Nihonmatsu Castle Ruins : A Study of Japanese Bibliography

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"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 : Niohonmatsu Castle Ruins

LocationNihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture
Also known asKasumiga Castle, Sirohata Castle
Type of castleHilltop
Mountain's nameMt.Shirohata
DesignationNational Historic Sites
Year builtMid Muromachi Period
Castle lordNihonmatsu Mitsuyasu
Refurbishment lordNiwa Mitsusige
Family Crest of Niwa Clan from "Bukan Complete Works" (produced by CODH) Adapted from "Classical Japanese National Data Set" (Kokubunken Collection) official site

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.

Nihonmatsu Castle admission

admission fee : free
admission time : reference official site

Nihonmatsu Castle Google Map

Nihonmatsu Castle Images 

Nihonmatsu Castle, remains on the peak of 345m high Mt.Shirohata, is a Yamashiro(hill top) built in Nihonmatsu Mitsuyasu in mid 14th century. Since then, Nihonmatsu's domination continues, but attacked by Date Masamune, aiming to conquer Ōshu district in1586, they were perished. With the passage of time and the change of lord, it was renovated into a modern castle with stone walls and transformed into a modern-day Hirayama castle (flat).
 The castle was attacked by the New government forces and all buildings in the castle were burned down in "Boshin War".
 The statue of Nihonmatsu shōnen forces

The tragedy of the "Boshin War" is famous for the Wakamatsu Castle's "White tiger forces", but even Nihonmatsu Castle, 17 years old from 12 years old unit composed of boys up to the age, has died in war. They came to be called "Nihonmatsu shōnen forces"
Reconstructed Minowamon Gate in 1982.
Reconstructed Basin of main keep
Reconstructed Stone wall by Anoudumi style

Anou group is masons who worked in mid 16th century, a group of engineers mainly engaged in stone wall construction of temples and castles. The style they perform is called "Anoudumi".
”The Kaisekimei"  
A giant stone carved with samurai commandments

Nihonmatsu Clan was a residence of 100,700 levels. On the east side of the castle was the feudal government, where there was a gate for clan officials. "Kaisekimei" is engraved on a large stone of natural stone (granite) with a length of about 8.5m and a maximum width of about 5m, which was exposed in front of the feudal government. The fifth lord of the lord, Takahiro Niwa ordered and engraved in order to make it a commandment of a lord, and was completed in 1749. Inscriptions are inscribed with 4 phrases and 16 characters between 1.03m in height and 1.82m in width on the exposed surface, and the typeface is very elegant.

"You (the samurai) are paid more than the people who worked and worked. You have to thank and stay with them. If you forget this feeling and oppress the weak people, will surely receive punishment from God”
A view of Adatarayama Mountains from The Ruins
the tea house "Senshin-tei”

Wooden thatched roof, Sukiya style building , stands eastward on the west side of the Castle ruins, and has a small garden on the north side of the room, offering excellent views.

Link : The tragic castle

【west japan】Odani Castle 【central japan】Iwamura Castle 【west japan】MIki Castle 【north japan】Nihonmatsu Castle


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