Charm of the Oka Castle

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Fee Station Remains of the General Office Remains of the Nishinomaru (the west keep ) Remain of the house of Minbu Nakagawa. Nanamagari Remain of the Chikado Gate Remain of the Chikado Gate Remain of the house of Kakuzaemon Nakagawa (house of feudal lord s chief, retainer) Remain of the house of Kakuzaemon Nakagawa (house of feudal lord s chief, retainer) Remains of the Ote-mon Gate(main gate) Granary Trace of bribery emains of the Kaneyagura (Bell watchtower) Shimizu Valley Remains of the Sannomaru (third keep) Armoury Armoury Remains of the Honmaru (the main keep) Safe Remains of the Ninomaru (second keep) Remain of the Shimizu Gate Hell Valley Mausoleum Mausoleum Remain of the Shimobaru Gate The Statue of Rentaro Taki Remains of the Taikoyagura (Drum watchtower)
Fee Station Remains of theGeneral Office Remains of theNishinomaru (the west keep ) Remain of the house of Minbu Nakagawa. Nanamagari Remain of theChikado Gate Remain of theChikado Gate Remain of the house ofKakuzaemon Nakagawa (house of feudal lord’s chief, retainer) Remain of the house ofKakuzaemon Nakagawa (house of feudal lord’s chief, retainer) Remains of the Ote-mon Gate(main gate) Granary Makanai-gata emains of theKaneyagura (Bell watchtower) Shimizu Valley Remains of theSannomaru (third keep) Armoury Armoury Remains of theHonmaru (the main keep) Safe Remains of theNinomaru (second keep) Remain of theShimizu Gate Hell Valley Mausoleum Mausoleum Remain of theShimobaru Gate The Statue of Rentaro Taki Remains of the Taikoyagura (Drum watchtower)
Remains of the General Office
The General Office located at the entrance of Oka Castle was the facility having the function as the administration and court. The various matters sent from many parts of the feudal domain are at first handled at the General Office, then, the important matters are sent to the lord again. Today, it is playing an active part as the reception to guide you people.
Remains of the Ote-mon Gate (main gate)
The Ote-mon Gate had a role as a first defense facility to protect the castle, in addition it had a role as the front entrance. And also especially the huge rocks in the stone walls are called “kagamiishi” and those were used to make the stone walls look excellent.
Remains of the Nishinomaru(the west keep )
The Nishinomaru Goten was built in the west side of Oka Castle as the living quarter by the third load, Hisakiyo as his place after his retirement. It was not only used as the place after his retirement, but also it was used as the place for the diverse events. At the Nishinomaru, there are the riding grounds and the gardens except the palace, and it is the widest section within the castle. When seen from the west side of the Nishinomaru, we can see the castle town of Taketa in front, the Kuju mountain range on the right, Mt. Aso on the left. This place, the Nishinomaru is the only place where we can see the whole castle town from the Oka Castle.
Remains of the Nishinakashikiriato (Nishinaka partition)
The Nishinaka partition was built in the narrowest area within the land of Oka Castle, and its width is about 12m. The purpose of this place seems to be used to prevent the invasion of the enemy taking advantage of the stone walls, looks like the curved area was shut with the gate.
Remains of the Taikoyagura (Drum watchtower) ・ Remains of the Kaneyagura (Bell watchtower)
The Taikoyagura Gate is the entrance to the center part of Oka Castle. As the drum was placed there, it was called the watchtower of the drum, or the Taikoyagura. As for the Kaneyagura, since the bell was hanging, it is called the watchtower of the bell, or the Kaneyagura as such. The drum on the Taikoyagura was rung to tell the time of the day. Also, in the state of emergency like fire, the drum and the bell of the both watchtowers were said to be struck.
Remains of the Sannomaru (third keep)
The Sannomaru looks like the place located as the first section of the center part of Oka Castle where the load meets with the messengers and vassals.
