2015年5月21日 星期四

The Kumamoto Castle (熊本城)

The highlight of our visit to the capital of the Kumamoto Prefecture is the similarly named Kumamoto Castle (熊本城), whose history is intimately intertwined with the complicated fabric of Japanese history, especially those events associated with the modernization of Japan in the period of Japanese history called the  Meiji Inshin (Meiji Restoration) (明冶維新) (1868-1912), a movement for the radical reform and transformation of the economic, military, political and cultural structure of Japan and led to its rapid rise in power in East Asia, a movement which gave Japan victories first in the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-95 in which The Qing Government lost Taiwan and sovereignty over Korea to the Japanese, then in the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 in which Japan defeated Russia and took over its control of Dalien, Mukden and the Liaotung Peninsula and Manchuria, something which in turn led to the downfall of the  Qing Government in the 1911 Nationalist Revolution also the May 4th Movement in 1921.

Our first view of the famous hilltop castle erected on two high stone bases which taper up, shallower lower down and rising steeper and steeper until they become vertical at the top, an architectural style called teikakushiki nawabari (梯郭式縄張), which fortifies the castle entrance koguchi (虎口) by connecting several barriers called umadashi(馬出) along an axis rather than enclosing one within the other. Since umadashi usually consist of a walled barrier enclosing a space, the continuous series of barriers and spaces thus resemble the rungs of a ladder. 

During the pre-modern era before the opening of Japan by Commodore Perry of America in 1853-1856, the Kumamoto Castle was part of Higo no kun (Higo Province) (肥後国and was associated with 3 famous Japanese clans viz. the Katō Clan (加藤氏) (1588-1632) and the Hosokawa Clan (細川氏) (1632-1871) a Japanese samurai clan descended from the Seiwa Genji (清和源氏) a branch of the Minamoto-shi (Minamoto Clan) (源氏) originating from Minamoto no Tsunemoto (源経基) (894-961) which can be traced ultimately to Seiwa-tennō (Emperor Seiwa) (清和天皇) (850–878) himself, through the Ashikaga-shi (Ashikaga clan)(足利氏), a prominent Japanese samurai clan which ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573 and whose members established the Muromachi or Ashikaga Shogunate (military regency period) (室町/足利將軍攝政時代)(1336-1467) and wielded considerable power in the Sengoku period (戰國時代)(1467–1600) and the Edo period (江戸時代) or Tokugawa period (徳川時代) (1603-1868). 

The first emperor given the surname Minamoto was Emperor Saga, who reportedly had 49 children, resulting in a significant financial burden on the imperial household. To lighten such burden, he made many of his sons and daughters "nobles" instead of "royalty". He chose the word "minamoto" (meaning "origin") as their new surname to signify that all the various new clans shared the same "royal"  origins.It was in 814 that Emperor Saga (Saga-tennō)( (嵯峨天皇), (786 –842) Japan's 52nd Emperor, awarded the kabane (姓) Minamoto no Ason(源氏朝臣) to his non-heir sons; thereafter, they and their descendants ceased to be members of the Imperial Family. Emperor Seiwa (清和天皇) (850–878), Emperor Murakami (村上天皇)(926-967) Emperor Uda (宇多天皇)( 867-931) and Emperor Daigo (醍醐天皇) (884-930), among others, also gave their sons or daughters the name Minamoto. Such different  hereditary lines from different emperors developed into specific clans. After the relevant splits, the descendants are named after the relevant emperors, followed by the word Genji (源氏)  eg. Seiwa Genji (清和源氏).There were a total of 21 such branches of the original Minamoto clan, each named after the emperor from whom it descended.

The Minamotos were one of four great clans that dominated Japanese politics during the Heian jidai (Heian period) (平安時代)( 794 to 1185), often considered the peak of the Japanese imperial glory, noted for its art, especially poetry and literature. The other three were the Fujiwara's (藤原氏,)  the Taira's (平氏), and the Tachibana's (橘氏). Although the Imperial House of Japan had power on the surface, real power was wielded by the Fujiwara clan, a powerful aristocratic family which had intermarried with the imperial family. Many emperors actually had mothers from the Fujiwara family.

