Tall towers and the castle's location on a plain provided greater visibility from which the garrison could employ their guns, and the complex set of courtyards and baileys provided additional opportunities for defenders to retake portions of the castle that had fallen.. Several repairs were conducted after the Meiji era, but the damage caused by the September 1923 Great Kantō earthquake lead to the dismantling of the watari-yagura and rebuilding of the stone walls on each side of the gate in 1925. Osaka Castle was destroyed by cannon. The last fire occurred in 1873, after which the palace was not rebuilt by the new imperial government. Though some were used for the obvious defensive purposes, and as watchtowers, others served as water towers or for moon-viewing. Only a very few commoners, those directly in the employ and service of the daimyō or his retainers, lived within the walls, and they were often designated portions of the compound to live in, according to their occupation, for purposes of administrative efficiency. Higashi Chaya District. For the duration of the Ōnin War (1467–1477), and into the Sengoku period, the entire city of Kyoto became a battlefield, and suffered extensive damage. US Soldiers and Marines encountered fierce resistance and hand-to-hand combat all along the Shuri Line. This being the case, "the castle was less a defensive fortress than a symbol of defensive capacity with which to impress or discourage the enemy". Though battles were still continually fought in the north-east portion of Honshū (the Tōhoku region) against native peoples, the rise of the samurai warrior class[Notes 1] towards the end of the period, and various disputes between noble families jostling for power and influence in the Imperial Court brought about further upgrades. List of National Treasures of Japan (castles), "Electrical fault could have caused inferno at Okinawa's Shuri Castle, police say", Benesch, Oleg. Fujimi-yagura is one of only three remaining keeps of the inner citadel of Edo Castle, from a total number of originally eleven. The sannomaru (三の丸, third enceinte) is the easternmost enceinte next to the Ninomaru, separated by the Tenjin-bori. He claimed to have seen 20,000 servants between the first gate and the shōgun's palace. From Edo, the Bakufu forces fled north to the Aizu domain, from whence a large number of their troops hailed. [Notes 4] Even within the walls, a very different architectural style and philosophy applied, as compared to the corresponding European examples. The last and largest was the Satsuma Rebellion (1877). Nijō Castle in Kyoto is an interesting exception, in that the ni-no-maru still stands, while all that remains of the honmaru is the stone base. The perimeter measured 16 km. As the residences of purportedly wealthy and powerful lords, towers for moon-viewing, balconies for taking in the scenery, tea rooms and gardens proliferated. As the Aizu Campaign opened, Nagaoka and Komine Castles were the scenes of heavy fighting. In old times apparently the sea could be seen from here, therefore its name. Fierce hand to hand combat gave way to a siege, but by April 12, reinforcements of the Imperial army arrived to break the siege. Since ancient times, stones have played an important role in Japanese culture.In Shinto, prominent large stones are worshiped as kami, while gravel was used to designate … | Parker Hannifin is a Fortune 250 global leader in motion and control technologies. "Castles and the Militarisation of Urban Society in Imperial Japan,", The Japan's Modern Castles YouTube channel, featuring virtual tours of castle sites and discussing their modern history, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Japanese_castle&oldid=998546437, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2014, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2007, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 January 2021, at 21:53. The Heian period (794–1185) saw a shift from the need to defend the entire state from invaders to that of lords defending individual mansions or territories from one another. The dōshin-bansho (同心番所) is a guardhouse. Cannon were rare in Japan due to the expense of obtaining them from foreigners, and the difficulty in casting such weapons themselves as the foundries used to make bronze temple bells were simply unsuited to the production of iron or steel cannon. Though obviously something of an exception, the shōgun not being a regular daimyō, it nevertheless serves as a fine example of these developments. As an invading army passed through the outer rings of the Himeji compound, it would find itself directly under windows from which rocks, hot sand, or other things could be dropped, and also in a position that made them easy shots for archers in the castle's towers. The earth that was taken from the moats was used as landfill for sea-reclamation or to level the ground. Ratti, Oscar and Adele Westbrook (1973). Although some old shogunate forces resisted in the Tohoku region even after the surrender of Yoshinobu, the new government won in the last war, known as the Hakodate War around a pentagonal fortress (goryokaku), and the Boshin Civil War came to an end. This period saw the climax of earlier developments towards larger buildings, more complex and concentrated construction, and more elaborate design, both externally and in the castles' interiors. The least militarily equipped of the castle buildings, the keep was defended by the walls and towers, and its ornamental role was never ignored; few buildings in Japan, least of all castle keeps, were ever built with attention to function purely over artistic and architectural form. Others were simply abandoned and eventually fell into disrepair.. Two bridges led over the moats. The grounds of some were developed with municipal buildings or schools. The Hanzō-mon is the only gate to the Fukiage area from outside today. Local legends or ghost stories may also be associated with some of these castles; the most famous is probably the tale of Okiku and the Nine Plates, based on events that occurred at Himeji Castle. Maru, meaning 'round' or 'circle' in most contexts, here refers to sections of the castle, separated by courtyards. Each ward could be reached via wooden bridges, which were buffered by gates on either side. The character for castle, '城', by itself read as shiro (its kun'yomi), is read as jō (the Chinese-derived on'yomi) when attached to a word, such as in the name of a particular castle. Azuchi Castle was destroyed in 1582, just three years after its completion, but it nevertheless ushered in a new period of castle-building. Since most Japanese castles were built atop a mountain or hill, the topography of the location determined the layout of the maru. The wealthier ones had to contribute more. Hiroshima Castle, on the opposite end of the spectrum, was destroyed in the atomic bombing, and was rebuilt in 1958 as a museum.. The entertainment district Yoshiwara was also there. The area around the old keep, which burned in the 1657 Meireki fire, became the site of the new Imperial Palace Castle (宮城, Kyūjō), built in 1888. However, in 1853 both the Honmaru and Nishinomaru burned down, forcing the shōgun to move into a daimyō residence. After Ieyasu Tokugawa started to rule the Kanto (east Japan) region, he accorded cordial protection to Zojoji as the family temple of the Tokugawa family. A bulwark was constructed around the fortress to serve as a moat to aid in the defense of the structure; in accordance with military strategies and philosophies of the time, it would only be filled with water at times of conflict. Starting on May 25, the castle was subjected to three days of intense naval bombardment from the USS Mississippi. Parker Hannifin | 247,635 followers on LinkedIn. Again, services ostensibly set up for the purpose of helping refugee children, too often operate as a front concealing exploitive criminal activity. Some moats, walls and ramparts of the castle survive to this day. Though fairly basic in construction and appearance, these wooden and earthwork structures were designed to impress just as much as to function effectively against attack. The outer part of the Nishinomaru to the east (today's Outer Gardens of the Imperial Palace) was the site of various residences of daimyōs. At the other end of the spectrum are castles that have been left in ruins, though usually after archaeological surveys and excavations have been done. Edo Castle (江戸城, Edo-jō), also known as Chiyoda Castle (千代田城, Chiyoda-jō), is a flatland castle that was built in 1457 by Ōta Dōkan. The castle’s construction also featured a complex landscaping plan solely for the purpose of boosting its aesthetic appeal. In addition, the castle was located on a plain, rather than on a densely forested mountain, and relied more heavily on architecture and manmade defenses than on its natural environment for protection. Ditches were dug, to present obstacles to attackers, as well as to allow boulders to be rolled down at attackers. The stately and luxurious main buildings of the Honmaru, consisting of the outer, central, and inner halls, were said[who?] Before the Sengoku period (roughly the 16th century), most castles were called yamajirō (山城, 'mountain castles').  Osaka Castle was surrendered to the Imperial forces without a fight, and on February 3, 1868, Osaka Castle was burned. Despite this, jidaigeki movies (such as Abarenbō Shōgun) set in Edo usually depict Edo Castle as having a keep, and substitute Himeji Castle for that purpose. The mansions were large and very elaborate, with no expenses spared to construct palaces with Japanese gardens and multiple gates. Some castles, especially the larger ones, were used by the Imperial Japanese Army. The keep was the tallest and most elaborate building in the complex, and often also the largest. In the year Meiji 2 (1868), on the 23rd day of the 10th month of the Japanese calendar the emperor moved to Tokyo and Edo castle became an imperial palace.. In beautiful Inuyama, many girls put on lovely kimonos and walk around the old town, taking pictures among the cute and unique atmosphere. A five-storey keep used to stand on this base which was 51 meters (167 ft) in height and was thus the highest castle tower in the whole of Japan, symbolizing the power of the shōgun. A fire consumed the old Edo Castle on the night of May 5, 1873. This area is bordered by either the sea or the Kanda River, allowing ships access. After a month, with the walls and main tower pock-marked by bullets and cannonballs, Tsuruga Castle was finally surrendered.  By January 31, the Bakufu army had retreated to Osaka Castle in disarray and the shōgun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu had fled to Edo (later Tokyo). The primary method of defense lay in the arrangement of the baileys, called maru (丸) or kuruwa (曲輪). Large granite stones were moved from afar, the size and number of the stones depended on the wealth of the daimyōs. Yoshinobu surrendered Edo-jo Castle after the defeat by the new government. Yamajiro (山城), or "mountain castles" were the most common, and provided the best natural defenses. A reconstruction blueprint had been made based on old documents. The inner citadels of the castle were protected by multiple large and small wooden gates (mon), constructed in-between the gaps of the stone wall. Because the castle was small or may have been used for a short time in centuries past, the name of the castle is often lost to history, such as the "Shiroyama" at Sekigahara, Gifu Prefecture, or the "Shiroyama" between Lake Shōji and Lake Motosu near Mount Fuji, Yamanashi Prefecture. Other tactics to hinder attackers' approaches to the walls included caltrops, bamboo spikes planted into the ground at a diagonal, or the use of felled trees, their branches facing outwards and presenting an obstacle to an approaching army (abatis). Surrounding the Honmaru were curtain walls, with 11 keeps, 15 defense houses and more than 20 gates. The plan of Edo Castle was not only large but elaborate. Some remains, such as the Fujimi-yagura keep and Fujimi-tamon defense house, still exist. Castle complexes became fairly elaborate, containing a number of structures, some of which were quite complex internally, as they now served as residences, command centres, and a number of other purposes. The Satsuma Rebellion came to an end at the Battle of "Castle Mountain" on the morning of September 25, 1877. The residential Honmaru Palace (本丸御殿, honmaru-goten) and the gardens of the shōgun and his court were constructed around the castle keep in the Honmaru area.  Unlike in European castles, which had walkways built into the walls, in Japanese castles, the walls' timbers would be left sticking inwards, and planks would simply be placed over them to provide a surface for archers or gunners to stand on. The tatsumi-yagura (巽櫓), also known as sakurada-yagura (桜田櫓), is a two-story high keep at the easternmost corner of the Sannomaru and the only keep still remaining in it.  All major gates had large timbers that framed the main entry point and were constructed to impress and proclaim the might of the shogunate. Tokugawa Ieyasu received the title of Sei-i Taishōgun in 1603, and Edo became the center of Tokugawa's administration. Fortifications were still made almost entirely out of wood, and were based largely on earlier modes, and on Chinese and Korean examples. On its site, the imperial palace was built in the Meiji era. Tokyo, the capital city of Japan and one of the best places to visit in Asia, is also home to the Imperial Palace and the seat of Government and Parliament.Located in East-Central Honshu, the largest of Japan's main islands, this heavily populated city is well worth visiting, and serves as a great base from which to explore other parts of the country. The castle keep, usually three to five stories tall, is known as the tenshukaku (天守閣), and may be linked to a number of smaller buildings of two or three stories. The site suffered substantial damage during World War II and in the destruction of Tokyo in 1945. Larger castles would have additional encircling sections, called soto-guruwa or sōguruwa. To the east, beyond the Sannomaru was an outer moat, enclosing the Otomachi and Daimyō-Kōji districts. It has its name because it was in the northwestern part of the Imperial Palace grounds. Rather, they served primarily as luxurious homes for the daimyōs, their families and retainers, and to protect the daimyō, and his power base, against peasant uprisings and other internal insurrections. Meanwhile, the castles in the han capitals inevitably expanded, not only to accommodate the increased number of samurai they now had to support, but also to represent the prestige and power of the daimyō, now consolidated into a single castle. (坂下門, Sakashita-mon) originally faced the north, but was changed to face the east in the Meiji era. All of that said however, castles were rarely forcibly invaded. It is believed that once Mount Fuji could be seen from this keep, hence the name. Besides being the location of the keep and palace, the Honmaru was also the site of the treasury. Others have been left in more natural state, often with a marked hiking trail, such as Azaka Castle, (Matsuzaka, Mie Prefecture), Kame Castle (Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture), Kikoe Castle (Kagoshima city), or Kanegasaki Castle (Tsuruga city, Fukui Prefecture). Since sieges rarely involved the wholesale destruction of walls, castle designers and defenders could anticipate the ways in which an invading army would move through the compound, from one gate to another. The warrior Edo Shigetsugu built his residence in what is now the Honmaru and Ninomaru part of Edo Castle, around the end of the Heian or beginning of the Kamakura period.  