Views of Japan

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Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan
Welcome to my little blog. I'm an Australian father, budõ practitioner, and freelance photographer currently living in Japan. Castles, temples, shrines, mountains and rice paddys are among some of the scenes I present here. Please enjoy Views of Real Japan.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Maizuru Castle, Kofu, Yamanashi prefecture

Maizuru Castle park is a park containing the ruins of Kōfu Castle (also called Maizuru Castle).

Built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi after he had unified the country in 1583 it was later completed by his brother-in-law, Asano Nagamasa and his son.

After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Maizuru Castle came under the control of the Tokugawa government and remained a Tokugawa stronghold until the end of the Tokugawa period (1868).

The castle was entrusted to Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu and under his command it was fully repaired and expanded with the surrounding town becoming a hub of activity.

Soon after the repairs and expansion Yanagisawa was transferred and became the Lord of Yamato Kōriyama Castle.

In 1718 the keep of the castle and the Akagenenmon gate were destroyed by a large fire.

In the Meiji period (1868-1912) the castle was completely abandoned and by 1877 all the major buildings of the castle had been dismantled.

Following this the castle area was used as an industrial testing facility for steam engines.

In 1897 it was decided the Yakatakuruwa and Shimizukuruwa enclosures should be dismantled to make way for Kōfu train Station.

In 1904 the area around the main keep (inner bailey) was opened to the general public as Maizuru Castle Park and in 1930 the Government Offices and Assembly Hall moved to the dismantled lot of the Gakuyakuruwa enclosure.

In 1931 the only remaining moats - the western and southern moats - were completely filled in.

Two of the castle towers have been reconstructed using traditional techniques and based on archeaological diggings coupled with historical texts and diagrams. Several gates have been reconstructed and reconstruction of several walls in underway. (2010)

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