Within  the Minamoto line, it was the Seiwa Genji (清和源氏) line which was the most successful and powerful (descended from Emperor Seiwa, the father of Imperial Prince Sadazumi Shinnō(貞純親王) (873-916) who in turn was the father of Minamoto no Tsunemoto (源経基), founder of the Seiwa Genji.  It was Minamoto no Mitsunaka (912–997) who formed an alliance with the Fujiwara. His eldest son, Minamoto no Yorimitsu (948–1021), became the protégé of Fujiwara no Michinaga (藤原 道長) (966-1028). Thereafter the Fujiwara's frequently called upon the Minamoto to restore order in the capital, Heian-Kyo (or Kyoto.)  Another son, Minamoto no Yorinobu (源 頼信) (968-1048) helped to suppress the rebellion of Taira no Tadatsune(平 忠盛, )(1096-1153) in 1032. Yorinobu's own son, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi(源 頼義) (998-1075) and grandson, Minamoto no Yoshie( 源 義家)(1039-1106) pacified most of northeastern Japan between 1051 and 1087. It's  from the Seiwa Genji line that the later Ashikaga (足利氏) (founders of the Ashikaga Shogunate), Nitta (新田)and Takeda ( 武田氏,) clans came.

The Seiwa Genji's fortunes declined in the Hōgen Rebellion (
保元の乱, Hōgen no ran, July 28-August 16, 1156), when the Taira (氏) executed much of the line. During the Heiji Disturbance (平治の乱 Heiji no ran) (Jan.19-Feb 5 1160), the head of the Seiwa Genji clan, Minamoto no Yoshitomo (源 義朝) (1123-1160) died in battle. Taira no Kiyomori (平 清盛) (1118-1181) seized power in Kyoto by forging an alliance with the retired emperors Shirakawa (白河天皇) (1053-1129) and Toba(鳥羽天皇) (1103-1156) and infiltrating the kuge (公家) (court officials). He sent Minamoto no Yoritomo( 源 頼朝) (1147-1199), the third son of Minamoto no Yoshimoto of the Seiwa Genji, into exile. In 1180 Yoritomo (源 頼朝) mounted a full-scale rebellion against the Taira rule (the Genpei or the Taira-Minamoto War)(源平合戰,) (1180–1185) culminating in the destruction of the Taira and the subjugation of eastern Japan within five years. In 1192 he received the title shogun and set up the first bakufu  (幕府)..

For about a century after its founding, the Minamoto clan was divided in two rival branches, the Kantō Ashikaga, (
關東足利氏) who ruled from Kamakura (鐮倉), and the Kyōto Ashikaga (京都足利氏), rulers of Japan. The rivalry only ended with the defeat of the first in 1439. The clan had many notable branch clans, including the Hosokawa (細川氏,) Imagawa (今川氏, ), Hatakeyama (畠山氏)(after 1205), Kira (吉良氏), Shiba (斯波氏) and Hachisuka (蜂須賀氏) clans. After the head family of the Minamoto clan died out during the early Kamakura (鐮倉) period, the Ashikaga claimed themselves the head of the Minamoto's, co-opting the prestige which came with that name.A group of Shinto (神道,) or kami-no-michi shrines connected closely with the clan is known as the Three Genji Shrines(Genji San Jinja)(源氏三神社 ). The Minamoto Clan produced many famous warriors, including Minamoto no Yoshiie, known as "Hachiman-tarō"( God of War); Minamoto no Yoritomo (the founder of the Kamakura shogunate) and Ashikaga Takauji (founder of the Ashikaga shogunate) also belong to this line. Tokugawa Ieyasu( 徳川 家康) (1543 –1616) (founder of the Tokugawa shogunate) (徳川將軍攝政), also claimed descent from this lineage.

The Hosokawa (
細川氏) line of the larger Minamoto clan produced many prominent officials in the Ashikaga Shogunate's administration. In the Edo jidai period (江戸時代). The Hosokawa clan was also one of the largest landholding daimyo (大名) families in Japan. At present, the current clan head Morihiro Hosokawa ( 細川 護煕 ) (b. 1938)  served as Japan's 79th Prime Minister (1993 August-April 1994). The Hosokawa clan was also one of three families to dominate the post of Kanrei (管領) or Shogun's deputy, under the Ashikaga shogunate. One such individual was Hosokawa Yoriyuki (細川 頼之) (1329 –1392). At the beginning of the Ashikaga's rule, the Hosokawa were given control of the entirety of Shikoku(四國) or 4 provinces. Over the course of this period, members of the Hosokawa clan were Constables (shugo)(守) of Awa (阿波国), Awaji (淡路国), Bitchu (備中国), Izumi (和泉国)  Sanuki (讃岐国), Settsu (摂津国) Tamba ( 丹波国), Tosa (土佐国) and Yamashiro (山城国) Provinces.

The Minamoto royal line was also the subject of one of the most famous Japanese literary works viz. Tale of Genji (源氏物語 Genji monogatari), a classic of Japanese literature written by the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu (紫式部) (973/ 978 – c. 1014/1031) in the early years of the 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period (Heian jidai)(平安時代), is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel  still considered a classic. Notably, the novel also presents a unique picture of the livelihoods of high courtiers during the Heian period.

 The carpark in front of the Kumamoto Castle

Before entering the castle, we first passed through this beautiful pond.

View of the castle from one corner of the car park.

One of the castle keeps or watch towers

A closer view: the big windows can be closed. There are many smaller "arrow ports" for shooting arrows and after the military reform in the Meiji Restoration, for firing rifles at the them.  Along with the Himeji Castle (姫路城) and Matsumoto Castle (松本城) , the  Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the three premier castles in Japan. 

The main castle with its turrets

The entrance gate equipped with strong wooden pillars, girders and huge wooden doors

The library

All the fortification works on the donjon (castle keep) are concentrated on the south side because the main threat at the time came from the various clans from Satsuma Han (薩摩藩士族)  in the south western parts of Kyushu.

View of the castle towers from the side of its entrance

View of one of the two castle towers from the interior courtyard.

Another view of the two castle towers

The towers from a different angle

All around the castle are planted many gingko biloba trees (白果/ 銀杏) as food in case the castle should be under seige.

Many such trees are within the walls of the castle.

A view of the castle ground from the top of the main castle tower

One gets a better view of the layout of the castle here

From this photo, one also gets a fairly good idea of the size of the castle grounds

The Hosokawa Gyobu-tei, the former residence of the Higo daimyo. This traditional wooden mansion has a fine Japanese garden located on its grounds.

The adjacent garden

one of the outbuildings of the castle

From here, one gets a fairly good view of the city below its feet as the castle is built on a hilltop.

The entrance sign for Main Castle Tower

A brief introduction to the history of the castle

The entrance into the main castle

Corridor inside entrance into the main castle, now turned into museum.

Some of the original foundation stones

A plan of the castle and its ancillary buildings. There is a series of linked watch towers and turrets called " 天守」(literally "Sky Watch). The main tower has 6 storey plus a basement in 3 tiers called No. 1 Sky Watch「第一天守」, the smaller one has 4 storeys plus a basement in 3 tiers called  No.2 Sky Watch 第二天守」或「御上and is where the lady of the castle resides. 

Work on the previous castle on the same site first began in 1467 by Ideta Hidenobu,( 出田秀信)with more fortifications added in 1496.

In 1587, the fiefdom of the city was granted by Emperor Toyotomi Hideyoshi  (豊臣 秀吉) to Sasa Narimasa (佐々 成政) after the defeat of Shimazu (島津) and the following year, Kato Kiyomasa( 加藤清正) ( 1561-1611)  was given control of the predecessor to the present Kumamoto Castle. Kato began to enlarge and extend the castle from 1601 until 607 when the relevant works were completed, with a total of 49 turrets, 18 turret gates and 29 smaller gates and the castle had its name changed from 隈本
into 熊本城.

3 years later, the Honmaru Goten Palace( 本丸御殿) ( heart of the castle) was completed.