At present, there are stone monuments of Banzan Kumazawa and Kazutoshi Ogo both of whom are related to the Oka domain. The building remains in the center is said to be the warehouse of the arms.
Remains of the Ninomaru (second keep)
It looks like the Ninomaru there used to be the building not for the military but for the flavor, so it could be used to welcome the visitors or the place for the play. For the characteristic buildings in the Ninomaru, there were the Tsukimiyagura (moon watching watchtower) and the bath. The Tsukimiyagura was used as the facility for the play as the name indicates for the moon viewing. The public bath indicates as the steam bath, the building was connected with the stairs to the Honmaru. The lord seemed to come to the bath house from the Honmaru, using these stairs. Now you can use it as the rest room.
Remains of the Karaido (empty well)
Regarding the Karaido at the Ninomaru, even in the days of Edo era, there were the different theories regarding this well, so the records collected inside of the well were kept now. According to the records at that time, the depth was over 60 meters.
When the guests from outside of the Oka clan came, there was talk kept saying they pretended the water gushed out of the well by demonstrating with the pulley attached and putting water into it.
The Statue of Rentaro Taki
The statue of Rentaro Taki was made by the engraver Fumio Asakura who was going to the same school in his boyhood as Rentaro in the Syowa year 25 (1950).
Rentaro composed the famous song “The Moon Over The Ruined Castle” the song with Oka Castle motifs.
Remains of the Honmaru (the main keep)
The Honmaru is the center part of Oka Castle. There were the palaces for the lord and his wife in the center of the Honmaru section. The large tower of castles is the Osangaiyagura. The appearance is the three-storied and inside included, the five storied watchtower and it looks like having the function of the castle tower.
Remain of the Shimizu Gate
Kiyomizu Gate goes on to the bank of Inaba river, there was the rest area called Kawachidani tea room. It may be considered as an opened road as the lord goes to the tea house from the Oka Castle. There is the record kept telling us that the third lord Hisakiyo visited this tea house and swam in the river.
Sougakusya・
Mausoleum
At the east side of Oka Castle, there was the shrine called Sougakusya which enshrines ancestor of the lord in the Edo era. After the removal the castle, Sougakusya was moved outside of the castle, at present, it exist as Nakagawa Shrine.
And the next door of Sogakusya, the mausoleum which is the chapel in the way of Confucianism enshrines the ancestors of the Oka domain was built.
In the Oka domain, the both religious services in the way of Shintoism and Confucianism for the ancestors were being held.
Remain of the Shimobaru Gate
The Shimobaru Gate is the back entrance of Oka Castle.
Until the Nakagawa clan comes, it is said this has been the front entrance.
At the tip of the stone walls located in the east of Shimobaru Gate, the stone walls are connected with small rocks. This is the way to protect the stones of walls move. In the same technique, but not with stones but the metals are used in the Kumamoto Castle, it is very rare in the Oka Castle only using stones.
Remain of the Chikado gate
The Chikado Gate had a role as the side door. The front road of Chikado Gate goes onto the castle town, and it was also the entrance to connect the castle town and Oka Castle. The road leading to the outside of the castle from this Chikado Gate is said to be made as a road on which a dog actually climbed up when the first load Hideshige called up to the dog he took to the bottom of the ravine.
Remain of the house of Kakuzaemon Nakagawa (house of feudal lord’s chief, retainer)
It was the house starting with Shigenori Kitaro Furuta, brother of Furuta Oribe, tea master. The layout of the house is understood from the base stones used, now the flooring of the house is being restored. In this section, there is not only the house but also the remain of the watchtower. It shows that it was built to keep an eye on the outside of the castle.
Remain of the house of Minbu Nakagawa.
It is the residence of Hisamune Ukon Nakagawa who is the son of the third load Hisakiyo Nakagawa. When the abolition of the feudal domains followed by the establishment of prefectures, it was the house of the feudal lord Hisatomo Minbu Nakagawa, chief retainer. Now the floor layout of a house which was found through the excavation is shown by putting the stones.