The Donjon

Japanese Castles

Many different sorts of Castles are found in Japans history to date. The style of Castle The Lost Castle is modeled on  is the castle type built-in years 1500 and 1600 The Tsuyama Castle was built between 1603 and 1616. It is a hill-top Castle located close to the intersection of  the Yoshii river river and Miyagawa,  hill top high in a strategic position by a busy trading route.

The two rivers acts as barrier to the Castle as well as the moat on 3 sides, the Eastern side where the Miyagawa flows has no man-made moat. The water from Miyagawa is fed in to the moat at the Northern end and can be drained back in to Miyagawa in the south. The moat is of cause part of the defence of the Castle and is useful filled with water or empty. Bridges over the moat were sacrificial (destroyed in time of conflict)  or constructed as a draw bridge or a bridge that could fold away in some manner..

The one outstanding feature of a Japanese castle is it’s stone walls

Enormous  stone walls surrounded the castle all built without mortar, that made the walls a bit flexible,  said to have saved many a wall during frequent Japanese earthquakes. The walls are slightly concave  but straighten  up to almost upright at the top of the wall.  All stones are neatly laid however at times the middle of the wall  looks to be haphasardly constructed in contrast to the meticulous dovetail like corners.

Tsuyama castle has two main gates and a 3rd smaller gate as entry in to the castle. The smaller gate is in the North East corner and is protected by a steep  hillside and the Miyagawa, it is  like a back entry or maybe an escape route? The Main gate South and The West gate leads in to a maze of walk ways and gates to finally reach the keep or donjon. The donjon is the castles main building or tower.  Tsuyama Castle donjon  has 5 floors. However the castle is not just the main building it is made up of some 50 to 60 other buildings ranging from Yagura (storehouses) to dwellings for Samurai and other important people the higher in rank the closer the building is located to the main keep.

Soon after a castle was constructed townships formed close to the castle, townships that later became cities  like Tokyo, Osaka and of cause Tsuyama.

2 Comments on The Donjon

  • miyoko Solo says:
    27/01/2012 at 12:50 pm

    日本の岡山県津山市にあります津山公園にはかつて森忠政公が築城しました津山城がありました。1600年の関ヶ原の戦いに東軍の将として加勢したことによる恩賞で美作地方を得た森氏は、10年以上かけて鶴山といわれていた山ひとつをまるごと城の縄張りにして、地上5階地下1階の天守をはじめ、本丸、二の丸、三の丸の櫓を建て続けました。これは天守の内部を3Dで再現したものの、スナップショットです。

    Reply

  • Sam says:
    01/09/2012 at 9:18 am

    neat idea

    Reply

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