In 1632, the Fief of the Kumamoto was transferred to the Hosokawa Tadatoshi (細川忠利) of the Hosokawa Clan (細川氏).

But in 1877, half of the structures and the main tower of the castle were burnt down  as a result of a 53-day siege during the Seinan War (西南戰爭) or the Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori (西鄉隆盛) when  a large number of dispossessed and disgruntled former samurais revolted because their rice stipends were cut, their status reduced, their honor stripped, their right to carry the sword taken away and their role as warriors were replaced by the modernized Japanese army using Western methods of training, organization and firearms in place of the old style swords as part of the reforms carried out by the Meiji government.

It was during this time that the tradition of eating basashi (馬刺)(raw horse meat) originated. Even today, basashi remains popularin Kumamoto and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere in Japan, though these days it is usually considered a delicacy.

After the Satsuma Rebellion, the 3 tiered turrets (飯田丸三階櫓)  and the 5 tiered tower turrets (丸五階櫓) were demolished.

In 1884, a gun with empty shell was fired at the Kumamoto Castle at midday each day to signal the time, a practice which stopped only in 1941.

In 1933, 13 items in the architecture of the Kumamoto Castle were declared national historical heritage including the Utoyagura, the East, North Juuhachiken Yaguras, the Goken, the Gennoshin, the Juuyonken, the Shichiken Yaguras, the Hirayagura, the Kenmotsu , the Nagabei, the Tako, the Yonken Yaguras and the  Akazuno mon Gate.
(宇土櫓、監物櫓(長岡圖書預櫓)、平櫓、五間櫓、北十八間櫓、東十八間櫓、源之進櫓、四間櫓、十四間櫓、七間櫓、田子櫓各櫓、長塀 & 不開門)

In 1955 they became "designated historical heritage".
Tto celebrate the 350th anniversary of the building of the castle, the main tower was rebuilt but using concrete in the 1960's. .

In 1988, another major restoration of the castle began including working on the Nishiemaru Enclosure(西出丸) (West Exit Buildings) and the Minami Ote Yaguramon Gate(南櫓門) which began in 2001, completed 2002 and restoration of the gate below the 5-storey Iida Turret was completed 2005.

In 2004, the restoration of the Nishiemaru and Bygyomaru Enclosures were completed and in 2008, that on the Honmaru Goten Palace. So o
n April 20, 2008, a public ceremony was held to commemorate the same. 

A 1/10 scale model of the main castle tower of Kumamoto Castle

  A cross section plan of the 53-room castle palace on one of its sides requiring a total of 1570 tatamis to cover the floors of the hall.

This board shows the names of the successive owners of the castle

The carvings used as decoration in the castle in 1599

Old battle ships and the portray of a sea battle

The second castle of the Kumamoto was built at south west of 茶白山 Furushiro (隈本城) in 1496 by Kanokogi Jakushin (鹿子本寂心). This is his portrait.

A portrait of Sasa Narimasa
(佐々 成政, 1536 – 1588) whilst in the service of Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) a Japanese warrior and government official who overthrew the Ashijaga (Muromachi) shogunate (1338–1573) and ended a long period of feudal wars by unifying half of the provinces in Japan under his rule. .He was awarded the Toyama Castle (富山)  but was dispossesed by Hideyoshi  (豊臣 秀吉) in 1587 and sent to Higo and the following year was ordered to commit suicide by the Hideyoshi.

A portrait of Kato Kiyomasa (加藤清正) who established the present framework for Higo (now Kumamoto Prefecture and who made lasting contributions to trade, castle architecture and flood control in the Kumamoto area.

A portrait of Kato Tadashiro ((加藤忠広) who succeeded his father as lord of the castle but later banished.

