Stone walls

From Jcastle.info

Stone Walls / 石垣

This is a subtype of Features

Ishigaki are one of the most impressive features of any castle. The skill it took to make them from cutting and collecting the stones to actually building the walls in a myriad of shapes, terrains, and locations, is truly remarkable. The fact that there are still so many stone walls remaining after hundreds of years attests to the skill of their builders too. You can even read the history of a castle from its ishigaki. The type of stone tells you where it came from, markings on the stones tell you who it was cut or gathered for, and the method of building the walls can also tell you in what period they were constructed or by whom. Even in the same castle, you may see walls constructed with different methods indicating who built them and when. You can also find unique stories buried in the stone walls at many castles like the old woman who donated her grinding stone or Buddhist statues that were procured from temples to fill in the walls.

Below is a description of the main styles and types of stone walls. There are also a few sub-categories and rare types not discussed here that I may put together for a future page.


Basic Structure

The pictures below are from a display at Kanazawa Castle that show how the stone walls are constructed. You can see that the stones are much longer and larger than they appear from the outside. Smaller stones are filled in between the larger stones to stabilize them. Extra stones are backfilled behind them for drainage to help prevent erosion and smaller stones are also filled into the spaces in the front to stabilize the larger stones. Note that there is no mortar used. This allows the stone walls to have some flexibility which is what has helped them to survive for hundreds of years in earthquake prone Japan.

Kanazawa217.jpg Kanazawa216.jpg Kanazawa215.jpg


Style

The style of wall indicates the pattern of how the stones are arranged. These two patterns below are used with all of the different types explained in the next section.


Ranzumi (乱積み)

The stones used are of various sizes so that there is no particular pattern to the face of the stone wall.

Kofu16.jpg Takamatsu23.jpg Takeda15.jpg


Nunozumi (布積み)

Most of the stones are roughly the same size so that they line up across the face of the wall.

Kanazawa117.jpg Matsuyama18.jpg Marugame76.jpg


Types

Stone walls can be categorized by how much the stones are processed to fit together in the wall. Walls that use unprocessed stones tend to be older, while walls that make use of more highly shaped stones are newer making use of newer techniques and tools.


Nozurazumi (野面積み)

These walls use unshaped stones. They are either stones that were used in their natural shape or were split without any further shaping. This type of wall is comparatively weak and high walls cannot be built. It also provides many footholds and handholds making it relatively easy for attackers to climb.

Kofu16.jpg Komoro15.jpg Maruoka6.jpg Marugame60.jpg


Uchikomihagi (打込接ぎ)

The stones are pounded tightly into place and the corners and rough edges are smoothed some to help them fit together better. The face of the stone is also chipped away to make it more flat. The remaining holes are filled with smaller stones to tightly fill the gaps. This makes a stronger wall than Nozurazumi and these walls can be built higher.

Edo44.jpg Osaka33.jpg Ueda15.jpg Kanazawa87b.jpg


Kirikomihagi (切込接ぎ)

In this type of wall, all the stones are heavily processed and shaped to fit exactly with the surrounding stones. There are almost no holes or empty spaces and no smaller uncut stones filling the spaces between stones. Since water cannot seep out through the spaces they often needed to build in some holes for drainage.

Edo38.jpg Kanazawa150.jpg Edo81.jpg Shirakawa11.jpg


Kikkozumi

This is basically a special type of Kirikomihagi where all the stones are cut with five or six sides and fitted together.


Tanizumi / Otoshizumi

The stones are fit together at an angle so they have a diagonal pattern instead of horizontal. It takes advantage of the weight of the stones to hold them in place. This construction was actually comparatively easy and often used in the later Edo Period.


Tamaishizumi (玉石積み)

This method uses river stones that were naturally shaped by the river to be round. The only castle I know of that makes use of this is Yokosuka Castle in Shizuoka Pref.

