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Matsumoto Castle

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Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle is located in the city of Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture and is also known as Crow Castle. It is called Crow Castle because of the black exterior and elegant look. The two donjons are one the oldest in Japan and have been designated as National Treasures. The turrets that are located on the grounds have also been designated National Treasures. Matsumoto Castle is a hirajo type, which means it is a castle that was built on a plain instead of a hill or mountain. The castle was built during times of war and had exchanged many hands, but in times of peace structures were added to match those times. It has also become a spot that is popular during the cherry blossom season.

In 1504 a fort was built by Shimadachi Sadanaga of the Ogasawara clan and was originally called Fukashi Castle. When the castle came under Ishikawa Norimasa, he and his son built the towers and other structures in that time. Much of the current look was constructed around that time and it is said was completed around 1593. During the Edo Period, the Matsumoto Domain was established and the lords of the domain represent six different daimyo families. It was during this time that the nickname Crow Castle came about and the renaming from Fukashi to Matsumoto.



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