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Shogun's castle wall sees the light of day after nearly 400 years

Excavation work at Okazaki Castle here, the birthplace of the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, has turned up a 400-meter stretch of unbroken castle wall--the largest intact example of such stone masonry from the feudal era.

Shogun's castle wall sees the light of day after nearly 400 years
A dig shows the stone wall of Okazaki Castle and a portion that was buried
in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture [Credit: Okazaki’s Education Board]
The education board of Okazaki, southeast of Nagoya, announced the find on April 13.

It said the wall, which lies south of the castle, is believed to have been constructed by 1644, when Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651), the third shogun, was in power.

Shogun's castle wall sees the light of day after nearly 400 years
A section of the stone wall around Okazaki Castle near the riverbed 
of Otogawa river [Credit: Go Kitaueda]
Some sections of the fortification had remained visible. The excavation found that the wall actually stands 5 meters, including the portion that was buried, to extend 400 meters around the outer edge of the castle. Much of the wall still remains buried.

The contour of the wall also matches a depiction in a map of the castle and surrounding area produced in 1781.

Shogun's castle wall sees the light of day after nearly 400 years
A map of Okazaki Castle produced in 1781 shows a set of three square platforms
 projecting from the wall--an unique feature of the wall confirmed by
the excavation [Credit: Okazaki’s Education Board]
Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) was born at Okazaki Castle, and later lived there for about a decade in his early adulthood until he moved his base to Hamamatsu Castle in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun [April 14, 2016]
TANN

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