Yokosuka7.jpg

Castles with Stone Walls
  1. Aizu Wakamatsu Castle
  2. Akashi Castle
  3. Aki Castle
  4. Akiyoshi Fort
  5. Akizuki Castle
  6. Akizuki Domain South Detached Palace
  7. Ako Castle
  8. Akutagawasan Castle
  9. Amagajo
  10. Amagasaki Castle
  11. Anrakuji Yakata
  12. Aoyagi Castle
  13. Aoyagi Yakata
  14. Aoyama Castle (Nagato)
  15. Arato Castle
  16. Arikoyama Castle
  17. Asahiyama Castle
  18. Asaka Castle (Chikuma)
  19. Asakura Yakata
  20. Asama Palace
  21. Ashimori Jin'ya
  22. Ashinoya Jin'ya
  23. Asou Castle (Mikawa)
  24. Awaya Yakata
  25. Aya Castle
  26. Azuchi Castle
  27. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
  28. Chausuyama Castle (Nukata)
  29. Chiba Castle
  30. Chimura Yashiki
  31. Chinen Castle
  32. Chiran Castle
  33. Do Castle (Mikawa)
  34. Echizen Katsuyama Castle
  35. Echizen Ohno Castle
  36. Edo Castle
  37. Enryakuji Higashitani Fort
  38. Fukuchiyama Castle
  39. Fukui Castle
  40. Fukuoka Castle
  41. Fukuyama Castle
  42. Funai Castle
  43. Furukawa Castle
  44. Fushimi Castle
  45. Futamata Castle
  46. Ganjaku Castle
  47. Ganshouin Yakata
  48. Garyuzan Castle
  49. Gassan Toda Castle
  50. Gifu Castle
  51. Goryokaku Fort
  52. Goryu Castle
  53. Gujo Hachiman Castle
  54. Gushikawa Castle (Itoman Okinawa)
  55. Hachigata Castle
  56. Hachioji Castle
  57. Haga Castle
  58. Hagi Castle
  59. Hagiwarasuwa Castle
  60. Haibara Castle
  61. Hakoyanagi Castle
  62. Hamada Castle
  63. Hamamatsu Castle
  64. Hanagoya Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)
  65. Hanakuma Castle
  66. Hanamaki Castle
  67. Hanazono Castle
  68. Hayashikojo Castle
  69. Hayashiohjo Castle
  70. Hikida Castle
  71. Hikobe Yashiki
  72. Hikone Castle
  73. Himeji Castle
  74. Hirado Castle
  75. Hirai Kanayama Castle
  76. Hirase Noroshidai
  77. Hirosaki Castle
  78. Hiroshima Castle
  79. Hishakuyama Castle
  80. Hitoyoshi Castle
  81. Hizen Nagoya Castle
  82. Hokkyu Jin'ya
  83. Honshouji Castle
  84. Hoshigasaki Castle
  85. Houshouji Fort
  86. Hyakusaiji Castle
  87. Iba Castle
  88. Iba Palace
  89. Ibuka Castle
  90. Ichijodani Castle
  91. Ichijodaniyama Castle
  92. Ichinomiya Castle
  93. Ide Yakata
  94. Iga Ueno Castle
  95. Iida Castle
  96. Iimori Castle
  97. Iiyama Castle
  98. Imabari Castle
  99. Inawashiro Castle
  100. Innoshima Suigun Castle
  101. Inuyama Castle
  102. Ioyama Castle
  103. Isezaki Castle (Sanada)
  104. Ishibayama Castle (Omi)
  105. Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle
  106. Ishikawa Jouzan Yashiki
  107. Itami Castle
  108. Itoi Jin'ya
  109. Itokazu Castle
  110. Iwahara Castle (Azumi)
  111. Iwaki Taira Castle
  112. Iwakuni Castle
  113. Iwamura Castle
  114. Iwato Castle (Mikawa)
  115. Iyo Matsuyama Castle
  116. Izuki Jin'ya
  117. Izushi Castle
  118. Joujou Castle
