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Wakayama Castle

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Structure, the history, charm of Wakayama Castle

Wakayama Castle is a castle (Flatland Mountain Castle) which was in current Ichibancho, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama of Japan.

This is a Castle of the Kishu feudal clan Kishu Tokugawas who is one of Three branch Tokugawa families. This Castle was built in Torafusu Mountain at an altitude of 48.9 m located in the center of Wakayama city and has a natural moat with the Kinokawa-River running through the north. Hideyoshi Toyotomi who subjugated the Kishu district in 1585 gave Hidenaga of the younger brother an order to construct this Castle. He appointed Takatora TODO who was an expert of the construction of a Castle Fushin bugyo (the Minister of Civil Engineering and Construction Office) and completed the building in one year.
 In 1586, Hidenaga gave 30000 koku to Shigeharu Kuwayama and appointed you jodai (castle keeper). Shigeharu adjusted the castle around Honmaru. In 1596, Shigeharu went into retirement, and Kazuharu of the grandchild inherited jodai (castle keeper) job. In 1600, Kazuharu Kuwayama who belonged to the east military was given 20000 koku in Kii Wakayama after the Battle of Sekigahara formally, but soon he was changed to the Yamato Shinjo feudal clan. Afterwards Yoshinaga Asano who similarly belonged to the East Military was given 376,000 koku by a meritorious service in war and became the Kishu feudal lord and entered to this Castle. Yoshinaga repaired thie Castle continuously, too. After that, Nagaakira renovated a earthen walls to a Stone Wall. In 1619, Asano became the Increase transfer in the Hiroshima feudal clan and was transferred. Yorinobu who is the tenth son of Ieyasu Tokugawa entered to this Castle with 555,000 koku and The Kishu Tokugawas Family was right established . Kishu Tokugawas family was called " Three branch Tokugawa families " with Owari and Mito and produced 8s General Yoshimune and 14s General Iemochi. In 1621, Yorinobu received silver "5 thousands kan" from Hidetada of the older brother and started the repair of this Castle and the expansion of the Castle Town. "The bluish rock ( chlorite-schist ) " made specially in Kishu is used a lot for a Wakayama Castle construction of a castle original stone wall. However, because this renovation was too large, it was enough to charge the rebellion from the shogunate.
In 1655, a fire breaks out from a vassal mansion. Ninomaru was burnt and disappeared. In 1813, Nishinomaru palace was reduced to ashes. In July, 1846, there is a thunderstorm, and the castle tower oar struck by lightning. A main building of Honmaru except the palace was reduced to ashes. The Castle Tower Rebuilding was prohibited in the Code of the Samurai at the time, but the rebuilding was admitted in particular by the family status called " Three branch Tokugawa families " and big and small Castle Towers were rebuilt in 1850. In 1871, it becomes the abandoned castle by " Abandoned Castle Law ".
The current Castle Tower was rebuilt in 1958.