Matsumoto Castle

Close up of Matsumoto Castle

Image Label: Matsumoto Castle
Image Title: Matsumoto Castle 1-1
Location: Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0873, Japan
Author: 柑橘類 (talk)
Date: August 14, 2007

Description: Originally known as Fukashi Castle, and also known as Crow Castle due to its black exterior, Matsumoto Castle represents one of Japan’s premier historic castles. The castle was the seat of Matsumoto Domain under the Edo Period Tokugawa shogunate, and is located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture. What’s more, Matsumoto Castle exists as a “hirajiro,” or rather a castle built on plains rather than on a hill or mountain; the castle is also unique for featuring both a secondary donjon and a turret adjoined to its main keep. These special features — coupled with the castle’s dark exterior and highly raised foundation over the water — both provide the castle with a tactical advantage when under siege, while also creating an imposing and daunting image through the style of architecture. Moreover, the incorporation of regal and ornate architecture (for example, the many detailed roofs) combined with the absence of a strong natural surrounding environment further strengthens the imposing, grandeur disposition of Matsumoto Castle and converges all attention on the architecture. The wooden interior of Matsumoto Castle generates an authentic feel that sharply contrasts with the experience felt at many other castles that were rebuilt with ferro-concrete. Additional features of the castle’s interior include openings for archers, steep wooden stairs, openings to drop stones onto raiders, and an observation deck at the top floor of the main keep that provides a stunning view over the surrounding city.

Image by 柑橘類 (talk):
Image Licensing Information: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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Author: Zach McCrystal

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