|Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, Japan|
Imabari Castle Keep
|Built by||Tōdō Takatora|
Imabari Castle (今治城 Imabari-jō) is a Japanese castle in Imabari, Ehime, Japan. This castle is well known as one of the three Mizujiro, or "Castles on the sea", in Japan, along with Takamatsu Castle in Kagawa Prefecture and Nakatsu Castle in Ōita Prefecture.
This castle was constructed by Tōdō Takatora, a local daimyō. He collected superior knowledge and techniques for building castles from 1602 to 1604 in order to build his own castle. The original major castle to rule the area was Kokufu Castle located on the top of Mount Karako. However, Takatora thought the Kokufu Castle was not in the best place for the governance of the area, so he abolished the old castle and made a new one, Imabari Castle.
By the order of the Meiji Government, all of the buildings associated with the castle were destroyed. And land ownership was sold to local Shinto shrine. In 1980, the Imabari City government constructed the new donjon tower in the castle.
Imabari castle features a vast seawater moat, a high stone wall and a rare style of main gate. The moat averages 60 meters in length and is intended to neutralize arrows. Almost all parts of the high stone wall have remain unchanged since the Edo Period. The main gate, Kurogane Main Gate (鉄御門 Kurogane-gomon), is iron-plated and flanked by turrets.
State of Reconstruction
Imabari Castle has remained intact only regarding the walls and moat. The remaining buildings are reconstructions, mainly fabricated from concrete. The tenshu in particular, or keep, is a modern concrete construction, only imitating the outer appearance of the original. The interior is modern and not representative of the original design. It houses several exhibitions regarding weapons, armor, writings and castle photography. Its top floor serves as viewing point over the city. The tenshu also houses the city's natural science museum.
The Kurogane-gomon and Bugu-yagura turrets have been reconstructed also with interior and a small exhibition including a model and various videos explains their function and the castle's history. Further buildings include the Yamazato-yagura and Okane-yagura turrets, which are home to the antiquity museum and local art museum.
- Imabari Station of Yosan Line
- Imabari Port
- Imabari Castle (今治城前 Imabari-jō-mae) Bus Stop of Setouchi Bus Line
Media related to Imabari Castle at Wikimedia Commons
- "ぐるなび出張・観光お助けナビ -中津城-". Gourmet Navigator Incorporated. 2004.