After the abolition of the domains in 1871, the castles previously belonging to the local lords were all nationalized and, in the following years, many of them were demolished.
The Inuyama Castle, although it lost some of the smaller buildings, was one of the few castles that escaped destruction. However, in 1891, the tenshu (main tower) was severely damaged by an earthquake, and the authorities decided to return it to its previous owner, the Naruse family, former retainers of the Matsudaira clan. In exchange, the owner was required to renovate the castle. They successfully did so, and the Inuyama Castle remained for a long time the only privately owned castle in Japan. However, 10 years ago, the castle’s ownership was transferred to a foundation setup by the Inuyama city.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: