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Kumamoto Castle, Japan

Kumamoto Castle, Japan (Known places)

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Tags: japan (69 pics), castle (129 pics)

Kumamoto Castle (熊本城; -jō) is a castle in Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, that has been opened to the public for tours. It was a large, and in its day, extremely well fortified Japanese castle. The donjon (castle central keep) is a concrete reconstruction built in 1960 (58 years ago), but several ancillary wooden buildings remain of the original castle.

The original castle took seven years to construct, and was completed in 1607 (411 years ago), by Kiyomasa Kato. In its prime, the castle had 49 turrets, 18 turret gates, and 29 castle gates, all contained within a circumference of 5.3 km of stone walls. The castle was besieged during the Satsuma Rebellion, and the Castle Tower and other parts were burned before the siege.

In nearby San-no-Maru Park is the Hosokawa Gyobu-tei, the former residence of the Hosokawa clan, the Higo daimyo. This traditional wooden mansion has a fine Japanese garden located in its grounds.

The signature curved stone walls, known as musha-gaeshi, as well as wooden overhangs, were designed to prevent foes from penetrating the castle. Rock falls were also used as deterrents.

Kumamoto Castle recently celebrated its 400th anniversary. On Dec 7, 2007 (11 years ago), a large-scale renovation of the Lord`s Inner Palace was completed. A public ceremony for the restoration was held Apr. 20, 2008 (10 years ago).

Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan, along with Himeji Castle and Nagoya Castle.


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