  119. Joukouin Yakata
  120. Junhanshi Yashiki
  121. Jurakudai
  122. Kagikakemonomi Fort
  123. Kagoshima Castle
  124. Kajiya Castle
  125. Kakegawa Castle
  126. Kakiage Castle (Chikuma)
  127. Kakimi Castle (Omi)
  128. Kakinohana Castle
  129. Kamagatake Castle
  130. Kamaha Castle
  131. Kameda Castle
  132. Kamei Castle
  133. Kameyama Battery
  134. Kameyama Castle
  135. Kaminoyama Castle
  136. Kamioka Castle
  137. Kanaiyama Castle
  138. Kanayama Castle
  139. Kanazawa Castle
  140. Kanbayashi Castle
  141. Kanbe Castle
  142. Kaneyama Castle (Mino)
  143. Kaneyama Castle (Mutsu)
  144. Kannonji Castle
  145. Kano Castle
  146. Kanzou Yashiki
  147. Karasawayama Castle
  148. Karasuyama Castle
  149. Karatsu Castle
  150. Karidako Castle
  151. Karidaoh Castle
  152. Kasama Castle
  153. Kashima Castle (Hizen)
  154. Kashiwabara Castle (Omi)
  155. Kasumi Castle
  156. Katsumoto Castle
  157. Katsunumashi Yakata
  158. Katsurao Castle (Hanishina)
  159. Katsuren Castle
  160. Katsuyama Castle (Nagato)
  161. Katsuyama Castle (Tsuru)
  162. Katsuyama Palace
  163. Kawahara Castle
  164. Kawanoe Castle
  165. Kawashima Castle
  166. Keirozan Castle
  167. Kemurino Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)
  168. Kikkawa Motoharu Yakata
  169. Kinojo
  170. Kirihara Castle
  171. Kishiwada Castle
  172. Kiso Daikansho
  173. Kitanosho Castle
  174. Kitsuki Castle
  175. Kiyosu Castle
  176. Kochi Castle
  177. Kofu Castle
  178. Kojima Castle (Hida)
  179. Kokokuji Castle
  180. Kokura Castle
  181. Kokuzousan Castle (Aida)
  182. Komaki Castle
  183. Komatsu Castle
  184. Komesu Castle
  185. Komono Castle
  186. Komoro Castle
  187. Koori Nishiyama Castle
  188. Koraku Castle
  189. Koriyama Castle (Hiroshima)
  190. Koromo Castle
  191. Koromogawa Date
  192. Koshikou Castle (Chikuma)
  193. Kounomine Castle
  194. Koya Castle (Chikuma)
  195. Koyama Castle
  196. Kozutsumi Castle
  197. Kuboe Castle (Omi)
  198. Kubota Castle
  199. Kubota Castle (Nukata)
  200. Kukuri Castle
  201. Kuma Castle
  202. Kumamoto Castle
  203. Kuniyoshi Castle
  204. Kunou Castle
  205. Kurahone Castle
  206. Kuroi Castle
  207. Kurokawashi Castle (Koka)
  208. Kuruma Castle (Hanishina)
  209. Kurume Castle
  210. Kushima Castle
  211. Kushizaki Castle
  212. Kutsuki Izuminokami Jin'ya
  213. Kuwana Castle
  214. Maebashi Castle
  215. Marugame Castle
  216. Maruoka Castle
  217. Masugata Castle (Takai)
  218. Masujima Castle
  219. Matsuda Yakata
  220. Matsudaira Yakata
  221. Matsue Castle
  222. Matsukura Castle
  223. Matsumae Castle
  224. Matsumoto Castle
  225. Matsuo Castle
  226. Matsusaka Castle
  227. Matsushiro Castle
  228. Mie Castle
  229. Mihara Castle
  230. Miharu Castle
  231. Mikazuki Jin'ya
  232. Mikoshiyama Castle
  233. Mikumo Castle (Koka)
  234. Minakuchi Castle
  235. Minakuchi Okayama Castle
