Around 3:00pm the kids are accustomed to having a snack. Today I thought I would make them work a little for it, so we left the house and took a walk through the center of town, to one of its central features; Usuki Castle.
Now, in almost 15 years of coming to this town, I have never been to see the Castle (or should I say “Walled Park”). I have never really been here as a tourist, so for example, in a town famous for its many Temples and Shrines (you literally couldn’t throw a rock without hitting one), I have only been to the One Shrine and Two Temples, that my family are affiliated with. But that is going to change, because me and the kids have a new tradition. If they want a snack, they have to walk for it…
The “Daimon” or “Great Gate” pictured above was rebuilt in 2001. Inside the walls it is basically a big park where my ML and FL can sometimes be found playing “Ground Golf” with other retirees.
There is a stage for Noh, as well as a small shrine, a baseball field, walking trails, playground, vending machines, and a public restroom. Basically, just what you’d expect to find at a historic cultural and architectural landmark. To be honest though, it is a pretty nice park.
Last but not least I leave you with some other interesting Usuki Castle Facts courtesy of “Japanese Castle Explorer.” (the internet wins again!)
|1562||The castle was built by Ōtomo Sōrin. He moved his headquarters from Funai castle in the north.|
|1578||Sōrin converted to the christain faith & became known as Don Francisco.|
|1587||Sōrin died in a town located south-east call Tsukumi.|
|1600||Following the battle of Sekigahara, the Inaba clan were awarded the Usuki domain. In November, 20 hereditary retainers of the Inaba clan enter the castle. Then on December 25th, Inaba Sadamichi & his son entered the castle.|
|1644||The Tatami Turret was built sometime between 1644 & 1648.|
|1655||Repairs were made to the Main tower & its foundations.|
|1763||The Tatami Turret burnt down & was built in the following years.|
|1854||The Utonoguchimon wagi Turret was rebuilt. It had been known previously as the onteppo Gusuri Turret.|
|1873||The main tower & 31 turrets were torn down leaving just two buildings.|
|1877||With most defensive structures gone, it was no surprise that the castle fell within one day durring the Seinan Rebellion.|
|2001||The Daimon Gate was rebuilt.|
|Site||Prefectural Historic Site|