Usuki Castle (and walking for snacks)

Where's the beef?

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…

That’s a big front door! Those columns that frame the door are about 18″ square! Damn…

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.

As an added bonus, there are these marvelous views from the hilltop! I just love all the beautiful mountains that surround... all that other stuff.

Last but not least I leave you with some other interesting Usuki Castle Facts courtesy of “Japanese Castle Explorer.”  (the internet wins again!)

Timeline

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.

Historical recognition

Site Prefectural Historic Site
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This entry was posted in Community, 田舎暮らし, Family. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Usuki Castle (and walking for snacks)

  1. kenelwood says:

    Nice walk.

    Hey, I’ll be following your Integral Politics page with interest.

    Cheers,

    ken

    Like

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