The city of Himeji in Japan's Hyogo Prefecture is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. And they are attracted there by a magnificent monument of Japanese architecture — the castle of the white Heron.
The history of the construction
For Japan XVI century were are typified by feudal war and the struggle for power. At the same time, the country was under the cultural influence of Europe through active trade. To prove his advantage, strength and protection from enemies, in 1603 Ikeda Terumasa built a large complex of castles instead of a Fort on a hill near mount Hime.
Passing from hand to hand, Himeji castle received changes from each owner. Basically, it was the construction of new buildings. Now there are 83. Age, beauty and history of the castle make it one of the main monuments of Japanese architecture.
In 1871, the castle served as a barracks for the Japanese army. State officials, considering that the castle is too expensive, decided to destroy it. But, by the efforts of Colonel Nakamura Shigeto, the castle was saved. A statue in his honor adorns the entrance near the gates of Hisha (the first gate).
Many tourists that see Himeji castle for the first time, deceives its elegant light appearance and Sakura gardens. But when considering the close to this Egret into a Fighting eagle. The fact that the main function of the lock — protection. It is connected with this architectural features.
1. As and Europeans, the Japanese used system ditches, filled water to create defensive fortifications. This ditch surrounds a ring of Himeji castle. Its width is 20 meters and depth is 2.7 meters. In addition to the protective functions water out of the pit putting out the frequent fires.
2. After crossing the moat, the attackers, the soldiers encountered the next obstacle — 21 gate to protect the castle. They all need to take by storm. It is exhausting and delay the enemy.
3. If the enemy did not give up and passed this barrier, he was waiting for the garden in the form of a maze. Seeing before a long-awaited goal, the soldiers rushed to her straight and pleasing to the trap. The maze was very confusing, with many deadlocks that slowed down and exhausted the enemy even more. What can we say, even if today tourists cheat for a long time, going on a predetermined route.
4. In the gates and walls of the castle made special holes that allow you to shoot at the enemy without being in danger. Number of racks for weapons suggests, that in a castle could lie about 280 soldiers.
5. Those who survived the shelling and reached the castle were met by high stone walls.
Legends of the castle
Himeji castle is a popular place not only for tourists, but also for the local population. They just tell legends, myths and tales associated with the castle. One of the most popular: young guy Okiku was falsely accused of stealing the family silver (namely dishes), the local feudal Lord. The guy was killed and thrown into the well. To this day, at night you can hear a muffled voice from the well, which counts the dishes.
During the second world war, the city of Himeji was heavily bombed. But, the castle of the same name remained unharmed. They say that one bomb still fell on the roof of the main tower, but did not explode.
It is difficult to say, thanks to people or gods, Himeji castle to this day pleases and delights the locals and tourists.