Hishi Yagura Gojukken Nagaya Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura


1. Prologue

Welcome to Kanazawa Castle Park, where we are proud to present the reconstructed Hishi Yagura, Gojukken Nagaya and Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura

▼Click on the place you would like to see, and its picture and explanation will appear.

 This complex of three buildings (floor area 1894.23 square meters) was finished in July, 2001. In common with the Ishikawa-mon and Sanjukken Nagaya, the distinctive features are the lead roof tiles and Namako Kabe.
This complex is one of the biggest wooden constructions in Japan built after the Meiji period. The construction started in March, 1997, and it took three years and four month to finish it, including preparing the materials and removing the old foundation.
In this complex, the three-story Hishi Yagura and Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura are connected by the two-story Gojukken Nagaya. These buildings were originally designed to protect Ni-no-maru, the second enclosure, in case of a battle. Therefore, they have features for defense, such as "ishi-otoshi" for dropping stones, and fire-proof walls which contain hidden holes for shooting.
Hishi Yagura was a watchtower to observe both the front gate and the rear gate. Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura was another watchtower for Ni-no-maru, and Gojukken Nagaya was a storehouse for weapons.
The reconstruction was basically conducted according to traditional architectural methods, but escalators and elevators were added to make the complex accessible for the handicapped people.
These buildings are exhibitis in themselves. Yet they have become more attractive with special features, such as visual explanation of construction techniques, monitors to show computer graphics, miniature models, excavated articles on display and an audio explanation system.

2. Hishi Yagura 1st Floor

Hishi-Yagura (Diamond Turret) is a 17 meter tall, three-story building, and it is constructed on an 11.7 meter high stone wall. The "yagura" was also called "ya-no-kura," which literally means a storage place for weapons, but this yagura functioned as a watchtower for the surrounding area

"hishi" or diamond shape with angles of 80 degrees and 100 degrees. Since the building is diamond shaped, its posts are diamond-shaped, too. The four straight posts are made of Japanese cypress, which are 14 meters tall, 33 centimeters wide, and approximately 100 other posts are all diamond shaped. You can see that building this structure required extremely sophisticated construction techniques.

3. Hishi Yagura 2nd floor

Ishikawa-mon is the rear entrance to Kanazawa Castle. Still, its structure is very durable. It was designed to be strong in case the castle was attacked from the Kodatsuno area, which was considered to be the most vulnerable approach. Ishikawa Yagura (Ishikawa Turret), which is the biggest turret at Ishikawa-mon, is diamond shaped, just like Hishi Yagura, and it also has "ishi-otoshi." holes for hurling stones down on attackers

4. Gojukken Nagaya 2nd floor

Gojukken Nagaya was designed to function as a store-house for weapons and as a castle wall for protection. If you look up, you can plain see the fine wood structures. Most of the wood pieces are fastened without nails and bolts. These wood pieces have holes and also prongs which stick out to match these holes. Wood pieces are put together using this technique, and reinforced with wooden wedges. The buildings in this reconstruction project are all built according to traditional Japanese architectural methods, using posts, beams, and strong walls. The strong walls are made by combining earthen walls, wooden posts and bars. As a result, this structure turned out to be very durable against earthquakes, too.

5. Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura 2nd floor

This is Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura, or Hashizume Yagura. It stood looking down on the Hashizume-mon gate, and was an important watchtower used for surveillance of the people going through the gate.