  236. Minowa Castle
  237. Mizuban Castle
  238. Mochikoshi Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)
  239. Moji Castle
  240. Morioka Castle
  241. Moriyama Castle
  242. Motodoriyama Castle
  243. Motodoriyamako Castle
  244. Motosu Castle
  245. Motoyama Yakata
  246. Mukade Castle
  247. Mukaihaguroyama Castle
  248. Murakami Castle
  249. Naegi Castle
  250. Nagahama Castle
  251. Nagayama Castle (Ina)
  252. Nagoya Castle
  253. Najima Castle
  254. Nakagusuku Castle
  255. Nakahokkyu Castle
  256. Nakamura Castle
  257. Nakanojin Castle
  258. Nakatsu Castle
  259. Nakijin Castle
  260. Nanao Castle
  261. Nanzan Castle
  262. Natsukawa Castle
  263. Natsumichi Fort
  264. Nechi Castle
  265. Negoya Castle (Sanada)
  266. Nihonmatsu Castle
  267. Niitakayama Castle
  268. Nijo Castle
  269. Nijo Castle (Tochigi)
  270. Nijoko Castle
  271. Nishio Castle
  272. Niwase Castle
  273. Nobeoka Castle
  274. Nochiseyama Castle
  275. Norisada Jin'ya
  276. Numata Castle
  277. Obama Castle
  278. Obama Castle (Mutsu)
  279. Obaraichiba Castle
  280. Obata Jin'ya
  281. Obi Castle
  282. Oda Castle
  283. Odani Castle
  284. Odawara Castle
  285. Ogaki Castle
  286. Oguchi Castle
  287. Ogura Castle
  288. Ogurayama Castle
  289. Ogyu Castle
  290. Oh'iwa Castle
  291. Ohga Castle
  292. Ohhira Higashiohmori Castle
  293. Ohkawarashi Castle (Koka)
  294. Ohkubo Jin'ya (Mikawa)
  295. Ohmine Castle
  296. Ohmizo Castle
  297. Ohno Fort
  298. Ohshima Jin'ya
  299. Ohtsu Castle
  300. Ojima Jin'ya
  301. Oka Castle
  302. Okayama Castle
  303. Okazaki Castle
  304. Oko Castle
  305. Okushima Yakata
  306. Okutono Jin'ya
  307. Omi Hachiman Castle
  308. Omifuru Castle
  309. Omono Castle
  310. Ono Castle
  311. Oogo Castle
  312. Oohara Castle
  313. Ori Castle
  314. Osada Castle (Omi)
  315. Osaka Castle
  316. Osaka Castle (Sarashina)
  317. Oshi Castle
  318. Otaki Castle
  319. Ozu Castle
  320. Rikan Castle
  321. Rokugawa Jin'ya
  322. Saga Castle
  323. Sagaki Jin'ya
  324. Saiki Castle
  325. Sakaki Jin'ya
  326. Sakamoto Castle
  327. Sakura Castle (Aichi)
  328. Sakurabora Castle
  329. Sakurasawa Fort
  330. Samegai Castle
  331. Sanada Palace
  332. Sanadahonjo Castle
  333. Sannohe Castle
  334. Sano Castle
  335. Sarugajou Noroshidai
  336. Sasayama Castle
  337. Sashiki Castle
  338. Sasou Castle
  339. Seiryuin
  340. Sekiyado Castle
  341. Sendai Castle
  342. Sengoku Yakata
  343. Shachinomi Jin'ya
  344. Shibata Castle
  345. Shiga Castle
  346. Shiga Yakata
  347. Shigetsu Fushimi Castle
  348. Shigisan Castle
  349. Shigiyama Castle
  350. Shimabara Castle
  351. Shimashi Ozato Castle
  352. Shimizu Jin'ya
  353. Shimotsui Castle
  354. Shimowada Castle
  355. Shinagawa Battery Islands
  356. Shingen Yashiki
  357. Shingu Castle
  358. Shioda Castle
  359. Shioda Koubouyama Fort
