Trenches

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Revision as of 17:40, 29 October 2017 by Eric (talk | contribs)

Trenches / 空堀

This is a subtype of Features

Trenches, ditches, empty moats, or dry moats are one type of earthworks that cover a wide range of trench like fortifications around castles. In flatland castles they are often similar in structure to water moats but without the water. Both water moats or dry trenches have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, it can be harder for intruders to hide in a dry moat and there no natural water sounds that might disguise entry. The slick clay sides of many castles in the Kanto region were especially slippery and difficult to climb. I have had a difficult time even in hiking boots getting up only slight slope where there is no grass for traction. On the other hand, water moats, where feasible, can be a good psychological deterrent. Attackers don't know how deep they are or what is underneath. A wet intruder will likely leave a trail and they will need to expend more energy to get across.

When you see photos or visit these locations yourself you may think that these trenches are shallow and would not be much of a deterrent but keep in mind that they have filled with leaves and dirt and have been eroded significantly over the last 400 years. What is now a meter or less deep may have been two or three times that deep at one time.

Some terms related to trenches that you may see include:


Horikiri (堀切)

This is a deep trench cut across a mountain ridge to impede attackers from easily climbing the ridge. You see a lot of these on the path to mountaintop castles and it's usually the first sign that you've entered a castle. Unless there are signs to point them out or you are familiar with seeing horikiri you might not notice them at all. But, if you think about it, such a sudden steep dip in a ridge is very unnatural.

Kuma4.jpg Washio26.jpg


Yokobori (横堀)

A horizontal trench across a slope or mountain. It can also provide an easier route for defenders to cross a slope.

Koshigoe9.jpg Iwabitsu33.jpg


Tatebori (竪堀)

A vertical trench running down a slope. It can be used to impede attackers from easily crossing a slope and can force them into a kill zone.

Iwabitsu34.jpg Haibara16.jpg


Unejotatebori (畝状竪堀)

Several parallel tatebori across one slope on a mountaintop castle. They may be difficult to see if the are on a steep side of the castle that you cannot get to.

Jofukuji26.jpg Kuma23.jpg


Shojibori (障子堀)

A wider trench with square depressions carved out. It forces attackers to either walk the narrow ridges and be easily fired upon or scale up and down the slick clay walls putting them in vulnerable positions and using a lot of physical energy. These are often attributed to the Hojo but the Hideyoshi's Osaka Castle had great shojibori too. Unfortunately you can not longer see them. The only really good shojibori you can see today are at Yamanaka Castle in Shizuoka but many more have been excavated and reburied over the years.

Yamanaka7.jpg Yamanaka8.jpg


Unebori (畝堀)

A trench with ridges across them. This is similar in design to the shojibori but instead of a "waffle" like design it is only a single row of dugout depressions.

Kawamura3.jpg Kawamura9.jpg


Empty Moats (空堀)

These are the moats you are more likely to see at flatland castles. They are similar in size and shape to water moats but without the water.

150px Sakura2.jpg Osaka22.jpg

Castles with Trenches

  1. Aizu Odayama Castle
  2. Akagi Kita Castle
  3. Akagi Minami Castle
  4. Akatsuka Castle
  5. Akizuki Castle
  6. Akutagawasan Castle
  7. Ansho Castle
  8. Aoyagi Castle
  9. Aoyama Castle
  10. Aragaito Fort
  11. Arashi Castle
  12. Arikoyama Castle
  13. Aruga Castle
  14. Asaba Castle
  15. Asahi Castle
  16. Ashigara Castle
  17. Asonuma Castle
  18. Asuke Castle
  19. Azuchi Castle
  20. Azumi Kameyama Castle
  21. Azumi Nishimaki Castle
  22. Azumi Nishiyama Castle
  23. Azumi Taya Castle
  24. Baba Yashiki
  25. Bingo Kouyama Castle
  26. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
  27. Bitchu Takamatsu Castle
  28. Chigasaki Castle
  29. Chihaya Castle
  30. Chikuma Awaji Castle
  31. Chikuma Kushiki Castle
  32. Chikuma Osaka Castle
  33. Chikuma Takasu Castle
  34. Chikuma Takayama Castle
  35. Chikuma Takeda Castle
  36. Chikuma Ueda Castle
  37. Chikuma Uenoyama Castle
  38. Chikuzen Sakata Castle
  39. Chojayama Castle
  40. Choujayashiki Yakata
  41. Dainenji Yakata
  42. Echizen Ohno Castle
  43. Ema Yakata
  44. Fujihashi Castle (Tokyo)
  45. Fujita Castle
  46. Fukazawa Castle
  47. Fukuyo Castle
  48. Funaoka Castle
  49. Funaokayama Castle
  50. Funayama Castle
  51. Furuwatari Castle
  52. Futamata Castle
  53. Futoge Castle
  54. Futohyama Castle
  55. Ganjaku Castle
  56. Gassan Toda Castle
  57. Gifu Castle
  58. Gion Castle
  59. Gobara Castle
  60. Gokan Castle
  61. Haba Castle
  62. Hachigata Castle
  63. Hachikenchōja Castle
  64. Hachioji Castle
  65. Hagi Castle
  66. Hagikura Fort
  67. Haibara Castle
  68. Hakusan Castle
  69. Hakusan Castle (Harima)
  70. Hamada Castle
  71. Hanamaki Castle
  72. Hanawa Castle
  73. Hanazono Castle
  74. Hanazono Mitake Castle
  75. Hanishina Terao Castle
  76. Haranomoto Castle
  77. Hasedo Castle
  78. Hatakenaka Yakata
  79. Hatayama Castle
  80. Hatsuzawa Castle
  81. Hayaotoshi Castle
  82. Hayashikojo Castle
  83. Hayashiohjo Castle
  84. Hekirichi Jinya
  85. Hida Kojima Castle
  86. Hikobe Yashiki
  87. Hirai Castle
  88. Hirai Kanayama Castle
  89. Hirase Castle
  90. Hisawa Castle
  91. Hishakuyama Castle
  92. Hitachi Yorii Castle
  93. Horigane Yakata
  94. Houzouji Yakata
  95. Hyakusaiji Castle
  96. Ibuka Castle
  97. Ichinomiya Castle
  98. Igawa Castle
  99. Iida Castle
  100. Iida Fort
  101. Iinawa Castle
  102. Imai Castle
  103. Ina Akasu Castle
  104. Ina Inamura Castle
  105. Ina Joumura Castle
  106. Ina Kasuga Castle
  107. Ina Kitano Castle
  108. Ina Kiyomizu Castle
  109. Ina Koide Castle
  110. Ina Kokuro Castle
  111. Ina Korin Castle
  112. Ina Kurata Castle
  113. Ina Matsuo Castle
  114. Ina Matsushima Castle
  115. Ina Minowa Castle
  116. Ina Muraoka Castle
  117. Ina Nakagome Castle
  118. Ina Ohkubo Castle
  119. Ina Omotegi Castle
  120. Ina Shimono Castle
  121. Ina Sokura Castle
  122. Ina Suganuma Castle
  123. Ina Suzuoka Castle
  124. Ina Takada Castle
  125. Ina Tanagi Castle
  126. Ina Yasuoka Castle
  127. Inamurafuru Castle
  128. Inuinofuru Castle
  129. Inukai Castle
  130. Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle
  131. Ishigami Castle
  132. Isobe Castle
  133. Itazuke Moated Settlement
  134. Itousakaue Fort
  135. Iwabitsu Castle
  136. Iwadono Castle
  137. Iwamura Castle
