Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Matsumoto Castle

Now that I'm home, I can post pictures of my trip. Our first weekend in Nagano, we went to Matsumoto Castle.

The castle was built during the Eisho Era in the 1500's. Additional parts were added to the castle in the Tensho Era (1590). The castle was slated for demolition in the late 1800's. At that time, it was believed that relics of the past should be destroyed. Ryozo Ichikawa and others purchased the castle in an attempt to save it, but their efforts were not enough. Fortunately, Unari Kobayashi, a school teacher, formed an organization to preserve the donjon tower.

This model displayed in the museum shows a bit of what the area around Matsumoto Castle would have looked like at one time. Now, the city of Matsumoto takes up much of the space. The castle itself is still surrounded by the large moat. The koi inside are enormous, and apparently the white ones are very rare.

On display inside the castle itself and in the museum attached to the castle are several examples of samurai armour. Hum, looks familiar. Got to say it was a bit strange to go around a corner and look Darth Vader in the face.