A portrait of A portrait of Hosokawa Tadatoshi (細川忠利)

A portrait of A portrait of Hosokawa Shigekata (細川重賢) (1721-1785) 6th lord of Kumamoto,  noted for his reform of the Japanese criminal law, his successful financial reform of Kumamoto Domain, and for establishing Jishuukan Han school (藩校時習館) known for producing such noted scholars as Yokoi Shounan (横井 小楠) , Inoue Kowashi ( 井上 毅) appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary 1877, Chief Secretary to the House of Peers in 1881, adjunct Chief Librarian of the Imperial Household Ministry in 1884 , Director General of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau in 1888 , member of the Privy Council in 1890, and Minister of Education in the second Itō administration from 1893 and made a noble In 1895,with the title of shishaku (viscount) in the kazoku peerage system ) and Baron Kitasato Shibasaburō (北里 柴三郎 )(1853 – 1931) a Japanese physician and bacteriologist during the prewar period, known as the co-discoverer of the infectious agent of bubonic plague in Hong Kong in 1894, almost simultaneously with Alexandre Yersin.) and the Medical School Saishunkan (再春館) a Chinese medical school established in 1756  teaching  Chinese internal medicine, surgery (treatment of wounds), ophthalmology, pediatrics, gynecology, oral medicine, acupuncture and acupressure.

Portrait of Hayashi Oen (林桵園)(1797–1870), a Japanese samurai who became a doctor, military strategist, scholar, Shinto priest and xenophobic nationalism placing emphasis on the use of the ukehi ritual (宇氣比) in divination, calling it, "the most wonderous of all Shinto rites". the Gendōkan, which he founded in 1837 at Chiba Castle, advocating resistance to Western influence and trade, and recommended the expulsion of foreigners from Japan. In 1868. he  became a teacher at the Jishūkan,(自修館) and also worked as an advisor to Iwakura Tomomi (岩倉 具視) and died at the age of 73 in the home of his student Otaguro Tomoo (太田黒伴雄,) (1836-1876), Iwakura Tomomi (岩倉 具視) adapted his teachings to form the basis of the Shinpūren movement. (神風連運動) and wrote the opinion for reforming the imperial Court and became a chamberlain to Emperor Kōmei (孝明天皇 1831 – 1867) in 1854 and like other court nobles in Kyoto, he  was opposed the Tokugawa Shogunate's plans to end Japan's national isolation policy an to open Japan to foreign countries. When Hotta Masayoshi, (堀田 正睦,) (1810 –1864) a Rōjū (老中) (Elder statesman) of the Tokugawa government came to Kyoto to obtain imperial permission to sign the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (United States-Japan) in 1858, Iwakura gathered courtiers who opposed the treaty and attempted to hinder negotiations between the Shōgun and the Court. During the Seinan War (西南戰爭) in 1876, he led his followers to oppose the Meiji Government in the Shinpūren Rebellion. 

A portrait of Yokoi Shonan (橫井小楠) (1809 -1869); was a Bakumatsu and early Meiji Period scholar and political reformer in Japan who was a samurai born in Kumamoto

Weapons used in the castle 

Nails used in the former No. 2 Sky Watch Tower

Kato Kiyomasa built the Bungo Road which links Kumamoto with Tsurusaki Port in Bungo (now Oita) who planted many cedar trees to line the road during the Edo period.

A portrait of the original Kumamoto Castle from the south

The first rifles brought to Japan from the West in the 1500s used in Kumamoto

Taiko Drums struck to tell the time at the castle.

Tile used in 1599

The back of a Japanese armor with multiple iron plates used in Medieval Japan.

Spears used in the Kumamoto castle

Helmets designed by Lord Tadaoki Hosokawa (1565-1646) and used by him and fellow 

The breech loading rifles used in the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877 by the Meiji army

A control flag used by a Satsuma army squadron leader during the Satsuma Rebellion

Portable leather cushions for field use by the Commander of the 3rd Company, Shozo Matsumura to be attached to the waist or for sitting

A flier urging rebels to surrender during the Satsuma Rebellion 1877: saying those who surrender to the Meiji Government will be spared their lives.

Cannonball fragments from the Satsuma Rebellion

Scorched roof tiles and charred wood from the  Satsuma Rebellion

The ammunition pouch used by the Meiji army during the civil war

A breech loading rifle whose barrel is shortened for use by the cavalry

The tower in the evening sunlight

on the way back to the coach

One final look

The Castle lawn again

and the pond which used to be a moat

and back to the car park