Shiwa Castle was built in 803 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro. It was one of several josaku castles built in the Nara and Heian periods to pacify the Tohoku region. It took about 4000 soldiers one year to complete the castle. Shiwa Castle was the largest of these josaku castles. The immesne outer wall is 840 meters long. The outer moat beyond this wall was 930 meters long. It is also estimated that approximately 4000 soldiers and government officials lived within the castle. The war with the local Emishi peoples ended in 811. In 811 Shiwa Castle also suffered flood damage and was abandoned in favor of the recently completed Tokutan Castle.
This is a place I've very much wanted to visit since I first heard about it. It is a great faithful reconstruction of this ancient type of Japanese castle. The combination of the large tsuijibei walls, topped by these old style yagura is very impressive. I just wish we could go up inside the yagura or gate. There was great weather this day so I went to great lengths to get a couple good pictures with Mt. Iwate in the background.
|English Name||Shiwa Castle|
|Founder||Sakanoue no Tamuramaro|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||gates, turrets, trenches, walls|
|Access||Morioka Sta (Tohoku Main Line, 15 min taxi)|
|Location||Morioka, Iwate Prefecture|
|Coordinates||39° 41' 6", 141° 6' 22"|
|Visits||May 22, 2010|
|Added to Jcastle||2010|