Trenches

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Revision as of 08:14, 22 January 2020 by Eric (talk | contribs)

Trenches / 空堀

This is a subtype of Features

The term karabori Trenches in general covers a wide range of trench like fortifications around castles and may also be called trenches, ditches, empty moats, or dry moats in English. Karabori are dug to prevent attackers from easily entering or moving around a castle. There are also various subtypes depending on the location in the castle and orientation such as horizontal, vertical or across a mountain ridge. There are also subtypes depending on structure like unebori and shouji-bori. 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 Kitsune Castle
  22. Azumi Nagao Castle
  23. Azumi Nishimaki Castle
  24. Azumi Nishiyama Castle
  25. Azumi Ogiwara Castle
  26. Azumi Ogura Castle
  27. Azumi Oshino Castle
  28. Azumi Taya Castle
  29. Baba Yashiki
  30. Bingo Kouyama Castle
  31. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
  32. Bitchu Takamatsu Castle
  33. Chausudate
  34. Chigasaki Castle
  35. Chihaya Castle
  36. Chikuma Awaji Castle
  37. Chikuma Koya Castle
  38. Chikuma Kushiki Castle
  39. Chikuma Motoyama Castle
  40. Chikuma Osaka Castle
  41. Chikuma Takasu Castle
  42. Chikuma Takayama Castle
  43. Chikuma Takeda Castle
  44. Chikuma Tazawa Castle
  45. Chikuma Ueda Castle
  46. Chikuma Uenoyama Castle
  47. Chikuzen Sakata Castle
  48. Choujayama Castle
  49. Choujayashiki Yakata
  50. Dainenji Yakata
  51. Echizen Ohno Castle
  52. Egawa Fort
  53. Ema Yakata
  54. Fujihashi Castle (Tokyo)
  55. Fujita Castle
  56. Fukakusa Yakata
  57. Fukazawa Castle
  58. Fukuyo Castle
  59. Funaoka Castle
  60. Funaokayama Castle
  61. Funayama Castle
  62. Furuwatari Castle
  63. Futamata Castle
  64. Futoge Castle
  65. Futoh'yama Castle
  66. Ganjaku Castle
  67. Gassan Toda Castle
  68. Gifu Castle
  69. Gion Castle
  70. Gobara Castle
  71. Gokan Castle
  72. Haba Castle
  73. Hachigata Castle
  74. Hachikenchōja Castle
  75. Hachioji Castle
  76. Hagi Castle
  77. Hagikura Fort
  78. Haibara Castle
  79. Hakusan Castle
  80. Hamada Castle
  81. Hanamaki Castle
  82. Hanawa Castle
  83. Hanazono Castle
  84. Hanazono Mitake Castle
  85. Hanishina Terao Castle
  86. Haranomoto Castle
  87. Harima Hakusan Castle
  88. Hasedo Castle
  89. Hatakenaka Yakata
  90. Hatayama Castle
  91. Hatsuzawa Castle
  92. Hayaotoshi Castle
  93. Hayashikojo Castle
  94. Hayashiohjo Castle
  95. Hekirichi Jinya
  96. Hida Kojima Castle
  97. Hida Takayama Castle
  98. Hikaru Castle
  99. Hikobe Yashiki
  100. Hirai Castle
  101. Hirai Kanayama Castle
  102. Hirase Castle
  103. Hirase Kitano Castle
  104. Hisawa Castle
  105. Hishakuyama Castle
  106. Hitachi Yamagata Castle
  107. Hitachi Yorii Castle
  108. Hitachi Yoshida Castle
  109. Hiyama Castle
  110. Hojo Clan Residence
  111. Horigane Yakata
  112. Horikoshi Castle
  113. Houzouji Yakata
  114. Hyakusaiji Castle
  115. Ibuka Castle
  116. Ichinomiya Castle
  117. Igawa Castle
  118. Iida Castle