The character for castle or fortress (城), up until sometime in the 9th century or later, was read (pronounced) ki, as in this example, mizuki. Rebellions continued to break out during the first years of the Meiji period.  The castle was vacated in 1590 due to the Siege of Odawara. Chinese and Korean architecture influenced the design of Japanese buildings, including fortifications, in this period. As factions emerged and loyalties shifted, clans and factions that had helped the Imperial Court became enemies, and defensive networks were broken, or altered through the shifting of alliances. To the north separating Honmaru from the Kitanomaru were the Inui-bori and Hirakawa-bori, to the east separating the Ninomaru was the Hakuchō-bori, and to the west and south separating the Nishinomaru were the Hasuike-bori and Hamaguri-bori. The science of building and fortifying castles was known as chikujō-jutsu (Japanese: 築城術). Whether original or reconstructions, numerous castles across Japan serve as history and folk museums, as points of pride for local people, and as tangible structures reflecting Japanese history and heritage. Since the Edo Period, it has been widely revered as a Buddhist image which brings victory and wards off evils. Among the many castles built in the ensuing years was Hideyoshi's castle at Osaka, completed in 1585. On May 5, 1873, the Nishinomaru residence burned down. This tower gate overlooks Hamaguri-bori. Hiroshima Castle is notable for having been destroyed in the atomic bomb blast on August 6, 1945. The rebel force made their last stand on Shiroyama, or "Castle Mountain", probably named for a castle built there some time in the past, whose name has been lost in history. Often, a system of fire beacons, drums, or conch shells was set up to enable communications between these castles over a great distance. The castle compound was renamed Tokyo Castle (東京城, Tōkei-jō) in October, 1868, and then renamed Imperial Castle (皇城, Kōjō) in 1869. A complex system of a great many gates and courtyards leading up to the central keep serves as one of the key defensive elements. Each block had four to six of the mansions, which were surrounded by ditches for drainage. The Edo clan left in the 15th century as a result of uprisings in the Kantō region, and Ōta Dōkan, a retainer of the Ogigayatsu Uesugi family, built Edo Castle in 1457. The Suwa-no-Chaya (諏訪の茶屋) is a teahouse that was once in the Fukiage garden during the Edo period.  With new advances in construction, some of the previously destroyed castles were re-built quickly and cheaply with steel-reinforced concrete, such as the main tower of Osaka Castle, which was first re-built in 1928. Great care is taken with these structures; open flame and smoking near the castles is usually prohibited, and visitors are usually required to remove their shoes before stepping on the wooden floors (slippers are usually provided). The following are some of the most commonly employed elements: Stones, Gravel and Sand. The primary defensive concern in the archipelago was no longer native tribes or foreign invaders, but rather internal conflicts within Japan, between rival samurai clans or other increasingly large and powerful factions, and as a result, defensive strategies and attitudes were forced to change and adapt. Osaka Castle dates from 1583 when it was first built using 100,000 workers to get the finished building. Bodiam Castle is perhaps one of the most iconic castles on our list due to its circular towers, ramparts, moat, and gatehouse. The circumference is subject to debate, with estimates ranging from 6 to 10 miles.. The nishinomaru (西の丸, western ward) was the location of the palaces and residences of the retired shōgun and the heir-apparent for a while. The other kōrai-mon is to the west of the watari-yagura-mon which was used as the "gates of the unclean" for the deceased and criminals from within the castle. Some especially powerful families controlled not one, but a whole string of castles, consisting of a main castle (honjō) and a number of satellite castles (shijō) spread throughout their territory. Including such central locations as the Imperial Palace (formerly the site of Edo Castle) adds a historical layer to the previous series, Tokyo Twilight Zone, which had focused primarily on the eastern part of Tokyo where I was born and raised. The "most central bailey", containing the keep, was called honmaru (本丸), and the second and third were called ni-no-maru (二の丸) and san-no-maru (三の丸) respectively. Earthworks and wooden fortresses were also built throughout the countryside to defend the territory from the native Emishi, Ainu and other groups; unlike their primitive predecessors, these were relatively permanent structures, built in peacetime. Some residences were also within the inner moats in the outer Nishinomaru.  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