Kumamoto Castle : A Study of Japanese Bibliography

This is all about Kumamoto 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).

"Kōjōezu (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 castle picture in the Edo period exists, "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 : Kumamoto Castle Ruins

LocationKumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture
Also known asGinnan Castle
Type of castleHilltop
Mountain's nameMt.Chausu
ConditionReconstructed main keep
DesignationNational Important cultural Properties
National Historic Sites
Year built1469-1487
Castle lordIdeda Hidenobu , Kanokogi Chikakazu
Refurbishment lordKatō Kiyomasa
Portrait of Katō Kiyomasa from Wikipedia
Family Crest from "Wikipedia"

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.

Kumamoto Castle admission

admission fee : free (Free shuttle bus service am9-pm5 available  (※ Loop Bus is charged)
admission time : am8-am0  reference official site
Kumamoto Castle was severely damaged by the earthquake that occurred in April 2016. Please note that many parts are currently inaccessible.

Kumamoto Castle Google Map

Kumamoto Castle Images 

the famous ”ultimate" castle built by Katō Kiyomasa

The real value of Kumamoto Castle was made known to the world during ”Satsuma Rebellion" in 1877, just 270 years after its construction. Saigo's army, led by Saigō Takamori , rose to the Meiji New Government with about 14,000 troops and surrounded Kumamoto Castle, which guarded by about 4000 government troops. Saigō's army, who was trying to capture easily, rather than dropping the castle, no one could even climb the stone wall ahead of the government's resistance deathly. At last, Government repulsed Successfully.
In this battle, no one was able to enter the castle as a matter of course Saigō, who had misunderstood Kumamoto Castle captured easily. There is an famous episode that Saigō lamented, "I didn't lose to the army. I lost to Katō Kiyomasa."
Kiyomasa is especially good at stone wall construction, and Kumamoto Castle uses a lot of stone walls with a shape called ”Fan slope'', in which the gentle slopes become closer to the vertical as they go up.
He predicted that a catastrophe would occur when the ginkgo tree in the castle grew up as high as the castle tower. As predicted, the Satsuma Rebellion broke out.

The large main keep and small one was built, and five-story turrets, such as the Uto turret, were lined with each Kuruwa. Later in the Satsuma Rebellion, most of the Honmaru burned down except for tall stone wall "The Takaishigaki", known as the Kiyomasa-style and the original 11 towers remains almost completely. The main keep, gate, and Honmaru palace have been restored, following the reconstruction of main buildings in 1960,
Uto Yagura

Large three level-fifth floor decorated with a straight gable following "Watari-Yagura".
It is about 19m high and is the fourth highest after the Himeji Castle, Matsumoto Castle and Matsue Castle when compared to the castle tower and towers built before the modern times. The height of the stone wall is about 30 m, is amazing.
At the time of the castle's construction, there were 49 turrets, but only 11 are now alive. However, some of the towers in Kumamoto Castle have the size and style of the main keep of other castles, and it is very fun to walk around the castle while paying attention to the tower.
Hitsujisaru Yagura reconstructed in 2003
Inui Yagura reconstructed in 2003
the South Ōtemon Gate
Underground passage made of stone wall

The underground passage to enter Honmaru Palace is called ”Dark Passage". The palace was built across two stone walls, so a passage had to be made underground. This is the official entrance to the palace.
Saloon in Honmaru
Shō-kun's Hall

This is the most important and prestigious room in the Honmaru Palace Halls. The story of a beautiful tragedy "Ō-Shō-kun" in Former Chinese Emperor Era were drawn by a Kanou school painter on the wall of this room, seasonal plants were drawn on the ceiling.

Link-1 : Japanese three most great castle

【central japan】Nagoya Castle 【west japan】Himeji Castle 【south japan】Kumamoto Castle

Link-2 : The Impregnable Castle

【east japan】Odawara Castle 【east japan】Edo castle 【central japan】Chihaya castle 【central japan】Hachigata Castle 【west japan】Ōsaka Castle 【west japan】Yoshida-Kōriyama Castle 【south japan】Kumamoto Castle

Link-3 : Japanese seven most great stone wall

【north japan】Kanazawa Castle 【west japan】Takatori Castle 【west japan】Takeda Castle 【west japan】marugame Castle 【west japan】Oka Castle 【central japan】Iwamura Castle 【south japan】Kumamoto Castle

Link-4 : Japanese major fortress

【central japan】Nanao Castle 【central japan】Ichijōdani Castle 【east japan】 Odawara Castle 【central japan】Yamanaka Castle 【west japan】Kumamoto Castle


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