  138. Izu Nagahama Castle
  139. Jindaiji Castle
  140. Jofukuji Castle
  141. Joujou Castle
  142. Joumurafuru Castle
  143. Jounoue Fort
  144. Kamaenohaka Yakata
  145. Kamimakifuru Castle
  146. Kanaiyama Castle
  147. Kanao Yogaisan Castle
  148. Kanayama Castle
  149. Kanazawa Castle
  150. Kanegasaki Castle (Iwate)
  151. Kannonji Castle
  152. Karakai Castle
  153. Karasawayama Castle
  154. Karasuyama Castle
  155. Kariya Castle
  156. Kasama Castle
  157. Kasane Castle
  158. Kaseyama Castle
  159. Kashiwara Castle
  160. Kasugayama Castle
  161. Kasumi Castle
  162. Katsunuma Castle
  163. Katsunumashi Yakata
  164. Katsuyama Castle (Tsuru)
  165. Kawahara Castle
  166. Kawamura Castle
  167. Kazurayama Castle
  168. Kikkawa Motoharu Yakata
  169. Kirihara Castle
  170. Kita Kumai Castle
  171. Kitabatakeshi Yakata
  172. Kogane Castle
  173. Koike Fort
  174. Koiwatake Castle
  175. Kokokuji Castle
  176. Komaki Castle
  177. Komoro Castle
  178. Konomine Castle
  179. Konosumiyama Castle
  180. Koriyama Castle (Hiroshima)
  181. Koshigoe Castle
  182. Koyama Castle
  183. Kozukue Castle
  184. Kubota Castle
  185. Kuma Castle
  186. Kumamoto Castle
  187. Kunohe Castle
  188. Kurita Castle
  189. Kurobane Castle
  190. Kuroi Castle
  191. Kururi Castle
  192. Kutsukake Castle
  193. Kuwabara Castle
  194. Mamabe Castle
  195. Manago Castle
  196. Mariko Castle
  197. Masugatayama Castle
  198. Masuo Castle
  199. Matsudaira Castle
  200. Matsuida Castle
  201. Matsukura Castle
  202. Matsuo Castle
  203. Matsuyama Castle (Gunma)
  204. Matsuyama Castle (Saitama)
  205. Minagawa Castle
  206. Minami Kumai Castle
  207. Minami Majino Castle
  208. Minami Sakaide Castle
  209. Minamoto no Tsunemoto Yakata
  210. Minochi Aiki Castle
  211. Minochi Masugata Castle
  212. Minokubi Castle
  213. Minowa Castle
  214. Mito Castle
  215. Miyahara Castle
  216. Mizuban Castle
  217. Mizuki
  218. Mogusa Castle
  219. Morioka Castle
  220. Moriya Castle
  221. Moriyama Castle
  222. Moroto Castle
  223. Motosakura Castle
  224. Motosu Castle
  225. Mukaihaguroyama Castle
  226. Mumo Castle
  227. Musashi Masugatayama Castle
  228. Mutsu Iwasaki Castle
  229. Myogi Castle
  230. Nabekura Castle
  231. Naegi Castle
  232. Nagabayashi Fort
  233. Nagashino Castle
  234. Nagoya Castle
  235. Nagurumi Castle
  236. Najima Castle
  237. Naka Castle
  238. Nakagaya Yakata
  239. Nakahara Yakata
  240. Nakasai Castle
  241. Nakatou Castle
  242. Narisawa Castle
  243. Nasu Kanda Castle
  244. Nata Castle
  245. Negoya Castle
  246. Niitakayama Castle
  247. Nijo Castle (Tochigi)
  248. Nirayama Castle
  249. Nishijo Castle
  250. Nishikata Castle
  251. Nishina Castle
  252. Nochiseyama Castle
  253. Numata Castle
  254. Oba Castle
  255. Obata Castle
  256. Obata Jin'ya
  257. Obiki Castle
  258. Oda Castle
  259. Odaka Castle
  260. Odani Castle
  261. Odano Castle
  262. Odawara Castle
  263. Odoi
  264. Odori Castle
  265. Oeda Castle
  266. Ogawa Castle
  267. Ogimachi Castle
  268. Ogoe Castle
  269. Oguchi Castle
  270. Ogura Castle
  271. Ogyu Castle
  272. Oh'ide Castle
  273. Oh'idefuru Castle
  274. Ohguma Castle
  275. Ohikemurayama Castle
  276. Ohkusa Castle
  277. Ohmine Castle
  278. Oike Fort
  279. Okami Castle
  280. Okkoshi Castle
  281. Oko Castle
  282. Omori Castle
  283. Oniba Castle
  284. Oogo Castle
  285. Oohara Castle
  286. Oomizo Castle
  287. Ori Castle
  288. Osaka Castle (Ibaraki)
  289. Otawara Castle
  290. Owari Haguro Castle
  291. Owari Ohno Castle
  292. Rikan Castle
  293. Ryusenji Castle
  294. Saimyoji Castle
  295. Sakasai Castle
  296. Sakata Castle
  297. Sakura Castle
  298. Sakurazakaue Fort
  299. Sanada Palace
  300. Sanadahonjo Castle
  301. Sano Castle
  302. Sarashina Osaka Castle
  303. Sasao Castle
  304. Sasayama Castle
  305. Sashiki Castle
  306. Sasou Castle
  307. Sawayama Castle
  308. Seirin Fort
  309. Seiryuin
  310. Seiryuji Yakata
  311. Sekinomori Castle
  312. Senpuku Castle
  313. Setagaya Castle
  314. Shakujii Castle
  315. Shigiyama Castle
  316. Shimizu Castle
  317. Shimomakifuru Castle
  318. Shimosaka Yakata
  319. Shimura Castle
  320. Shinano Chausuyama Castle
  321. Shingu Castle
  322. Shinpu Castle
  323. Shiozaki Castle
  324. Shiozakishin Castle
  325. Shishiku Castle
  326. Shiwa Castle
  327. Soma Nakamura Castle
  328. Sugaya Yakata
  329. Sugiyama Castle
  330. Suwa Imori Castle
  331. Suwa Kami Castle
  332. Suwa Osaka Castle
  333. Suwa Owa Castle
  334. Suwa Sakura Castle
  335. Suwa Shimo Castle
  336. Suwa Takagi Castle
  337. Suwa Takei Castle
  338. Suwa Tezuka Castle
  339. Suwahara Castle
  340. Tage Castle
  341. Takagifuru Castle
  342. Takagiuchi Castle
  343. Takaharasuwa Castle
  344. Takahata Castle
  345. Takai Castle
  346. Takamifuru Castle
  347. Takane Castle
  348. Takasaka Yakata
  349. Takatenjin Castle
  350. Takato Castle
  351. Takatome Castle
  352. Takatori Castle
  353. Takatsuki Castle (Tokyo)
  354. Takayama Castle (Gifu)
  355. Takayama Castle (Hiroshima)
  356. Takeda Castle
  357. Takei Castle
  358. Taki Castle
  359. Takiyama Castle
  360. Tamaru Castle
  361. Tanagura Castle
  362. Tateyama Castle (Yamagata)
  363. Tatsuno Castle
  364. Tenjinyama Castle
  365. Tenjinyama Castle (Hiroshima)
  366. Tenpaku Castle
  367. Terao Chausuyama Castle
  368. Terao Naka Castle
  369. Toba Yakata
  370. Tobiyama Castle
  371. Todoroki Castle
  372. Toishi Castle
  373. Tokiwa Castle
  374. Tokura Castle
  375. Tonojima Castle
  376. Tonomi-no-saku
  377. Torigoe Castle
  378. Torinji Castle
  379. Tsukui Castle
  380. Tsumagi Castle
  381. Tsumago Castle
  382. Tsutsujigasaki Palace
  383. Tsuwano Castle
  384. Uda Matsuyama Castle
  385. Ueda Castle
  386. Uehara Castle
  387. Uenotaira Castle
  388. Urizura Castle
  389. Ushiku Castle
  390. Usui Castle
  391. Usuida Shukuuchi Fort
  392. Washi Castle
  393. Washio Castle
  394. Washizu Fort
  395. Yagi Castle
  396. Yamabe Castle
  397. Yamabukiko Castle
  398. Yamabukioh Castle
  399. Yamada Castle
  400. Yamagami Castle
  401. Yamagata Castle
  402. Yamagata Castle (Hitachi)
  403. Yamana Castle
  404. Yamanaka Castle
  405. Yamazaki Castle
  406. Yamazaki Castle (Saitama)
  407. Yanagawa Castle
  408. Yanagizakaue Fort
  409. Yato Castle
  410. Yogaisan Castle
  411. Yoshida Castle
  412. Yoshida Castle (Ibaraki)
  413. Yoshinogari
  414. Yoshinohori Yashiki
  415. Yoshinomachi Yakata
  416. Yumurayama Castle
  417. Yunagaya Jin'ya
  418. Yuzawa Castle
  419. Yuzuki Castle
  420. Zen Castle
  421. Zeze Castle
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