After it was conquered by the Imperial Army at the end of the Boshin War, Tsuruga-jo, the castle from Aizu-Wakamatsu was demolished by the order of the Emperor in 1874.
But one of the castle’s towers (yagura), called Osangai, was moved inside a small temple, Amida-ji and thus it was preserved until today in its original form. Fortunately for us, because this small tower is a very interesting piece of Japanese traditional architecture: from the outside, Osangai looks like a 3-storey building, but… in fact there are 4 storeys inside!
Between the second and the third floor there’s a low-roof room (which was used by the daimyo for secret meetings) with a simple but effective security system: the stairs can be retracted, so the room was unreachable for as long as its occupant desired.
An architectonic jewel, equally valuable as the original surviving Japanese castles…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: