Trenches

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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.Property "Glossary-Definition" (as page type) with input value "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." contains invalid characters or is incomplete and therefore can cause unexpected results during a query or annotation process. 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.

Nagoya11.jpg Sakura2.jpg Osaka22.jpg

Castles with Trenches
  1. Aida Iwabuchi Castle
  2. Aizu Odayama Castle
  3. Akagi Kita Castle
  4. Akagi Minami Castle
  5. Akatsuka Castle
  6. Akechi Osayama Castle
  7. Akizuki Castle
  8. Akutagawasan Castle
  9. Ametoya Castle
  10. Ansho Castle
  11. Aoyagi Castle
  12. Aoyama Castle
  13. Aragaito Fort
  14. Arashi Castle
  15. Aratoshou Castle
  16. Arikoyama Castle
  17. Aruga Castle
  18. Asaba Castle
  19. Asahiyama Castle
  20. Ashigara Castle
  21. Asonuma Castle
  22. Asuke Castle
  23. Azuchi Castle
  24. Azumi Aoki Castle
  25. Azumi Futatsugi Castle
  26. Azumi Iwahara Castle
  27. Azumi Kameyama Castle
  28. Azumi Kibune Castle
  29. Azumi Kitsune Castle
  30. Azumi Mondo Castle
  31. Azumi Nagao Castle
  32. Azumi Nishimaki Castle
  33. Azumi Nishiyama Castle
  34. Azumi Ogiwara Castle
  35. Azumi Ogura Castle
  36. Azumi Oshino Castle
  37. Azumi Shibutami Castle
  38. Azumi Takisawa Castle
  39. Azumi Tanoiri Castle
  40. Azumi Taya Castle
  41. Baba Yashiki
  42. Bingo Kouyama Castle
  43. Bitchu Kanmuriyama Castle
  44. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
  45. Bitchu Takamatsu Castle
  46. Chausudate
  47. Chigasaki Castle
  48. Chihaya Castle
  49. Chiisagata Komaki Castle
  50. Chiisagata Komakikamino Castle
  51. Chiisagata Nakano Castle
  52. Chiisagata Nakao Castle
  53. Chiisagata Yashima Castle
  54. Chikatou Fort
  55. Chikuma Asahi Castle
  56. Chikuma Asaka Castle
  57. Chikuma Awaji Castle
  58. Chikuma Higashijou Castle
  59. Chikuma Hime Castle
  60. Chikuma Kakiage Castle
  61. Chikuma Koya Castle
  62. Chikuma Kushiki Castle
  63. Chikuma Moto Castle
  64. Chikuma Motoyama Castle
  65. Chikuma Narukami Castle
  66. Chikuma Nishijou Castle
  67. Chikuma Osaka Castle
  68. Chikuma Saruga Castle
  69. Chikuma Sasaga Castle
  70. Chikuma Sasano Castle
  71. Chikuma Sasazawa Castle
  72. Chikuma Takasu Castle
  73. Chikuma Takayama Castle
  74. Chikuma Takeda Castle
  75. Chikuma Tazawa Castle
  76. Chikuma Ueda Castle
  77. Chikuma Uenoyama Castle
  78. Chikuma Yagura Castle
  79. Chikuma Yamazaki Fort
  80. Chikuzen Sakata Castle
  81. Choujayama Castle
  82. Choujayashiki Yakata
  83. Dainenji Yakata
  84. Deura Castle
  85. Echi Aoyama Castle
  86. Echi Hatada Castle
  87. Echi Hida Castle
  88. Echi Imoto Castle
  89. Echi Kamigishimoto Castle
  90. Echi Kitabodaiji Castle
  91. Echi Nakato Castle
  92. Echi Ogura Castle
  93. Echi Shimozato Castle
  94. Echi Yamori Castle
  95. Echigo Kanayama Castle
  96. Echigo Katsuyama Castle
  97. Echigo Kiyosaki Castle
  98. Echigo Matsudai Castle
  99. Echizen Ohno Castle
  100. Egawa Fort
  101. Ema Yakata
  102. Enryakuji Higashitani Fort
  103. Enryakuji Kitatani Fort
  104. Enryakuji Nishitani Fort
  105. Fujihashi Castle (Tokyo)
  106. Fujita Castle
