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Azuchi Castlelocked

  • Jurgis Elisonas

Extract

Japanese castle in Azuchi-chō, Shiga Prefecture. It was the prototype of the sumptuous residential castles of the Momoyama period (1568–1600) of Japanese history (often called the Azuchi–Momoyama period, taking its name from the castle). This palatial citadel was built as the visible sign of the new order imposed on Japan by Oda Nobunaga, chief unifier of the country after a century of military conflict and political disorder. Begun in February 1576 and inaugurated as Nobunaga’s official residence on 5 June 1579, Azuchi Castle was burnt down by marauding soldiery on 4 July 1582, 13 days after Nobunaga was assassinated in Kyoto. Apart from the tiles, fragments of ceramic vessels and metal fittings uncovered in the course of archaeological surveys, stoneworks are all that remain.

The citadel was composed of the lord’s main castle, which was divided into three enceintes, and a number of separately enclosed outbuildings, the residences of Nobunaga’s principal vassals. Its grounds occupied ...

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