所在地:兵庫県姫路市本町  Location: Motomachi, Himeji City, Hyogo.



Outline of Himeji Castle

The kind: Hira-Yama-shiro.
Japanese National treasure: large Tensyu, west-smallness Tensyu, Inui-smallness Tensyu, an east-smallness Tensyu, and I, RO, HA, NI-no-watasi Yagura
Important cultural property: 74 except national treasures, such as a gate, Tuchi-Bori, and Yagura.




1908(明治41)年、姫路市民で白鷺城保存期成同盟会がつくられ、ねばり強い市民運動をくり広げ、1910(明治43)年、本格的な保存工事が行われることとなりました。1928(昭和3)年、史跡名勝天然記念物保存法で史跡に指定され、さらに翌年には国宝保存法が制定され、1931(昭和6)年、大天守をはじめ82棟の建物が国宝に指定されました。 1934(昭和9)年から修理が始まり、戦時中は中断していましたが、1950(昭和25)年、第一次六ケ年計画が開始。いずれ倒れる天守を守るための大修理、第二次八ケ年計画が1956(昭和31)年から開始します。昭和の築城と呼ばれるほどの大修理で天守は全て解体され、地盤にコンクリートを据え心柱を取り換えと、とてつもない大工事だったようです。その工事も1964(昭和39)年に完成します。1992(平成4)年、世界遺産条約に批准した我が国は、世界文化遺産として姫路城と法隆寺地域の仏教建造物を推薦し、翌年、ユネスコ世界遺産委員会は姫路城、法隆寺を、日本で初めての世界文化遺産に指定しました。

History of Himeji Castle

The exact origins of Himeji Castle are unknown. One theory is that the castle was built as a local defensive bastion by Akamastu Norimura [1277-1350] of Harima. His second son, Sadanori, expanded the original bastion and established it as a castle in 1346. However, according to recent research, Kuroda Shigetaka and his son, Mototaka, built the castle about the middle of the 16th century. Later in 1577 when the grandson of Shigetaka and Kuroda Kanbei Yoshitaka were daimyos of the castle, the Mori clan made a foray from the Chugoku district. In order to block this planned attack Hashiba Hideyoshi was despatched from Harima as Bu-syo of Oda. In 1580 Hideyoshi became Lord of Himeji and the Tensyu [with three floors] was built in 1581.

Now a daimyo castle, it is next transferred in 1600 from Hideyoshi's successor to Kinoshita Iesada, the son-in-law of Tokugawa Ieyasu, married to his daughter, Ikeda Mistumasa, for exhibiting great bravery at the bloody battle of Sekigahara. During the following eight years the five-storey Tensyu was completed. This is the Tensyu which we see now at Himeji. Although the castle complex extended up to the inner canal, the original outer canal extended to the site of the present Himeji station of the JR San'yo Line. Himeji was indeed a vast castle complex. Once Mistumasa passed away, his eldest son, Toshitaka, became the castle daimyo. However, it was transferred almost immediately since Toshitaka was only 7 years old. Governance of Himeji was given to Tottori by the Edo Bakufu, and Honda Tadamasa, from Ise-no-kuni, served as the castle daimyo. During the rule of Honda Tadamasa many of the castle's most beautiful buildings were erected. The Nishi-no-Maru was converted into a beautiful residence for his son Tadatoki and his wife Sen-Hime, [the daughter of the Shogun, Tokugawa Hideta,] and the final structure of Himeji Castle was completed in 1618.

Up until the time of the Meiji Restoration, the castle lordship continued with the Mastudaira family, the.Sakakibara family, and finally the Sakai family. In 1873 the new Meiji government considered destroying many castles around the country but decided not to demolish Himeji Castle. The rational for exempting Himeji Castle was to use it as a location for the Department of the Army, and using it as barracks or as a training site. It was allowed to remain standing for these reasons not for preservation purposes. Many buildings which remained until then were pulled down or demolished one after another, and the Tensyu began to lean and was likely to collapse into ruins. A Colonel of the Department of the Army, Nakamura Shigetou, desired to save one of the world's most noted castles before it collapsed. This was considered by the government and the preservation of Himeji Castle was decided upon in 1879. A monument in gratitude for the efforts of Colonel Nakamura was erected near the Hishi-no-Mon. A Hakuro-Jo preservation association was established by Himeji residents in 1908. Their tenacity, backed by a strong civic movement, meant that a full scale reconstruction project was begun in 1910. Two years later parts of the castle site were opened to the public. It was specified as a historic relic in 1928.

Furthermore, the procedure for identifying and saving national treasures was enacted the next year. The whole castle was placed under the control of the Ministry of Culture in 1931and 82 buildings were specified as national treasures. Although repairs began in 1934 and were interrupted during wartime, the first restoration plan [six years] began in 1950. The large repair program for protecting the Tensyu which was in danger of falling, and the second restoration plan [eight years] began in 1956. All Tensyus were disassembled and rebuilt on concrete foundations. The reconstruction was completed in 1964. Japan ratified the World Heritage Convention in 1992. Himeji Castle and the Horyuji Temple area were recommended as world cultural heritage sites , and the UNESCO world heritage committee specified Himeji Castle and Horyuji Temple to be the first world cultural heritages in Japan the following year.

三の丸広場:San-no-Maru square 武蔵野御殿:Musashino-Goten 入   口:Entrance 菱の門 下:Hishi-no-Mon Landing 菱の門 前:Hishi-no-Mon Front 菱の門 内:Hishi-no-Mon inside 中村大佐碑:Col.Nakamura Monument かの櫓 前:Ka-no Yagura Front わの櫓 前:Wa-no Yagura Front るの櫓 前:Ru-no Yagura Front 西の丸長局:Nishi-no-Maru Nagatsubone 化粧櫓 前:Kesyo Yagura Front 西の丸 出:Nishi-no-Maru Exit ろの門合流:Ro-no-Mon Confluence はの門 前:Ha-no-Mon Front 二の丸 内:Ni-no-Maru inside にの門進1:Ni-no-Mon Road 1 にの門進2:Ni-no-Mon Road 2 にの門進3:Ni-no-Mon Road 3 にの門 前:Ni-no-Mon Front にの門 内:Ni-no-Mon inside 油壁ほの門:Abura-kabe, Ho-no-Mon 渡櫓姥が石:Watari Yagura, Ubaga-ishi 水 一 門:Mizu ichi Mon 乾小天守前:inui-Sho-Tenshu Front 水 三 門:Mizu San Mon 水 五 門:Mizu Go Mon 本丸備前丸:Hon-Maru, Bizen-Maru 備 前 門:Bizen Mon との門 前:To-no-Mon Front 折 廻 櫓:Ori-Mawari Yagura 渡櫓への門:Watari Yagura, He-no-Mon との一門内:To-no-ichi-Mon inside との一門外:To-no-ichi-Mon Outside 帯 の 櫓:Obi-no Yagura 切腹丸 1:Seppuku-Maru 1 切腹丸 2:Seppuku-Maru 2 太 鼓 櫓:Taiko Yagura りの門 前:Ri-no-Mon Front ぬの門 前:Nu-no-Mon Front 二の丸 1:Ni-no-Maru 1 二の丸 2:Ni-no-Maru 2 二の丸 3:Ni-no-Maru 3 埋 門 前:Ume-Mon Front いの門 前:i-no-Mon Front