  107. Fukakusa Yakata
  108. Fukazawa Castle
  109. Fukuyo Castle
  110. Fumimichi Castle
  111. Funaoka Castle
  112. Funaokayama Castle
  113. Funayama Castle
  114. Furuwatari Castle
  115. Futamata Castle
  116. Futoge Castle
  117. Futoh'yama Castle
  118. Gamou Isshiki Castle
  119. Gamou Kitanoshou Castle
  120. Gamou Minamitsuda Castle
  121. Ganjaku Castle
  122. Gassan Toda Castle
  123. Gifu Castle
  124. Gion Castle
  125. Gobara Castle
  126. Gokan Castle
  127. Gongen Yakata
  128. Gouda Fort
  129. Haba Castle
  130. Habauehori Yashiki
  131. Hachigata Castle
  132. Hachikenchōja Castle
  133. Hachioji Castle
  134. Hagi Castle
  135. Hagikura Fort
  136. Hagiwarasuwa Castle
  137. Haibara Castle
  138. Hakusan Castle
  139. Hamada Castle
  140. Hamagawa Castle
  141. Hanamaki Castle
  142. Hanawa Castle
  143. Hanazono Castle
  144. Hanazono Mitake Castle
  145. Haneo Castle
  146. Hanishina Motai Castle
  147. Hanishina Terao Castle
  148. Haranomoto Castle
  149. Harima Hakusan Castle
  150. Hasedo Castle
  151. Hatakenaka Yakata
  152. Hatayama Castle
  153. Hatsuzawa Castle
  154. Hattori Castle (Koka)
  155. Hayaotoshi Castle
  156. Hayashikojo Castle
  157. Hayashiohjo Castle
  158. Hekirichi Jinya
  159. Hida Hirose Castle
  160. Hida Kojima Castle
  161. Hida Takayama Castle
  162. Higashi Maruoka Castle (Koka)
  163. Hikaru Castle
  164. Hikobe Yashiki
  165. Hirai Castle
  166. Hirai Kanayama Castle
  167. Hiraide Moated Settlement
  168. Hirakura Castle
  169. Hirase Castle
  170. Hirase Kitano Castle
  171. Hisawa Castle
  172. Hishakuyama Castle
  173. Hitachi Fuchuu Castle
  174. Hitachi Yamagata Castle
  175. Hitachi Yorii Castle
  176. Hitachi Yoshida Castle
  177. Hiyama Castle
  178. Hojo Clan Residence
  179. Horigane Yakata
  180. Horikoshi Castle
  181. Hosogaya Yakata
  182. Houzouji Yakata
  183. Hyakusaiji Castle
  184. Ibayama Castle
  185. Ibuka Castle
  186. Ichinomiya Castle
  187. Iga Hijiyama Castle
  188. Iga Mibuno Castle
  189. Igawa Castle
  190. Iida Castle
  191. Iida Fort
  192. Iinawa Castle
  193. Ikenoshiri Yakata
  194. Imai Castle
  195. Imai Fort
  196. Ina Akasu Castle
  197. Ina Inamura Castle
  198. Ina Joumura Castle
  199. Ina Kasuga Castle
  200. Ina Kitano Castle
  201. Ina Kiyomizu Castle
  202. Ina Koide Castle
  203. Ina Konishi Castle
  204. Ina Korin Castle
  205. Ina Kurata Castle
  206. Ina Matsuo Castle
  207. Ina Matsushima Castle
  208. Ina Minowa Castle
  209. Ina Nagayama Castle
  210. Ina Nakagome Castle
  211. Ina Oguro Castle
  212. Ina Ohkubo Castle
  213. Ina Omotegi Castle
  214. Ina Ou Castle
  215. Ina Ryuugasaki Castle
  216. Ina Shimono Castle
  217. Ina Sokura Castle
  218. Ina Suganuma Castle
  219. Ina Suzuoka Castle
  220. Ina Takada Castle
  221. Ina Tanagi Castle
  222. Ina Tenpaku Castle
  223. Ina Yashiki
  224. Ina Yasuoka Castle
  225. Ina Yoshioka Castle
  226. Inamurafuru Castle
  227. Inuinofuru Castle
  228. Inukai Castle
  229. Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle
  230. Ishigami Castle
  231. Isobe Castle
  232. Itazuke Moated Settlement
  233. Itousakaue Fort
  234. Iwabitsu Castle
  235. Iwadono Castle
  236. Iwaki Taira Castle
  237. Iwakiri Castle
  238. Iwamura Castle
