Tanaka Castle

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Tanaka Castle
Fujieda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
TanakaJo HonmaruYagura.jpg
Reconstructed Honmaru Yagura of Tanaka Castle
CoordinatesCoordinates: 34°52′19.22″N 138°16′28.57″E / 34.8720056°N 138.2746028°E / 34.8720056; 138.2746028
Typeflatland-style Japanese castle
Site information
Open to
the public
Conditionpartially reconstructed
Site history
Built byImagawa clan
In useEdo period
Site of Tanaka Castle showing circular moats

Tanaka Castle (田中城, Tanaka-jō) is a Japanese castle located in Fujieda, central Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. At the end of the Edo period, Tanaka Castle was home to a branch of the Honda clan, daimyō of Tanaka Domain.


Tanaka Castle dates to 1537 the Sengoku period, when it was built by the Isshiki clan as an outlying fortification to protect the western approach to the headquarters of the Imagawa clan at Sunpu. It fell to the forces of Takeda Shingen in 1570 during his invasion of Suruga. Shingen assigned the castle to his general Yamagata Masakage. In 1572, another of Shingen’s generals, Inagaki Nobuyasu, replaced Yamagata. The castle withstood an attack by the Tokugawa clan in 1582.

Following the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, the castle as assigned to Sakai Tadatoshi, who had it completely rebuilt. The castle has an unusual circular layout with four concentric moats, which surrounded a small, 2-story donjon.

Subsequently, as headquarters for Tanaka Domain, it changed hands many times during the early Edo period before coming under the control of a branch of the Honda clan in 1730. Tokugawa Ieyasu and subsequent shōgun used the castle as an occasional base for falconry expeditions, and it was at Tanaka Castle that Tokugawa Ieyasu is alleged to have eaten tempura, just before his death.

During the Bakumatsu period, in 1868 the Honda were reassigned to the newly created Nagao Domain in Awa Province in order to make way for an expanded Shizuoka Domain to be ruled by the ex-Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Tanaka Domain was assigned to one of his hatamoto, but was pulled down in 1872, following the Meiji Restoration.

The current structures include remnants of the moats and stonework, as well as a large restored "yagura", reconstructed in 1992 to serve as a local history museum.


  • Schmorleitz, Morton S. (1974). Castles in Japan. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co. pp. 144–145. ISBN 0-8048-1102-4.
  • Motoo, Hinago (1986). Japanese Castles. Tokyo: Kodansha. p. 200 pages. ISBN 0-87011-766-1.
  • Mitchelhill, Jennifer (2004). Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty. Tokyo: Kodansha. p. 112 pages. ISBN 4-7700-2954-3.
  • Turnbull, Stephen (2003). Japanese Castles 1540-1640. Osprey Publishing. p. 64 pages. ISBN 1-84176-429-9.

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