  119. Iida Fort
  120. Iinawa Castle
  121. Imai Castle
  122. Ina Akasu Castle
  123. Ina Inamura Castle
  124. Ina Joumura Castle
  125. Ina Kasuga Castle
  126. Ina Kitano Castle
  127. Ina Kiyomizu Castle
  128. Ina Koide Castle
  129. Ina Kokuro Castle
  130. Ina Konishi Castle
  131. Ina Korin Castle
  132. Ina Kurata Castle
  133. Ina Matsuo Castle
  134. Ina Matsushima Castle
  135. Ina Minowa Castle
  136. Ina Muraoka Castle
  137. Ina Nagayama Castle
  138. Ina Nakagome Castle
  139. Ina Ohkubo Castle
  140. Ina Omotegi Castle
  141. Ina Ryuugasaki Castle
  142. Ina Shimono Castle
  143. Ina Sokura Castle
  144. Ina Suganuma Castle
  145. Ina Suzuoka Castle
  146. Ina Takada Castle
  147. Ina Tanagi Castle
  148. Ina Yasuoka Castle
  149. Ina Yoshioka Castle
  150. Inamurafuru Castle
  151. Inuinofuru Castle
  152. Inukai Castle
  153. Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle
  154. Ishigami Castle
  155. Isobe Castle
  156. Itazuke Moated Settlement
  157. Itousakaue Fort
  158. Iwabitsu Castle
  159. Iwadono Castle
  160. Iwakiri Castle
  161. Iwamura Castle
  162. Izu Moriyama Castle
  163. Izu Nagahama Castle
  164. Izu Ohdairashin Castle
  165. Izumigashira Castle
  166. Jindaiji Castle
  167. Jofukuji Castle
  168. Joujou Castle
  169. Joumurafuru Castle
  170. Jounoue Fort
  171. Kaesa Castle
  172. Kamaenohaka Yakata
  173. Kamagatake Castle
  174. Kamimakifuru Castle
  175. Kamogatake Castle
  176. Kanaiyama Castle
  177. Kanao Yogaisan Castle
  178. Kanayama Castle
  179. Kanazawa Castle
  180. Kanegasaki Castle (Iwate)
  181. Kannonji Castle
  182. Karakai Castle
  183. Karasaki Castle
  184. Karasawayama Castle
  185. Karasuyama Castle
  186. Kariya Castle
  187. Kasama Castle
  188. Kasane Castle
  189. Kaseyama Castle
  190. Kashiwara Castle
  191. Kasugayama Castle
  192. Kasumi Castle
  193. Katsunuma Castle
  194. Katsunumashi Yakata
  195. Katsuyama Castle (Tsuru)
  196. Kawahara Castle
  197. Kawamura Castle
  198. Kazurayama Castle
  199. Kikkawa Motoharu Yakata
  200. Kirihara Castle
  201. Kiso Fukushima Castle
  202. Kita Kumai Castle
  203. Kitabatakeshi Yakata
  204. Kogane Castle
  205. Koike Fort
  206. Koiwatake Castle
  207. Kokokuji Castle
  208. Komaki Castle
  209. Komoro Castle
  210. Konosumiyama Castle
  211. Koori Nishiyama Castle
  212. Koriyama Castle (Hiroshima)
  213. Koshigoe Castle
  214. Kounomine Castle
  215. Kouzuke Niiya Castle
  216. Kouzuke Warabi Castle
  217. Koyama Castle
  218. Kozukue Castle
  219. Kubota Castle
  220. Kuma Castle
  221. Kumamoto Castle
  222. Kunohe Castle
  223. Kurita Castle
  224. Kurobane Castle
  225. Kuroi Castle
  226. Kururi Castle
  227. Kutsukake Castle
  228. Kuwabara Castle
  229. Maeda Battery
  230. Mamabe Castle
  231. Manago Castle
  232. Mariko Castle
  233. Masugatayama Castle
  234. Masuo Castle
  235. Matsudaira Castle
  236. Matsuida Castle
  237. Matsukura Castle
  238. Matsuo Castle
  239. Matsuyama Castle (Gunma)
  240. Matsuyama Castle (Saitama)
  241. Meiseireijin Fort
  242. Mikawa Terabe Castle
  243. Minagawa Castle
  244. Minami Kumai Castle
  245. Minami Majino Castle
  246. Minami Sakaide Castle
  247. Minamoto no Tsunemoto Yakata
  248. Minebata Castle
  249. Minochi Aiki Castle
  250. Minochi Katsurayama Castle
  251. Minochi Masugata Castle
  252. Minokubi Castle
  253. Minowa Castle
  254. Mito Castle
  255. Miyahara Castle
  256. Mizuban Castle
  257. Mizuki
  258. Mogusa Castle
  259. Morioka Castle
  260. Moriya Castle
  261. Moriyama Castle
  262. Moroto Castle
  263. Motosakura Castle
  264. Motosu Castle
  265. Mukaihaguroyama Castle
  266. Mumo Castle
  267. Murakami Hime Castle
  268. Murakami Iwasaki Castle
  269. Murakami Kamei Castle
  270. Murakami Katsurao Castle
  271. Murakami Kemurino Castle
  272. Murakami Kokuzousan Castle
  273. Murakami Monomi Castle
  274. Murakami Takatsuya Castle
  275. Murakami Torikoya Castle
  276. Murakami Tsumi Castle
  277. Murakami Wagou Castle
  278. Musashi Masugatayama Castle
  279. Musashi Tenjin'yama Castle
  280. Mutsu Iwasaki Castle
  281. Myougi Castle
  282. Nabekura Castle
  283. Naegi Castle
  284. Nagabayashi Fort
  285. Nagashino Castle
  286. Nagato Aoyama Castle
  287. Nagato Katsuyama Castle
  288. Nagoya Castle
  289. Nagurumi Castle
  290. Najima Castle
  291. Naka Castle
  292. Nakagaya Yakata
  293. Nakahara Yakata
  294. Nakasai Castle
  295. Nakatou Castle
  296. Namioka Castle
  297. Narisawa Castle
  298. Nasu Kanda Castle
  299. Nata Castle
  300. Negoya Castle
  301. Niitakayama Castle
  302. Nijo Castle (Tochigi)
  303. Nirayama Castle
  304. Nishijou Castle
  305. Nishikata Castle
  306. Nishina Castle
  307. Nochiseyama Castle
  308. Numata Castle
  309. Oba Castle
  310. Obata Castle
  311. Obata Jin'ya
  312. Obiki Castle
  313. Oda Castle
  314. Odaka Castle
  315. Odani Castle
  316. Odano Castle
  317. Odawara Castle
  318. Odoi
  319. Odori Castle
  320. Ogawa Castle
  321. Ogimachi Castle
  322. Ogoe Castle
  323. Oguchi Castle
  324. Ogura Castle
  325. Ogyu Castle
  326. Oh'eda Castle
  327. Oh'ide Castle
  328. Oh'idefuru Castle
  329. Oh'ikemurayama Castle
  330. Ohga Castle
  331. Ohguma Castle
  332. Ohkusa Castle
  333. Ohmine Castle
  334. Ohmori Castle
  335. Ohtawara Castle
  336. Oike Fort
  337. Okami Castle
  338. Okkoshi Castle
  339. Oko Castle
  340. Omi Castle
  341. Omifuru Castle
  342. Oniba Castle
  343. Oogo Castle
  344. Oohara Castle
  345. Oomizo Castle
  346. Ori Castle
  347. Osaka Castle (Ibaraki)
  348. Oumi Ogura Castle
  349. Owari Haguro Castle
  350. Owari Moriyama Castle
  351. Owari Ogawa Castle
  352. Owari Ohno Castle
  353. Rikan Castle
  354. Ryuusenji Castle
  355. Saimyouji Castle
  356. Sakasai Castle
  357. Sakata Castle
  358. Sakura Castle
  359. Sakurazakaue Fort
  360. Sanada Isezaki Castle
  361. Sanada Negoya Castle
  362. Sanada Palace
  363. Sanada Seba Castle
  364. Sanada Yazawa Castle
  365. Sanadahonjo Castle
  366. Sano Castle
  367. Sarashina Osaka Castle
  368. Sasao Castle
  369. Sasayama Castle
  370. Sashiki Castle
  371. Sasou Castle
  372. Sawayama Castle
  373. Seirin Fort
  374. Seiryuin