  239. Izaki Castle
  240. Izu Moriyama Castle
  241. Izu Nagahama Castle
  242. Izu Ohdairashin Castle
  243. Izumigashira Castle
  244. Jikouin Yakata
  245. Jindaiji Castle
  246. Jizen Castle (Koka)
  247. Jofukuji Castle
  248. Jouhikage Fort
  249. Joujou Castle
  250. Joumurafuru Castle
  251. Jounoue Fort
  252. Kaesa Castle
  253. Kai Koyama Castle
  254. Kakegawako Castle
  255. Kamaenohaka Yakata
  256. Kamagatake Castle
  257. Kamimakifuru Castle
  258. Kamogatake Castle
  259. Kanaiyama Castle
  260. Kanao Yogaisan Castle
  261. Kanayama Castle
  262. Kanazawa Castle
  263. Kanbara Castle
  264. Kanegasaki Castle (Iwate)
  265. Kannonji Castle
  266. Kanzaki Ishibayama Castle
  267. Kanzaki Kitasudayama Castle
  268. Kanzaki Wadayama Castle
  269. Karakai Castle
  270. Karasaki Castle
  271. Karasawayama Castle
  272. Karasuyama Castle
  273. Kariya Castle
  274. Kasama Castle
  275. Kasane Castle
  276. Kaseyama Castle
  277. Kashiwara Castle
  278. Kasugayama Castle
  279. Kasumi Castle
  280. Katsunuma Castle
  281. Katsunumashi Yakata
  282. Katsuyama Castle (Tsuru)
  283. Kawahara Castle
  284. Kawamura Castle
  285. Kazurayama Castle
  286. Kikkawa Motoharu Yakata
  287. Kirarazaka Castle
  288. Kirihara Castle
  289. Kiso Fukushima Castle
  290. Kiso Uenodan Castle
  291. Kita Kumai Castle
  292. Kita Wakamiko Castle
  293. Kitaaranami Fort
  294. Kitabatakeshi Yakata
  295. Kitatsumeno Fort
  296. Kobinata Oh'yashiki
  297. Kogane Castle
  298. Koibuchi Castle
  299. Koide Ara Castle
  300. Koide Fubukikaito Castle
  301. Koide Maruyama Castle
  302. Koide Muraoka Castle
  303. Koide Uchi Castle
  304. Koide Yakushidou Castle
  305. Koike Fort
  306. Koiwatake Castle
  307. Kokokuji Castle
  308. Kokururi Castle
  309. Komaki Castle
  310. Komakijou Ohte Fort
  311. Komoro Castle
  312. Konosumiyama Castle
  313. Koori Nishiyama Castle
  314. Koraku Castle
  315. Koriyama Castle (Hiroshima)
  316. Koshibami Castle
  317. Koshigoe Castle
  318. Kosobu Yakata
  319. Kounomine Castle
  320. Kouzuke Hakota Castle
  321. Kouzuke Niiya Castle
  322. Kouzuke Warabi Castle
  323. Koyama Castle
  324. Kozukue Castle
  325. Kozutsumi Castle
  326. Kubodera Castle
  327. Kubota Castle
  328. Kuboyashikishi Castle (Koka)
  329. Kukuri Castle
  330. Kuma Castle
  331. Kumamoto Castle
  332. Kunohe Castle
  333. Kurahone Castle
  334. Kurita Castle
  335. Kurobane Castle
  336. Kuroi Castle
  337. Kurono Castle
  338. Kuruma Castle
  339. Kururi Castle
  340. Kutsukake Castle
  341. Kuwabara Castle
  342. Kuwagatahara Noroshidai
  343. Kyouraishiminbu Yakata
  344. Machimura Fort
  345. Maeda Battery
  346. Makabe Castle
  347. Mamabe Castle
  348. Manago Castle
  349. Mariko Castle
  350. Marikoyama Fort
  351. Maruoka Castle (Koka)
  352. Masugatayama Castle
  353. Masuo Castle
  354. Matsudaira Castle
  355. Matsuida Castle
  356. Matsukura Castle
  357. Matsuo Castle
  358. Matsuyama Castle (Gunma)
  359. Matsuyama Castle (Saitama)
  360. Meiseireijin Fort
  361. Mikawa Kaminogou Castle
  362. Mikawa Oka Castle
  363. Mikawa Terabe Castle
  364. Mikawa Yamanaka Castle
  365. Minagawa Castle
  366. Minakuchi Okayama Castle
  367. Minami Kumai Castle
  368. Minami Majino Castle
  369. Minami Sakaide Castle
