History & Culture
Shiroishi Castle (also known as Masuoka Castle) is a flatland-mountain castle(a castle built on a hill and plateau so that there were be a elevation advantage in battle) located at the heart of the city of Shiroishi (Masuoka Park).A key point south of the Sendai fiefdom, it was the resident castle of the Katakura clan, a chief vassal of the Date family, for around 260 years until the Meiji Restoration, after the Battle of Sekigahara. It was dismantled in Meiji 7 but the Sankai Yagura (castle tower) and Oteichinomon / Oteninomon were historically and faithfully restored in memory of the achievements of Katakura Kojuro Kagetsuna, famous as the right-hand man of Masamune Date.
A key point south of the Sendai fiefdom, it was the resident castle of the Katakura clan, a chief vassal of the Date family, for around 260 years until the Meiji Restoration, after the Battle of Sekigahara. It was dismantled in Meiji 7 but the Sankai Yagura (castle tower) and Oteichinomon / Oteninomon were historically and faithfully restored in memory of the achievements of Katakura Kojuro Kagetsuna, famous as the right-hand man of Masamune Date. Shiroishi Castle is positioned in the center of the city and is a familiar symbol of Shiroishi. The Katakura clan, a vassal of the Date family, was allowed, as an exception, to reside at a subsidiary castle of Sendai Castle from Reicho 7 (1602) following the ”Ikkoku Ichijo Rei (Law of One Castle per Province)” in the first year of Genna (1615). Hirayama Castle has played a critical role at turning points such as when the Ouetsu-reppan alliance was formed during the Boshin War. It was dismantled in the Meiji period and the east gate was constructed at Toshinji temple and the Umaya gate was constructed at the Enmeiji temple. Time passed and, in Heisei 7 (1995), Sankaiyagura and Otemon were faithfully reconstructed in wood, attracting history buffs from all over the country.
○Shiroishi Castle Tower (Gosankaiyagura) restored in the Heisei period
The Shiroishi Castle tower has three floors, an approximately 16.2 m space from east to west and an approximately 10.8 m space from north to south on the 1st floor, and an approximately 9 m space from east to west and an approximately 5.4 m space from north to south on the 3rd floor. It has a height of 16.7m and is a castle building with the largest scale temple tower in Japan, in height and length, among wooden temple towers restored since World War II. Wooden buildings, of more than 13 meters, were banned under the current Building Standard Act but Shiroishi Castle received a special certification from the Ministry of Construction in Article 38 of the Building Standard Act in Shiroishi Castle. Based on the Law of One Castle per Province declared by the Tokugawa shogunate in the first year of Genna (1615), the residential castles of daimyo lords in each fiefdom were kept and the subsidiary castles in their domains were all destroyed but Shiroishi Castle, in case of the Date family of Sendai, which protects the southern part of the domain, was specially preserved in addition to Komatsu Castle for the Maeda family of Kaga. Hence, the tower equivalent to a castle tower is called the “big tower” at Shiroishi Castle and is not referred to as a castle tower, even in the diary of the Katakura family, the proprietor of the castle. During the Meiji Restoration, the treaty of the Ouetsu-reppan alliance (31st fief) was signed at Shiroishi Castle to resist the Satcho Alliance during the Boshin War, a Kogisho (parliament) was placed and Rinnojinomiya resided there. Afterwards, it would become a castle that played a crucial role in turning points of Japanese history such as with the installment of Azechi and as Heibushou Heitaitonsho (quarters for the Ministry of the Military).
Shiroishi Castle History Museum is located in Masuoka Park where Shiroishi Castle is located. The ticket sales counter is located on the first floor. There is also a restaurant and a shop that sells Shiroishi local goods and Shiroishi Castle souvenirs. On the second floor is an exhibition room. Among the artifacts exhibited are reconstructed 1/500 scale model of Shiroishi Castle and the surrounding castle town, Katakura Clan Armours, swords, matchlock and etc. On the third floor is a 3D High Vision Theater fitted with a 200 inch high luminance screen. There are currently 2 movies on air.
“1st floor Souvenir/ Gourmet”
There is a shop and a restaurant on the 1st floor of the museum. The shop sells a variety of different products such as Shiroishi Original Kojuro Goods, Shiroishi Specialty: U-men
“2nd History Museum”
There is an exhibition room on the 2nd floor. In the exhibition room are exhibition corners such as “castle citadel exhibition corner” and etc. There is a 1/100 scale model of Shiroishi Castle Inner Citadel and explanation of the restoration of Shiroishi Castle using construction method of the time at the “castle citadel exhibition corner”.
“3rd floor 3D High Vision Theater”
There is a 3D High Vision Theater on the 3rd floor. The theater is fitted with a 200 inch high luminance screen. The movie on air currently is a great historical film about Shiroishi Castle.
The 18th yokozuna, Ozutsu, was born in Misawa village, Katta district and his real name was Manji Kakubari. He joined the Ogurama stable in 1884. His first tournament was in January 1885 and he advanced to yokozuna in April 1901. His signature moves are thrust, slap down and yorikiri (push out from the ring) from the right. His record was 98 wins, 29 defeats, 51 draws and 4 holds. He was the protagonist in Ippongatana Dohyoiri (Into the Sumo Ring with a Sword).
- Postal Code
- 1-16 Masuokacho,Shiroishi, Miyagi
- Phone number
- Business hour
- April ~ October 9:00a.m. ~ 5:00p.m. November ~ March 9:00a.m. ~ 4:00p.m.
- Regular Holiday
- 28 Dec ~ 31 Dec ※Entrance is until 30 minutes before time of closing
※Please use the parking lot at Jouka Hiroba, Masuoka Park.
- Access Method
- 10 minutes walk from JR Shiroishi Station
5 minutes drive from JR Shiroishizao Station