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Video introduction of Yamagata Castle in Yamagata City, a famous castle in Ou

This video, titled "Yamagata Castle in YAMAGATA, JAPAN/The Top 100 Castles in Japan/No.10" (【山形/日本100名城】山形城 - Yamagata Castle in YAMAGATA, JAPAN/The Top 100 Castles in Japan/No.10 -), was uploaded by "channel WASABI."
It introduces Yamagata castle, one of Japan's Top 100 Castles.
Yamagata Castle is located in Kajo, Yamagata, in the Tohoku region of Japan, and boasts the largest castle in Japan's Tohoku region.

The famous Yamagata Castle, known for its absence of a castle tower, was originally built in 1356 by Shiba Kaneyori, the first generation of the Mogami clan who entered Yamagata as provincial governor.
Shiba Kaneyori, also known as Mogami Kaneyori, was a military commander during Japan's Nanboku-cho period.
The present castle was originally built by the 11th lords of the castle, the Mogami clan, and in 1622, Torii Tadamasa, who became the lord of the castle after the Mogami clan, built the outer citadel moats and, earthen walls, as well as the stone walls that remain today.

Torii Tadamasa was a vassal of the Tokugawa family and a military commander and daimyo from the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1598 AD) to the early Edo period (1603-1700 AD).
In this video, you can see the beauty of Yamagata Castle, a national historic site, some wonderful music. We hope you enjoy it!

Other Names of the Famous Yamagata Castle

Yamagata Castle has been selected as one of the Top 100 Castles in Japan.
Yamagata Castle is also known as "Kasumi Castle" (霞城) or "Kasumiga Castle" (霞ヶ城) in Japanese.
According to locals the origin of this name is said to have come from the fact that the castle was obscured by haze during the Keicho Dewa Campaign, also known as the "Sekigahara of the north."

The History of Yamagata Castle and the Mogami Clan

Image of a statue of Mogami Yoshiaki on horseback at Yamagata Castle
Photo:A statue of Mogami Yoshiaki on horseback at Yamagata Castle

Mogami Yoshiaki, the 11th lord of Yamagata Castle during the Edo period (1603-1868 A.D.), was granted a fief of 570,000 koku and devoted himself to the development of Yamagata Castle and the castle grounds.
Mogami Yoshiaki was a descendant of the first generation of the Mogami family, "Shiba Kaneyori," who built Yamagata Castle, and was the first lord of the Yamagata Domain.
You can see the brave figure of Mogami Yoshiaki atop his horse at 2:52 in the video.
During the reign of Mogami Yoshiaki, the castle was expanded, with the residences of high- and middle-class vassals located in the outer region of the castle, and the residences and temples of lower-class vassals outside the castle.
This was the birth of Yamagata Castle, the largest castle in Japan's Tohoku region, and the original castle town.
After the death of Mogami Yoshiaki, the Yamagata domain was ruled by Torii Tadamasa, and large-scale renovations began.

Due to repeated changes in the lord of the castle, the Mogami clan, which boasted 570,000 koku in the Edo period, was reduced to 50,000 koku by the end of the Edo period, and the castle fell into disrepair as it became difficult to maintain.

Yamagata Castle – An Everchanging National Historic Site

Image of Otemon Gate, Yamagata Castle
Photo:Otemon Gate, Yamagata Castle

The Honmaru (inner citadel) and Ninomaru (outer citadel) areas of the Yamagata Castle Ruins have been developed as an urban park, and together with part of the Sanomaru area, were designated as a national historic site as Kajo Park, in 1986.

At Kajo Park, the Former Saiseikan Hospital Building, which can be seen at 3:27 in the video, is preserved as an Important Cultural Property, and there's also the Yamagata Prefectural Museum, the Yamagata Museum of Art, and the Mogami Yoshiaki Historical Museum.
The Ninomaru East Gate, Koraimon Gate, Tower Gate, Northern Turret, Tsuzuki Yagura, Otebashi Bridge, and Honmaru Ichimonji Gate, which can be seen at 4:17 in the video, are said to be comparable to the gates of Edo Castle, and restoration work is still in progress.
Yamagata Castle no longer appears as it once did, a pitiful ruin of a castle.

Today, Yamagata Castle is known as a famous sightseeing spot for cherry blossoms, with the iconic Someiyoshino cherry trees in full bloom, and approximately 1,500 cherry trees illuminated during the cherry blossom viewing party held in spring.
The castle was selected as one of the Top 100 Historical Parks in Japan and as one of the Top 100 Castles in Japan in 2006, and castle stamps are also available.

Summary of the Famous Yamagata Castle

Image of cherry blossoms at Kajo Park, Yamagata Castle, Yamagata
Photo:Cherry blossoms at Kajo Park, Yamagata Castle, Yamagata

The historic Yamagata Castle, which has been maintained over the years by the Mogami and Torii clans and the city of Yamagata, is a famous castle that has been loved and watched over by many people.
The beautiful stonewalls and moats are surrounded by a rich natural environment.
The ponds reflect nature's changing expressions like a mirror, attracting visitors.
In the video, you can experience Yamagata Castle up close, where you can feel the beauty of Japan's four seasons firsthand.
Discover the history of Japan with the video!

◆Yamagata Castle General Information◆
【Address】1-7, Kajo-machi, Yamagata City, Yamagata 990-0826 Japan (Administration Office)
By train: A 10-minute walk from JR Yamagata Station
By Car: About 15 minutes from the Yamagata Zao IC on the Yamagata Expressway
【Parking】Free (230 parking spaces, including 5 handicap spaces and 5 bus spaces)
【Park Hours】5 AM – 10 PM (Apr. 1 – Oct. 31), 5:30 AM – 10 PM (Nov. 1 – Mar. 31)
【Admission Fee】Free

【Official Website】National Historic Site: Yamagata Castle

【TripAdvisor】Yamagata Castle Ruins

Written By
Last Updated : Mar. 21, 2023
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
A writer born and raised in Asakusa, Tokyo who loves traveling and novels
Yamagata Castle in Yamagata City, the largest castle in Tohoku, has an overwhelming presence and beauty, and is a national historic site that has been protected for over 600 years!
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