Yamauchi Kazutoyo became the lord of Tosa in 1601, and began by ruling his new domain from the old Urado castle, built by the Chōsokabe clan. After several years he decided to build a new castle, Kōchi, on the Otakasa hill, a place not exactly appropriate for a castle, because at the base of the hill was a swamp and in the past two attempts to build a castle on the same hill were unsuccessful.
Yamauchi hired Dodo Echizen, a famous architect of those days, who by using ingenious construction methods managed to build a castle that survived until today. He designed an efficient drainage system by constructing the walls with raw, unfinished rocks (the nozurazumi style), and a network of underground water canals with stone gutters.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: