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Azuchi Castle

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Structure, the history, charm of Azuchi Castle

Azuchi Castle is a castle (Mountain Castle) which was in current Shimotoira, Azuchi-cho, Omihachiman-shi, Shiga of Japan.

This Castle was constructed in Azuchi Mountain by Nobunaga Oda and it had a large Castle Tower for the first time and was proud of a dignified appearance.
 This Castle is built in one basement and the ground six-storey, and the height of the castle tower is approximately 32 meters. It is supposed that it was a gorgeous Castle with the original design that there is not in a previous Castle. The purpose of building this castle was that it was convenient because it is also close to Kyoto which was the center base of Japan at that time rather than Gifu Castle, and transportation of Lake Biwa can also be used, plus it is located at a key hub from Hokuriku Highway to Kyoto It is estimated that "to prepare for Ikkouikki of Echizen, Kaga" or "Caution to Kenshin Uesugi" etc. The scale and appearance of the castle symbolized Tenka Fubu (world unification business of Nobunaga), and it was to inform people in a glance at first glance. Nobunaga lived at the Castle Tower at the mountaintop, and the family lived near Honmaru, too. In addition, it is said that the vassal lived in the hillside or the mansion of the Castle Town.
 Originally, the road inside the Castle is made by twisting as thin as possible to prevent enemy invasion, but the road from the Main Gate is 6 m wide and widely followed by a straight line of about 180 m. Furthermore, there are remarkably few well for the siege and facilities such as a passage along the bank around a castle and the stone-throwing spot, too. For these reasons, it is thought that this Castle was made with priority over political functions rather than as a military base. This castle built with a Total Stone Wall, and it was in the castle where a Castle Tower was made on the Stone Wall for the first time. The foundation technology cultivated here became the norm of the modern castle which was built in Japan one after another from the Azuchi Momoyama period to the early Edo period.
 In 1576, Nobunaga Oda settled Nagahide Niwa as a total magistrate of the Construction Bureau and starts construction of a Castle at the Azuchi Mountain where the branch castle of the Kannonji Castle of Oomi protection Rokkakus was. In May, 1579, Nobunaga moves to the finished Castle Tower. When Nobunaga was defeated by Honnoji-Temple Incident in 1582 by Mitsuhide, Katahide Gamo stayed within the castle as a Rusuiyaku (a person representing the master during his absence). He evacuated Nobunaga's wife and children etc from Azuchi Castle to Hino Castle of his strongholds. And, after a fight of Yamasaki, Castle Tower and Honmaru were destroyed by fire after the retreat of the Akechi military. After the Honnoji-Temple Incident, Ninomaru functioned for a while as a Castle of Oda, but because Hidetsugu Toyotomi of the adopted child of Hideyoshi constructed the Yahatayama Castle, it is said that this Castle was abandoned in 1585.
 Now the Stone Wall and the Castle Tower Trace Cornerstone and Soken-ji Temple three-story pagoda and the Deva gate left in this Castle convey the outward appearance at the time of the going in now.

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