Difference between revisions of "Turrets"

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==== Gosankai Yagura ====
===== Gosankai Yagura (御三階櫓) =====
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==== 2 Level Yagura (三重櫓) ====
==== 2 Level Yagura (二重櫓) ====
2 level yagura is the most typical yagura type and there are many surviving examples throughout the country. You see lots of unique shapes and uses for these yagura.  
2 level yagura is the most typical yagura type and there are many surviving examples throughout the country. You see lots of unique shapes and uses for these yagura.  

Latest revision as of 00:02, 30 October 2017

Turrets (Yagura) / 櫓

This is a subtype of Features

The Japanese term yagura literally means a storehouse (kura) for arrows (ya), but yagura were used to store all manner of weapons, food and supplies. Yagura were not just storehouses, but vital defensive platforms and lookout towers that were placed at strategic locations throughout the castle. Most corners of a bailey had a yagura, often called a sumi yagura (corner yagura). These corners provided a wide field of view and two sides for flanking fire. The corner yagura also protected the vulnerable corners of stone walls which were much easier to climb than the straight sheer sides.


You can sometimes guess what was stored in a yagura or its purpose from the name: Teppo Yagura (guns), Hata Yagura (flags), Yari Yagura (spears), Shio Yagura (salt), among many others. There were also other special function yagura such as Taiko Yagura which kept a drum to sound out the time, Tsukimi Yagura for viewing the moon, and Ido Yagura for housing a well. Sumi Yagura (corner yagura) often had special naming conventions too. They were named according to the 12 signs of the zodiac as placed on the face of a clock. So with north at 12 o'clock a northwest yagura was called Ushitora Yagura, a southeast yagura was Tatsumi Yagura, southwest was Hitsujisaru Yagura and Northwest was Inui Yagura.


Yagura were mostly built in the sotogata style, with the same characteristics of many main keep. Sotogata have a square base with each level a size smaller than the lower one. There are few extant yagura in the borogata style, but some examples are the Utoyagura at Kumamoto Castle and Nohara Yagura at Iyo Matsuyama Castle and the Fushimi Yagura at Fukuyama Castle. See the Main keep page for more details about these structure types.

Seiroyagura (井楼櫓)

Seiroyagura is one of the earlier forms of yagura. It is a simple structure made from wooden beams in a square. They were used as watchtowers in earlier castles and were erected on the battlefield to provide commanders with a better view.

Sakasai2.jpg Arato7.jpg Takane4.jpg

3 level yagura (三重櫓)

main keeps are basically really big yagura that evolved to 3 or more levels. Especially, in eastern Japan many castles built a large 3 level yagura in place of a main keep. Such main keep were also called gosankai yagura. The main keep of Hirosaki Castle and Marugame Castle are actually 3 level yagura. At Edo Castle, the 3 level Fujimi Yagura was used in place of the main keep after it burned down too.

Edo6.jpg Takamatsu1.jpg Fukuyama14.jpg Nagoya7.jpg Hikone9.jpg Hirosaki9.jpg

Gosankai Yagura (御三階櫓)

Hirosaki13.jpg Kakegawa3.jpg Shiroishi1.jpg Shirakawa9.jpg

2 Level Yagura (二重櫓)

2 level yagura is the most typical yagura type and there are many surviving examples throughout the country. You see lots of unique shapes and uses for these yagura.

Edo87.jpg Nijo4.jpg 150px Ozu48.jpg

1 level yagura

Hirayagura (平櫓)

This is the simplest yagura type. It's too short to be used as a lookout tower and not usually used as a sumiyagura. Hirayagura is most frequently used on the edge of an outer bailey like a sannomaru bailey that has no dirt walls. It is also frequently used as a connecting yagura to join gates, larger yagura or main keep.

Sakasai14.jpg Matsumoto7.jpg Bitchu9.jpg

Tamonyagura (多聞櫓)

Tamonyagura is a hirayagura that has been stretched out. It can be used in place of dirt walls atop moats and embankments. Tamonyagura are often found connected to corner sumiyagura or main keep. They can be used to store goods, but also function as a very strong defensive platform.

Hikone2.jpg Edo44.jpg Fukuoka8.jpg Himeji20.jpg

Castles with Turrets (Yagura)

  1. Aizu Wakamatsu Castle
  2. Akashi Castle
  3. Ako Castle
  4. Akozu Castle
  5. Amagajo
  6. Amagasaki Castle
  7. Aoyagi Castle
  8. Asuke Castle
  9. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
  10. Echizen Katsuyama Castle
  11. Echizen Ohno Castle
  12. Edo Castle
  13. Fujita Castle
  14. Fukuchiyama Castle
  15. Fukuyama Castle
  16. Funai Castle
  17. Fushimi Castle
  18. Gujo Hachiman Castle
  19. Haga Castle
  20. Hikone Castle
  21. Himeji Castle
  22. Hirado Castle
  23. Hirosaki Castle
  24. Hiroshima Castle
  25. Hitoyoshi Castle
  26. Hizen Kashima Castle
  27. Hotta no Saku
  28. Iga Ueno Castle
  29. Ikeda Castle
  30. Imabari Castle
  31. Ina Castle
  32. Innoshima Suigun castle
  33. Inuyama Castle
  34. Iwamura Castle
  35. Iyo Matsuyama Castle
  36. Izu Nagahama Castle
  37. Izushi Castle
  38. Kakegawa Castle
  39. Kameyama Castle
  40. Kaminoyama Castle
  41. Kanazawa Castle
  42. Kasama Castle
  43. Kikuchi Castle
  44. Kishiwada Castle
  45. Kochi Castle
  46. Kofu Castle
  47. Koiwatake Castle
  48. Kokura Castle
  49. Komoro Castle
  50. Koromo Castle
  51. Koyama Castle
  52. Kubota Castle
  53. Kumamoto Castle
  54. Kushima Castle
  55. Kuwana Castle
  56. Marugame Castle
  57. Matsue Castle
  58. Matsumae Castle
  59. Matsumoto Castle
  60. Matsushiro Castle
  61. Minakuchi Castle
  62. Nagoya Castle
  63. Nakatsu Castle
  64. Nihonmatsu Castle
  65. Nijo Castle
  66. Nishio Castle
  67. Numata Castle
  68. Odawara Castle
  69. Ogaki Castle
  70. Oguchi Castle
  71. Okayama Castle
  72. Omori Castle
  73. Osaka Castle
  74. Oshi Castle
  75. Otaki Castle
  76. Owari Ohno Castle
  77. Ozu Castle
  78. Sakasai Castle
  79. Sannohe Castle
  80. Sekiyado Castle
  81. Sendai Castle
  82. Shibata Castle
  83. Shimabara Castle
  84. Shirakawa Castle
  85. Shiroishi Castle
  86. Shiwa Castle
  87. Sonobe Castle
  88. Sunpu Castle
  89. Tahara Castle
  90. Takamatsu Castle
  91. Takane Castle
  92. Takasaki Castle
  93. Takashima Castle
  94. Takato Castle
  95. Tanabe Castle
  96. Tanaka Castle
  97. Tatsuno Castle
  98. Tatsuoka Castle
  99. Tojo Castle
  100. Tomioka Castle
  101. Toyama Castle
  102. Tsu Castle
  103. Tsuchiura Castle
  104. Tsuyama Castle
  105. Ueda Castle
  106. Usuki Castle
  107. Utsunomiya Castle
  108. Uwajima Castle
  109. Wakayama Castle
  110. Yamagata Castle
  111. Yamato Koriyama Castle
  112. Yoshida Castle
  113. Yoshinogari
  114. Zeze Castle
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