Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kakegawa Castle

Bryan and I took another tour. This one was all day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The really great thing about it was our friends, The Takanami's came with us. There is Shigeru-san, the Father, Akemi-San, the Mother, and two sons, Nataku who's 12 and Yakimo who's 3. Although there was 3 parts to the tour, I will post a separate blog on each. The last part of the tour was to Kakegawa Castle. This is from the tour program: "Plans for Kakegawa Castle were first laid during the Muromachi Period, when the famous Suruga Daimyo Road Imagawa was aiming to move into Toutoumi region. To accomplish this, he ordered his retainer, Asahina to build the castle. During the period of the Warring States, Yamanouchi Kazutoyo, famous for the episode of his supporting wife, was in charge of the castle for 10 years. Even while organizing the area around the castle and undertaking major repairs of the damage the castle suffered during the violence of the conflict, he followed through on the construction of Tenshukaku Donjon. During the Edo period, eleven families for 26 generations, including the Ota family, descendents of the builder of Edo Castle, Ota Dokan, flourished as the occupants of Kakegawa Castle. The beauty of Tenshukaku mad the place famous as the best castle in the Tokai area. Kakegawa Castle reflects that original beauty, as the first fully restored wood construction of its kind in Japan. Tanshukaku was re0pened in April of 1994. The Tehshudai, which overlooks the city of Kakegawa, stands 56 meters above sea level. It offers a great view of the city streets surrounded by natural beauty and greenery." Whew! That was a mouthful! What that implies is that the castle was destroyed. There was a very rich lady that lived in Kakegawa City who wanted it to be rebuilt as it was before it was destroyed. She, alone, donated ONE HALF of the money to rebuild the castle, the rest was donated by ALL the citizens of Kakegawa. So, the each have ownership and responsibility of the castle.
It was our first tour to a castle and it was really beautiful. There were LOTS OF STEPS leading up to it!! Inside the castle, it had really steep stairs. And actually what we think of as the "castle" is actually the "Keep" or the place that people went when the castle grounds were under siege. Thus the reason for the VERY steep stairs inside. The living quarters are actually in another building entirely. When the paragraph above mentions Yamanouchi Kazutoyo's Wife, it refers to his smart wife. She had a lot of money from her Dowry. She took the money and purchased her husband a magnificent horse. Her husband became well known because of this majestic horse and they give her the credit for being wise to help her husband.

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