Castle tour series Introducing the history and highlights of “Kochi Castle”!

Castle tour

I went to Kochi Castle the other day!

I remember the last time I went there when I was in elementary school, but I don’t remember much.

I had been thinking about going around this old folk house since I came up with it, but I was finally able to go!

I regret that I haven’t been there even though there is a historic building in such a close place.

This time, I would like to take a look at “Kochi Castle” in various ways.

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History of “Kochi Castle”!

In 1601,The first Tosa domain head “Yamauchi Kazutoyo” started building a castle.

In 1610, It took about 10 years to complete.

In 1727, a fire in the castle town caused almost all the buildings to disappear.

In 1729, the reconstruction of the castle begins. Where have the castle people lived for the past two years?

In 1749, the castle tower was completed. The current castle tower seems to be the one at this time. It’s exciting to think of it as a building about 270 years ago.

In 1873, it was demolished except for a part by the abolition order of the Meiji government. I wanted you to keep it if possible!

In 1934, It is designated as a national treasure.

In 1945, it was hit by air raids, but there was no major damage.

In 1946, it was severely damaged by the Nankai earthquake.

In 1948, restoration work begins.

In 1959, restoration work was completed.

I briefly listed the history of Kochi Castle.

Looking at the history again in this way, many castles that were all over Japan were destroyed in 1615 “Ichikuni Ichijo”, and Kochi Castle was also in Ninomaru and Sannomaru by the Meiji government. The building was also destroyed.

I think it can’t be helped, but I also wanted to see the building at that time.

If there was no fire in 1727, the building would be 400 years old, but the current castle tower and Otemon are still 272 years old as of 2021!

And it has survived wars and disasters and is there.
It’s exciting just to think this way.

Before entering Kochi Castle, there is a statue of Kazutoyo Yamauchi.

Introducing the highlights of “Kochi Castle”!

Looking at the history of Kochi Castle, I would like to introduce the highlights of Kochi Castle from my point of view.

It may be a very maniac point of view, but let’s take a look at the techniques of the craftsmen about 270 years ago!


The first thing you will pass through is “Otemon”.
The first impression here is “Big!” Everything is big!

The pillars, beams and hardware of the gate are all really big!
And what I personally paid attention to was the door.

It’s not actually measured properly, so it’s approximate, but the width is 2.5m and the height is about 4m! Anyway, it’s huge!
The decoration of the copper plate is also good.

The thickness of the door is about 20 cm, and the hinges are also huge. How did you make it?

It is often seen in old fittings, but the hozo of this time is fixed by penetrating it and driving a wedge from the outside.

Stone Wall

If you go through the pursuit gate and go up the stairs, you will see the stone wall.
Instead of going straight to Honmaru, let’s go around the castle!

The overwhelming stone wall that rises around the castle is amazing. It’s too amazing to think that such a structure was made manually in an era when there were no machines such as cranes!
The curve of the corner seen from below is good.

Then, when you climb while looking at the stone wall, you will see the Honmaru.

Buildings around Honmaru Goten

If you enter the Honmaru Palace from Ninomaru, you can see the surrounding buildings.

You can also see the three-tiered beams inside the building called “Corridor Gate”.
There is a door just outside the corridor gate, but this joint is also interesting.

I’ve seen similar fittings in books, but I’ve never made one myself, so I’ll try someday.

Also pay attention to the onigawara on the roof.
It has been attached for amulets since ancient times, but the type of onigawara is different even on the roof nearby.

This kind of roof work is often seen, but I don’t know if it’s just a decoration or if it has a functional meaning because I haven’t studied enough.

After seeing the surrounding buildings, we finally enter the castle tower.

castle tower

There is a charge to enter the castle tower.
The price is 420 yen! (About $ 4) Cheap! Personally, it’s too cheap.

It is a shoji in the castle tower.

Probably, all shoji are made by “Jigokugumi”.
It’s a way of assembling vertically and horizontally alternately. It takes a little time to make it, but it’s a sturdy assembly that won’t come off later.

The grid installed outside the shoji also passes through the hole through the vertical rail.

If you go a little further back, you will see the “Ranma” on display.

All are works about 250 years ago.

I couldn’t find any seams in the carved part, so I think it was probably made by carving a single tree. It is wonderful.

All the pillars are crafted so that the beams are covered with the faces. It’s a small job.

It is a ramma on the first floor.

It seems difficult to make the first ramma. I can imagine the structure, so I think I can make it.

This is a peephole on the outer wall of the castle tower, but the guide told me that this horizontally long one is only Kochi Castle in Japan.

This is called “Shoin-zukuri” and is a residential style that has been around since the Muromachi period.
I think it’s probably the place where the lord meets the customers.

The rammer of Nijubishi is installed, the place where the lord sits is one step higher, and the ceiling is luxuriously decorated with Gotenjo.

This is called “stone dropping”, which is a mechanism to drop stones from inside the castle toward an outside enemy attack.

There are many gimmicks in the castle that are taking measures against enemy attacks, but since this Kochi castle has never been a battlefield, it seems that none of the gimmicks have ever been used.
It is probably one of the remaining factors because it did not become a battlefield.

It’s one of the pillars of the castle tower, but it’s big. My hand is about 20 cm, so 30 cm is a likely pillar. The beam is bigger.

Anyway, all the pillars and beams are big, so cut them out, cut them, and carry them to this point for assembly. Of course, everything should have been processed by hand, so just by imagining the process, you can see how hard the craftsmen at that time were.

It is a trace of “Kamatsugite” on the floor.

It’s a process that connects two beams.

I was wondering about the nails on the floorboards and the traces of the craftsmen at that time that remained everywhere.

Also pay attention to the “key” used for wooden fittings.

I was crouching down on the floor to find out what the structure was.
From a stranger’s point of view, it would have seemed like a strange person …

It is “Shachihoko” that can be seen from the window on the 4th floor.

The two bodies are paired to express “Aun’s breathing”.

This is the 5th floor just below the top of the castle tower.

At first glance, there is no window and it is just a space, but it seems that it is a room on the 5th floor.

Was it used like a warehouse?

It is a staircase leading to the top floor.
It’s narrow and steep.

When you go up here, you are finally on the top floor.

It may be difficult to see because it is a panoramic photo, but you can get a panoramic view of the center of Kochi.

I’m a little afraid of heights, so my legs were a little shrugged …

Ninomaru and Sannomaru seen from the top floor.

What kind of scenery did you see from here hundreds of years ago? I want to see it.

So far, I have summarized various things about Kochi Castle.

The castle is interesting. I wanted to see more castles.

I would like to go see it again if I have time.

If you like this post, I would be grateful if you could share it on SNS.

Thank you for reading to the end.

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