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Okayama Castle

【 Chugoku 】 area


Structure, the history, charm of Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle is a castle (Flatland Mountain Castle) which was in Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama of Japan.

Because Ukita who extended power to Mimasaka and the eastern part of Bicchu based on this castle, the basics of castle were born in The Sengoku period in the early modern times, and maintenance and expansion were performed afterwards by Kobayakawa and Ikeda. It becomes "Teikakushiki", and it is in a castle on a hill where three steps of castle placement spreads only through one western. In other words, it is the territory where the defense is very light in the east without Kuruwa from the north of Honmaru. Therefore it changed a duct of Asahikawa River, and it is told the preparation of the east side to have used it as a natural moat. A clapboard of the black lacquer coat was characteristic, and the appearance was called "a Crow Castle" from this impression.
 It is written to "Bizen Gunki (the Bizen account of war)" that Takanao Kazuwa of the whole families of vassal of merit Nawa of the Southern Courts built the " Ishiyama Castle " in the Ishiyamadai district during from 1346 to 1369. In 1570, Naoie Ukita murdered Munetaka Kanamitsu and ruled over this district. In 1573, Naoie entered Ishiyama Castle from Kameyama Castle which was the former residence Castle, and made Castle remodeling and Castle Town formation. It is estimated that the recent Ishiyama Castle was "Renkaku-shiki" which the territory lies across in the east and west Naoie changed the "Saukoku Highway" passing through the northern mountains to the south of this Castle and led it to the Castle Town. In 1581, Naoie died in Ishiyama Castle.
 Hideie Ukita who was a child of Naoie almost succeeded to a territory of father under the Toyotomi Administration, and he became to Big Daimyou of 574,000koku. He performed fundamental reconstruction for eight years from 1590 through 1597 to assume it a castle suitable for this and fixed the appearance as "Okayama Castle" as in the Early Modern Times. In 1600, Hideie who became the main force of the West Military of the Battle of Sekigahara was defeated to fight, and it was an exile to Hachijojima, and the Ukitas was attainting. On behalf of it, Hideaki Kobayakawa entered to the Okayama Castle as a feudal lord of Bizen Mimasaka 520,000koku. Hideaki widened Honmaru and dug the Outside Moat outside of Sannomaru and extended the Castle Town. In 1602, Hideaki suddenly died. The Kobayakawa family died out because there was no successor.
 IN 1603, Bizen 280,000koku were given to the second son Tadatsugu of Terumasa Ikeda of Himeji lord of a castle , but because he was still young so his elder brother Toshitaka took charge of political affairs. Tadatsugu entered to Okayama Castle in 1613, but died in 1615. In 1615, Tadakatsu which was a younger brother of Tadatsugu entered this Castle in 315,000koku from Sumoto feudal clan of Awajishima. Tadakatsu largely expanded Honmaru towards the north side to assume it a Castle appropriate to the formality of the Shogunate and added it to the Palace and built the Study newly. In 1632, Mitsunaka who is a child of Tadakatsu transfer to Tottori, On behalf of it, Mitsumasa Ikeda entered to this Castle in 315,000koku from Tottori. In 1687, Tsunamasa Ikeda which is a child of Mitsumasa begins landscape gardening of "Koraku-en Garden" which is a famous garden of the world and, took time of 14 years and completed it. After this, the Ikedas continues as the Okayama lord of a castle until the Meiji era.
 In 1873, an Abandoned Castle Law was given, and the demolition of the building was carried out sequentially.