  360. Shiozaki Castle
  361. Shirakawa Castle
  362. Shiroishi Castle
  363. Shishiku Castle
  364. Shoryuji Castle
  365. Shou Castle
  366. Shuri Castle
  367. Shuuchi Castle
  368. Shuzan Castle
  369. Sonobe Castle
  370. Soudai Castle
  371. Souma Nakamura Castle
  372. Sukegawakaibou Castle
  373. Sumoto Castle
  374. Sunomata Castle
  375. Sunpu Castle
  376. Suzaka Jin'ya
  377. Suzaki Battery
  378. Taguchi Castle
  379. Tahara Castle
  380. Takada Castle (Niigata)
  381. Takaino Jin'ya
  382. Takamatsu Castle
  383. Takanashi Yakata
  384. Takano Castle (Omi)
  385. Takano Yakata
  386. Takaoka Castle
  387. Takasaki Castle
  388. Takashima Castle
  389. Takasu Castle (Mino)
  390. Takatori Castle
  391. Takatsuki Castle
  392. Takayama Castle (Hida)
  393. Takayama Castle (Hiroshima)
  394. Takayama Jin'ya
  395. Takeda Castle
  396. Takedashishugo Yakata
  397. Takenaka Jinya
  398. Takeyama Castle (Hanishina)
  399. Takinoiri Castle
  400. Tamagusuku Castle
  401. Tamaru Castle
  402. Tanabe Castle
  403. Tanabe Castle (Wakayama)
  404. Tanba Kameyama Castle
  405. Tarui Castle
  406. Tateyama Castle (Yamagata)
  407. Tatsuno Castle
  408. Tatsuoka Castle
  409. Tawada Castle
  410. Tayasu Jin'ya
  411. Tedori Castle
  412. Tenjin'yama Castle (Musashi)
  413. Tenpaku Castle
  414. Toba Castle
  415. Tobayama Castle
  416. Toishi Castle
  417. Tokushima Castle
  418. Tomioka Castle
  419. Tomo Castle
  420. Tomokyu Castle (Mikawa)
  421. Tottori Castle
  422. Toyama Castle
  423. Toyoda Castle
  424. Tsu Castle
  425. Tsubokasayama Castle
  426. Tsuchiura Castle
  427. Tsuda Castle (Omi)
  428. Tsukikuma Castle
  429. Tsukui Castle
  430. Tsumagi Castle
  431. Tsutsuhata Castle II
  432. Tsutsuhata Castle III
  433. Tsutsuhata Castle IV
  434. Tsutsuhata Castle V
  435. Tsutsujigasaki Palace
  436. Tsuwano Castle
  437. Tsuyama Castle
  438. Uda Matsuyama Castle
  439. Ueda Castle
  440. Ueno Yashiki
  441. Urado Castle
  442. Urasoe Castle
  443. Usayama Castle
  444. Usuki Castle
  445. Utsuyama Castle
  446. Uwajima Castle
  447. Wada Castle (Ina)
  448. Wagou Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)
  449. Wakayama Castle
  450. Washio Castle
  451. Yagi Castle
  452. Yagi Castle (Tanba)
  453. Yamabe Castle
  454. Yamabukioh Castle
  455. Yamaga Jin'ya
  456. Yamagata Castle
  457. Yamaguchi Castle
  458. Yamaguchi Yashiki
  459. Yamamoto Jin'ya
  460. Yamato Koriyama Castle
  461. Yamazaki Castle
  462. Yanagawa Castle
  463. Yashima Castle
  464. Yashiro Castle
  465. Yatsushiro Castle
  466. Yatsushiro Yashiki
  467. Yazawa Castle (Sanada)
  468. Yodo Castle
  469. Yogaisan Castle
  470. Yokosuka Castle
  471. Yonago Castle
  472. Yoshida Castle
  473. Yumurayama Castle
  474. Zakimi Castle
  475. Zeze Castle
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