Matsumae Castle

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Matsumae Castle
Matsumae, Hokkaido, Japan
Matsumae Castle
Type Hirajiro (flatland castle)
Height Three stories
Site information
Condition The gate to the inner citadel and remains of stone walls and embankments remain.
Site history
Built 1606
Built by Matsumae clan
In use 1596 to Meiji Restoration
Materials Earth, stone, and wood
Demolished 1949

Matsumae Castle (松前城 Matsumae-jō?) is a castle located in Matsumae in Hokkaido, Japan, and is the northernmost castle in Japan.[1] It was the home of the Matsumae Han of the Matsumae clan. It is perhaps the only traditional style Edo period castle in Hokkaidō.


Built in 1606 by Matsumae Yoshihiro, it burned down in 1637 but was rebuilt in 1639. Later, modern defences were built on the site in 1850. The donjon of Matsumae Castle was 30 metres (98 ft) high. In 1875, the administrative building, three turrets, and an artillery position were torn down, before the remaining donjon and main gate burned down in 1949; it is now all a park.

It once controlled all passengers through Hokkaidō to the rest of Japan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "松前城" [Matsumae Castle]. Dijitaru Daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 


  • Schmorleitz, Morton S. (1974). Castles in Japan. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co. ISBN 0-8048-1102-4. 
  • Motoo, Hinago (1986). Japanese Castles. Tokyo: Kodansha. pp. 200 pages. ISBN 0-87011-766-1. 

Coordinates: 41°25′47″N 140°06′30″E / 41.429833°N 140.108389°E / 41.429833; 140.108389