If you feel like strolling in a beautiful park on a sunny day, Kanazawa Castle Park would be one of the best choice.
You can also see the elegance of the Japanese wooden architect technologies here.
When did the castle exist?
Current Kanazawa Castle Park is the ruin of Kanazawa Castle.
In the Civil War period, in the premise of Kanazawa Castle there used to be a temple known as “Oyama Gobo”.
Oyama Gobo was build as an annex of Osaka Hongan-ji Temple and used as a base of Buddhist (Ikkoh sect) uprising.
After the uprising was suppressed by the war lord Oda Nobunaga, his retainer, Maeda Toshi’ie, who was assigned to rule the land, came to build Kanazawa Castle.
Unfortunately, the main tower was destroyed by lightning.
However, he did not intend to re-build it because he did not want to stir up Tokugawa’s hostility.
What we can currently see is a replica of the watchtower called “yagura” which was rebuilt in 2000.
It was built by the traditional wooden frame construction method which uses joints instead of hardware to utilize the merit of wood which has strong resilience against shocks.
The timber frame takes advantage of flexibility of the wood making the whole structure easily bend, absorb shocks and distribute it to other places. So it is strong against earthquakes.
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The construction of Kanazawa Castle started in the late Civil War period (1467-1615 A.D.)
In the Edo period when the people enjoy peaceful times, the castle was designed in hirajiro (flat) style on contrary of defensive yama-jiro (on-hill) style like Gifu Castle.
Thanks to the removal of main tower, the lord and his retainers were able to work smoothly.
Nowadays, the square is used by many citizens in Kanazawa for their activities and pasttime.
It is a warehouse to store utensils and dried rice. It is located south of Kanazawa Castle. In the Edo period, weapons also came to be accommodated.
3 remaining buildings in Kanazawa Castle Park
Lastly here, let me introduce 3 remaining buildings made from wood. They are called Hashizumemon-tsuzuki-Yagura, Gojikken-Nagaya, Hishi-Yagura.
You will see how deeply and elaborately the construction was build.
Those 3 buildings except Sanjikken-Nagaya in the park were re-constructed after 2000 with the traditional architectural method.
Hishi-yagura functioned as a watch tower. Hishi translates as rhombus and yagura as scaffold.
The building has 2 corners with 80 degrees of the internal angle and the other 2 corners with 100 degrees in order to keep good visibility.
The attached column is also rhomboidal.
It is a 2-story joint which connects Hishi-Yagura and Hashizumemon-tsuzuki-yagura. It also served as weapon storage.
Hashizumemon-tsuzuki-Yagura is a 3 story watch tower to keep an eye on Hashizumemon-masukata area.
I have introduced the charm of the traditional buildings in Kanazawa Castle Park. I hope you’ll like it.
See you next time!