Sprawling over an impressive area (about 1.6 by 1.2 kilometers), the Kumamoto Castle complex is a very impressive sight, yet it is a small part of its original glory. In 1607, after Kato Kiyomasa completed the castle, besides the tenshu main tower, the complex was made of 49 yagura turrets, 18 turret gates, and 29 smaller gates.
It proved to be an impregnable fortress in 1877, when it was attacked by the troops led by Saigo Takamori. After two months of siege, most of the complex burned and only one-seventh of the buildings survived, but the castle remained undefeated…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: