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Kumamoto Castle
Kumamoto and surrounding
Architecture,  Castles, Fortresses, Towers
Castles, Fortresses, Towers

In the city of Kumamoto, there is one of the most famous and beautiful castles in Japan. It was built in the 17th century, passed through difficulties many times and became a symbol of the city, the pride of its residents and an example of amazing Japanese architecture.

The building of Kumamoto Castle started in 1467 when the first fortresses appeared there. They were expanded and enlarged many times, built up with new constructions and towers. The most large-scale construction works took place in 1601-1607. At that time, Kato Kiyomasa, the founder of the Higo-Kumamoto clan and one of the richest people of the country, made a decision to make an impregnable fortress for him and his family. The fortress was supposed to become a symbol of his wealth, courage and wisdom.

He hired the best masters to create that masterpiece. They worked hard for several years to build their best project. Kumamoto Castle turned out to be great. It was practically impregnable and seemed a bit scary from the outside. But from the inside, it was cozy and beautiful. The interior was designed with Japanese simplicity and restraint. But as far as the masters used natural materials, expensive stones and trees, luxury can be seen in every detail.

When the castle was finished, it caught the imagination of everyone who saw it: more than 100 impregnable high walls, 49 towers, 18 big and 29 small gates, numerous staircases between the rooms, parts of the citadel and some constructions. The castle looked like a tangled maze that could only be passed through by a person who knew the «map» of this place.

Several centuries ago, Kumamoto Castle was the main decoration of the city. Unfortunately, during a military uprising in 1877, the main building of the complex and most of the towers were burned. Later, in 1889, the castle suffered from a terrible earthquake. As a result, the rest of the buildings were also damaged, so only 13 constructions of the complex remained intact.

In the 1960s, Kumamoto Castle was recognized as an architectural value of the city and the country. It was decided to start the restoration works which lasted for many years. The process became more complicated due to an earthquake in Kumamoto in 2016. As a result, the restored buildings were damaged again. That amazing castle complex, which became a majestic museum, opened its doors to the public only in 2018.

Address: Kumamoto castle

Published by

Oksana Shmakova

All content and media files are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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