  370. Minamoto no Tsunemoto Yakata
  371. Minebata Castle
  372. Minegadou Castle
  373. Mino Ikeda Castle
  374. Mino Ima Castle
  375. Mino Kaneyama Castle
  376. Mino Matsuo Castle
  377. Minochi Aiki Castle
  378. Minochi Katsurayama Castle
  379. Minochi Masugata Castle
  380. Minokubi Castle
  381. Minowa Castle
  382. Misayama Castle
  383. Mito Castle
  384. Miyahara Castle
  385. Mizuban Castle
  386. Mizuki
  387. Mochizuki Castle (Koka)
  388. Mochizukishi Castle (Koka)
  389. Mogusa Castle
  390. Momochi Tamba Castle
  391. Morioka Castle
  392. Moriya Castle
  393. Moriyama Castle
  394. Moroto Castle
  395. Motosakura Castle
  396. Motosu Castle
  397. Mukaihaguroyama Castle
  398. Mumo Castle
  399. Murakami Ara Castle
  400. Murakami Hanagoya Castle
  401. Murakami Hime Castle
  402. Murakami Iizuna Castle
  403. Murakami Iwasaki Castle
  404. Murakami Kamei Castle
  405. Murakami Kashiwayama Castle
  406. Murakami Katsurao Castle
  407. Murakami Kemurino Castle
  408. Murakami Kokuzousan Castle
  409. Murakami Kongouji Castle
  410. Murakami Mochikoshi Castle
  411. Murakami Monomi Castle
  412. Murakami Takatsuya Castle
  413. Murakami Torikoya Castle
  414. Murakami Toyo Castle
  415. Murakami Tsubame Castle
  416. Murakami Tsumi Castle
  417. Murakami Wagou Castle
  418. Murasame Castle (Koka)
  419. Musashi Masugatayama Castle
  420. Musashi Tenjin'yama Castle
  421. Mutsu Iwasaki Castle
  422. Myougi Castle
  423. Nabekura Castle
  424. Naegi Castle
  425. Nagabayashi Fort
  426. Nagahara Castle
  427. Nagaikeyama Fort
  428. Nagashino Castle
  429. Nagato Aoyama Castle
  430. Nagato Katsuyama Castle
  431. Nagoya Castle
  432. Nagurumi Castle
  433. Najima Castle
  434. Naka Castle
  435. Nakahara Yakata
  436. Nakamaki Castle
  437. Nakasai Castle
  438. Nakatou Castle
  439. Namioka Castle
  440. Narai Castle
  441. Narisawa Castle
  442. Nasu Kanda Castle
  443. Nata Castle
  444. Natsumichi Fort
  445. Nechi Castle
  446. Nechi Kuriyama Castle
  447. Negoya Castle
  448. Nezumiana Castle
  449. Nezumiana Yakata
  450. Niitakayama Castle
  451. Nijo Castle (Tochigi)
  452. Nirayama Castle
  453. Nishijou Castle
  454. Nishikata Castle
  455. Nishina Castle
  456. Nitchuu Castle
  457. Nochiseyama Castle
  458. Noguchi Yakata
  459. Numata Castle
  460. Nyuunomi Castle
  461. Oba Castle
  462. Obata Castle
  463. Obata Jin'ya
  464. Obiki Castle
  465. Ochiai Yashiki
  466. Oda Castle
  467. Odaka Castle
  468. Odani Castle
  469. Odano Castle
  470. Odatsuno Yakata
  471. Odawara Castle
  472. Odoi
  473. Odori Castle
  474. Ogawa Castle
  475. Ogimachi Castle
  476. Ogoe Castle
  477. Oguchi Castle
  478. Ogura Castle
  479. Ogurayamagami Castle
  480. Ogyu Castle
  481. Oh'eda Castle
  482. Oh'ide Castle
  483. Oh'idefuru Castle
  484. Oh'ikemurayama Castle
  485. Ohga Castle
  486. Ohguma Castle
  487. Ohhara Castle
  488. Ohkusa Castle
  489. Ohmine Castle
  490. Ohmori Castle
  491. Ohtawara Castle
  492. Oike Fort
  493. Okami Castle
  494. Okishi Castle III (Koka)
  495. Okkoshi Castle
  496. Oko Castle
  497. Omi Castle
  498. Omifuru Castle
  499. Oniba Castle
  500. Oogo Castle
... further results
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