Himeji Castle: A National Treasure

Himeji Castle is commonly regarded as the most beautiful castle in all of Japan. Not only do its famous white walls and incredible 600-year history make it a national treasure, but it is also an official World Cultural Heritage Site.

Source: https://www.japan-guide.com/

Himeji Castle Fast Facts

Owner: Ministry of Education, Sports, Science & Technology

Management Organization: Himeji City

Height of the Main Keep: 91.9m above sea level

Weight of the Main Keep: 5,700 tons (estimated)

Number of Towers: 27

Number of Gates: 21

Number of Firing Holes (Sama): 997

Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/

A Dramatic History

1333 – Akamatsu Norimura raises an army by order of the Imperial Prince and constructs a fort on Hime-yama Hill.

1346 – Akamatsu Sadanori builds a large-scale castle on Hime-yama Hill.

1467 – The Onin War; The Kodera Clan of the Akamatsu family is assigned to Himeji Castle.

1581 – Hashiba Hideyoshi builds the 3-storied keep in Himeji Castle.

1600 – After the battle of Sekigahara, Ikeda Terumasa becomes the lord of Himeji Castle.

1609 – Ikeda Terumasa’s construction of the present-day 5-storied keep is completed.

1639-1749 – The castle domain is taken control of by a new family almost every 10 years.

1749 – Flooding causes major damage to the castle town.

1867Taiseihokan, return of political power to the Emperor.

1868 – Sakai Tadakuni, the last lord of the domain, proposes that the land and the people should be returned to the Emperor.

1871 – The Himeji domain is abolished and replaced by Himeji Prefecture, due to the abolition of the domain system in 1871.

1873 – A decision was made to preserve Himeji Castle under the Ordinance for Keeping and Disposal of Castles.

1889 – Himeji City is established.

1910 – “The Meiji Era Restoration” begins and is completed in 1911.

1931 – The main keep of Himeji Castle is designated as a National Treasure.

1945 – Air raids on Himeji; the castle miraculously survives.

1951 – The …continue reading