  375. Seiryuuji Yakata
  376. Sekinomori Castle
  377. Senpuku Castle
  378. Setagaya Castle
  379. Shakujii Castle
  380. Shigiyama Castle
  381. Shimizu Castle
  382. Shimomakifuru Castle
  383. Shimosaka Yakata
  384. Shimura Castle
  385. Shinano Chausuyama Castle
  386. Shingu Castle
  387. Shinpu Castle
  388. Shioda Castle
  389. Shiozaki Castle
  390. Shiozakishin Castle
  391. Shirasawa Fort
  392. Shishiku Castle
  393. Shiwa Castle
  394. Souma Nakamura Castle
  395. Suemori Castle
  396. Sugaya Yakata
  397. Sugiyama Castle
  398. Suwa Imori Castle
  399. Suwa Kami Castle
  400. Suwa Osaka Castle
  401. Suwa Owa Castle
  402. Suwa Sakura Castle
  403. Suwa Shimo Castle
  404. Suwa Takagi Castle
  405. Suwa Takei Castle
  406. Suwa Tezuka Castle
  407. Suwahara Castle
  408. Tagayashi Yakata
  409. Tage Castle
  410. Takagifuru Castle
  411. Takagiuchi Castle
  412. Takaharasuwa Castle
  413. Takahata Castle
  414. Takai Castle
  415. Takai Hakoyama Castle
  416. Takamifuru Castle
  417. Takanashi Yakata
  418. Takane Castle
  419. Takasaka Yakata
  420. Takatenjin Castle
  421. Takato Castle
  422. Takatome Castle
  423. Takatori Castle
  424. Takatsuki Castle (Tokyo)
  425. Takayama Castle (Hiroshima)
  426. Takayashikidate
  427. Takeda Castle
  428. Takei Castle
  429. Taki Castle
  430. Takiyama Castle
  431. Tamaru Castle
  432. Tanagura Castle
  433. Tanba Hachiman'yama Castle
  434. Tanba Kokuryou Castle
  435. Tanba Nomura Castle
  436. Tanba Tonbori Castle
  437. Tateyama Castle (Yamagata)
  438. Tatsuno Castle
  439. Tekozuka Castle
  440. Tenjin'yama Castle
  441. Tenjinyama Castle (Hiroshima)
  442. Tenpaku Castle
  443. Terao Chausuyama Castle
  444. Terao Naka Castle
  445. Teshiro Castle
  446. Toba Yakata
  447. Tobiyama Castle
  448. Todoroki Castle
  449. Toishi Castle
  450. Toishi Iizuna Castle
  451. Tokiwa Castle
  452. Tokoji Castle
  453. Tokura Castle
  454. Tonojima Castle
  455. Tonomi-no-saku
  456. Torigoe Castle
  457. Torinji Castle
  458. Tounohara Castle
  459. Tsukui Castle
  460. Tsumagi Castle
  461. Tsumago Castle
  462. Tsutsujigasaki Palace
  463. Tsuwano Castle
  464. Uchigoya Yakata
  465. Uda Matsuyama Castle
  466. Ueda Castle
  467. Uehara Castle
  468. Uenodan Castle
  469. Uenotaira Castle
  470. Uenoyama Castle
  471. Urizura Castle
  472. Ushiku Castle
  473. Usui Castle
  474. Usuida Shukuuchi Fort
  475. Wakimoto Castle
  476. Washi Castle
  477. Washio Castle
  478. Washizu Fort
  479. Yagi Castle
  480. Yamabe Castle
  481. Yamabukiko Castle
  482. Yamabukioh Castle
  483. Yamabukiyama Noroshidai
  484. Yamada Castle
  485. Yamagami Castle
  486. Yamagata Castle
  487. Yamana Castle
  488. Yamanaka Castle
  489. Yamazaki Castle
  490. Yamazaki Castle (Saitama)
  491. Yanagawa Castle
  492. Yanagizakaue Fort
  493. Yashiro Castle
  494. Yato Castle
  495. Yogaisan Castle
  496. Yoritomoyama Fort
  497. Yoshida Castle
  498. Yoshinogari
  499. Yoshinohori Yashiki
  500. Yoshinomachi Yakata
... further results
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