The Himeji castle was rebuilt in the form we see today at the beginning of the Edo period by the daimyō Ikeda Terumasa, and the construction works were led by a master carpenter named Sakurai Gembei.
The story tells that at the final inspection, performed 9 years after the work started, Sakurai Gembeia noticed a small inclination of the main keep. He thought that this was because of a mistake in the construction, and under the pressure he killed himself…
The keep was dismantled to be rebuilt, and only then it was learned that he made no mistake. The real cause of the inclination were the stone walls, which were subsided under the weight of the tower.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: