400 years ago, the area occupied by today’s Kōchi city was inhospitable, with swampy ground covered by marsh because of the frequent flooding from the nearby rivers. And besides the marshland, the area presented another problem, the considerable amount of precipitation. But the geographic position was very tempting, so Yamauchi Kazutoyo, after becoming the lord of Tosa, decided that this was the perfect spot for his new castle. And to build the castle, he hired Dodo Echizen, a famous architect of those days.
The architect selected for the new castle the solution that offered the most efficient drainage, so he constructed the walls in the nozurazumi style, with raw, unfinished rocks, while adding a network of underground water canals with stone gutters.
The Kōchi Castle was finished 10 years later, in 1611, and Yamauchi Kazutoyo didn’t live to see it completed. The castle was never attacked, but in 1727 burned down, being soon rebuilt, in the same style, and today is one of the 12 Japanese castles with the original structure preserved…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: