually clarified the Kawagoe-yakata remains illustrated in the illustration of Uwado Village's Joraku-ji Temple in "Shinpen Musashi Fudo Kiko."

As a result, the ruins are considered extremely important as historical data providing a picture of the medieval castles and buildings of the Kanto warriors particularly from the Kamakura period to the Muromachi period, and on December 6, 1984, the site was designated a site of national historical importance under the name 'Kawagoe-yakata ruins.'
Moreover, in 1989, Kawagoe City was designated as an organization administering a historical site.

Access

15 minutes on foot from Kasumigaseki Station (Saitama Prefecture) on the Tobu Tojo Main Line.

Five minutes walk from the Uwado Bus Stop on Kawagoe Shuttle Bus No. 13 which departs from Kasumigaseki Station on the Tobu Tojo Line or Nishi-Kawagoe Station on the Kawagoe Line.