The white wall that is shining in the sky of commelina communis color will fascinate the visitors.Himeji Castle specified as Japanese national treasure and World Heritage site is on the summit of Japanese castle architectural.Himeji Castle was built by Sadanori Akamatsu firstly in 1346.
The base of current castle tower was built in 1581.↑Stone wall around 1581
After that, Terumasa Ikeda who became the lord of castle commenced drastic remodeling in 1601. 9 years after, the Himeji Castle that we can see now was completed.What this beautiful castle keeps original form is nothing other than gratitude.
There is a fact that Himeji Castle has escaped the threat of war and has reached the present age.
What kind of threat was it?
Himeji Castle averted from the disaster in Word War II while the castle town was turning into scorched earth by Himeji air raid in 1945.↑Himeji Castle and current castle town
Here, noteworthy is Himeji Castle escaped fire miraculously by unexploded or emergency fire extinguishing even though incendiary bomb landed in also Himeji Castle.
Due to that, Himeji Castel is called castle of war renunciation.What Himeji Castle that was prepared for attacks of old weapons withstood attacks of incendiary bomb that is modern weapons might have been that some unseen force has worked.
The fire is one of the powerful enemies for castle. As it countermeasure, Himeji Castle is covered with refractory white plaster over the whole castle as it measurement.
But this is a visible part, and it’s also physical part.
Then, what kind of force some unseen force is?
The keyword is “Water”.
Let’s explore the mysterious power of water!
The power of water ①：
Among them, “Ni-no Gate” heading for the castle tower is the last fortress, It has the highest level of defense ability to cover the whole with an iron plate.
It is a three-tiered crest (Mitsudomoe emblem) that is engraved on the eaves tile of such ” Ni-no Gate”. The three-tiered crest express water, and it seems that the meaning of fire removal is included.
↑Three-tiered crest（Source: Wikipedia）↑Ni-no Gate (You can see the three-tiered crest on the eaves tile of left front)
The power of water ②：
Another one about “gate”.
There is gate that has the role of protecting the foundation of castle tower. The gate is named “Water gate.” Water gate has from No.1 to No.6. If you pass them through, you will reach the entrance to the castle tower.↑Water gage No.2
The power of water ③：
Osakabe shrine that dedicates Osakabe-taishin is enshrined on the top floor of castle tower of Himeji Castle.↑Osakabe shrine
The identity of Osakabe-taishin is not certain but there is a theory it is woman monster called Osakabe-hime.
A story related to water is left in Osakabe-hime.
The power of water ④：
Another one about monster.
“Okiku’s well” that is famous for a ghost story in Japan is in Himeji castle. The well is related to water.↑Okiku’s well
The power of water ⑤：
Finally, it is another name for Himeji Castle.
Himeji Castle has another name as “White egret castle” except for “castle of war renunciation”. Egret feed in river and paddy field, and it is a kind of waterfowl that belonging to Pelecaniformes, Ardeidae.
It is related to water for the name as well!How do you think?
There is an invisible water barrier in Himeji Castle!
You might think “Unbelievable!”, but I would like to introduce Interesting story finally.
That is about the damage of Himeji Castle due to Himeji air raid.
On the day when the Himeji air raid was decided, the white wall of Himeji castle was very conspicuous, so the main part of the castle was hidden by the net dyed black.
For that reason, although incendiary bombs were dropped to Himeji castle, it may be said that the damage was small.
But, it is said that the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that made sortie in the Himeji air raid were about 60 aircraft.
Himeji Castle was large target. The number of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. From these two points, don’t you think that the number of landing at Himeji Castle was overwhelmingly small?At that time, Arthur Tomes, who was the captain of Boeing B-29 Superfortress said he testified as follows.
“I thought that Himeji Castle was a swamp because the water of the moat was reflected on the radar and did not bomb as I judged that attacking the swamp had no meaning”↑Inner moat
Also, another former US Captain testified “There was no command to avoid the Himeji castle attack, and it was an entire coincidence”.
The mysterious water barrier of Himeji Castle that can not be elucidated by science might have protected Himeji Castle from the fire attack of the incendiary bomb.
Don’t you think some kind of force works in anything we really need and it is protected?
Let’s visit Himeji Castle and touch real beauty!
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68 Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo, Japan
Post code: 670-0012