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Ōzu Castle : A Study of Japanese Bibliography

This is all about Ōzu Castle Ruins you want to know.
Every information you get on this site will be from a credible source based on Japanese history (books for reference).

"Kojō ezu (picture in Edo Period)" from 国立国会図書館

Collected by the Inagaki family, the Toba Daimyō from the mid-Edo period to the Meiji Restoration, as materials for military studies. There are about 350 illustrations, but there is no uniformity because only illustrations of castles, illustrations including castle towns, and old battlefield illustrations are mixed.

Another typical example of a castle picture in the Edo period is "The Shōhō Shiroezu", picture of the castle and castle town that the Edo Shogunate ordered the daimyō to create and submit,aggregating military information such as the buildings inside the castle, the height of the stone wall, the width of the moat and the water depth, etc., it also details the location and shape of the castle town and the mountain river.

Profile : Ōzu Castle Ruins

LocationŌzu City, Ehime Prefecture
Also known asHiji castle, Jizōgatake Castle,
Type of castleHilltop
Mountain's name
Elevation40m 
ConditionReconstructed main keep
Designation National Important Cultural Properties
Ehime Historic Sites
Year built1331
Abolished1871
Castle lordUtsunomiya Toyofusa
Refurbishment lordWakisaka Yasuharu
Portrait of Wakisaka Yasuharu from Wikipedia
Family Crest of Wakisaka Clan from "Bukan Complete Works" (produced by CODH) adapted from "Classical Japanese National Data Set" (Kokubunken Collection)

The family crest was originally created from the pattern that the emperor and the royal family put on the kimono, and the pattern was made into a fixed pattern, and the one attached to his own oxcart is said to be the beginning of the family crest. The warlords drew large crests on the flag-fingers, used to distinguish enemy views on the battlefield, and used by the generals to determine which warlords were active and how much.
"Legend of Heroes Wakisaka Yasuharu in Taihei Period"
written by Utagawa Yoshiiku from Wikipedia

Ōzu Castle admission

admission fee : 550yen (Adult) 220yen (Under junior high school students)
admission time : am9-pm5
closing period : open everyday reference official site (japanese)

Ōzu Castle Google Map

Ōzu Castle Images

The origin of the castle was built as a medieval castle by Utsunomiya Toyofusa in the late Kamakura period, Then Tōdō Takatora, a master of castle architecture, was completely renovated and reborn as a modern castle around 1595. Wakisaka Yasuharu, who later became the castle owner, seems to have improved the main keep.
The castle is located on a hill on the banks of the Hiji River, and is covered with moats that use the water as a source of it. The main keep , "Sōtō-Type" with four-level/ four-floor, was built in the Honmaru, and its elegant appearance reminds of the charm of castle itself.
The main keep remained until 1888, but was demolished. However, it was rebuilt in wooden construction to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ōzu municipal organization in 2004.
It is called the most elaborate and historically-based main keep restoration in history. The four-level / four-story wooden tower is 19.15m tall and the tallest restored tower in Japan. However, the 19m tall wooden structure is of a size that is not allowed under Japanese law, and has not been approved for reconstruction.
So, Ōzu City did not seem to have been approved for construction at first originally, but it was exempted from the law and construction was approved as a "one and only - unique historical preserved building" , with two years of successful negotiations finally . The clues to the overview of the building structure were the castle tower model and old photographs of it from three directions. Surprisingly, the wooden model of the castle tower, which was in the descendant house of the master at that time, was left as it was. Therefore, Ōzu City aimed for thorough restoration of the wooden structure of the castle, considering that these many restoration materials were prepared by chance.
Minamisumi-Yagura in Sannomaru
Ōzu Castle was rebuilt using traditional methods and domestic wood. A lot of donations were gathered from local citizens and castle fans, and it's very great that everyone's passions take shape in this way.
The tragic legend of Lady Hiji

During Utsunomiya's era, kamakura Period, the construction of the stone walls did not proceed well, which was a major problem. So, according to customs of the time, it was decided to make a woman as "Hitobashira". By the way, the "Hitobashira" means human sacrifice for God with the purpose of praying to God that large buildings (bridges, embankments, port facilities, castles, etc.) will not be destroyed by disasters or enemies, which the custom of burying or submerging certain humans in or near buildings while they are alive. The woman's name was Lady Hiji, and she was buried, leaving her wish to put her name on the castle. From this legend, Ōzu Castle is also called "Hiji Castle"after her name, which is the origin of Hiji-River. Her soul may still be guarding this castle.

Link-1 : A castle designed by "Master of the castle" [block]6[/block]

【east japan】Edo castle 【west japan】Uwajima Castle 【west japan】Kōchi Castle 【west japan】imabari Castle 【central japan】Igaueno Castle 【west japan】Sasayama Castle 【west japan】Nijō castle 【west japan】Wakayama Castle 【west japan】Ōsaka castle 【west japan】Ōzu Castle

Link-2 : legend of human sacrifice

【west japan】Hikone Castle 【central japan】Maruoka Castle 【west japan】Ōzu Castle

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