Matsumotos Corner Vol.27

Japanese Castles
- The Traces of Warrior's Dreams -

Japan has over 20,000 castles or ruins, including small ones and ancient mountain castles. Of these, about 90 currently have a keep like the one in the picture. However, most of those magnificent towers and buildings were destroyed in wars or during the construction of modern Japan and have since been reconstructed or built with reference to those times.

The Osaka Castle’s keep in the photos is the third generation and was built about 90 years ago with reinforced concrete, based on old paintings and other references. Although the castle may not be exactly the same as when it was built, it still delights the eye with its unique stylistic beauty and ingenious walls, moats and surrounding buildings to prevent enemy incursions.
Besides their function as fortresses, many castles also served as residences for feudal lords and their vassals, sometimes with luxurious interiors and exteriors to demonstrate their authority. In Japan, 12 castles have retained their original keep, five are designated national treasures, and one is a World Heritage Site. They are still beautiful as they were in those days. If you are interested, check out the 100 fine castles in Japan.