Site of Kamei Castle
After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Masanori Fukushima was granted the
honor to serve the Aki-Bingo Province and enter Hiroshima Castle in 1601.
Masanobu Fukushima undertook the building of Kamei Castle in Ogata in 1603.
Masanobu completed the castle in 1608. However, it was soon abandoned
because of the 1611 decree under which the Tokugawa Shogunate forbade all
lords to have more than one castle in their jurisdiction.
Kamei Castle is located on top of a hill overlooking Hiroshima Bay close to
the border with neighboring Suo Province. The castle has a honmaru (main
enclosure) with a raised stage. Within the castle grounds, there are ten enclosures
total, including a ninomaru and a sannomaru (secondary and tertiary ones).
Another lofty building stands on top of the ridge of a hill across the valley. Highly
advanced techniques for the architecture of those days were applied to create
a shape similar to that of a square rice measure cup with foundations made of
stone. Excavators have found a building whose size extended 5.5 meters by 7.3
meters. They also found a tsukeyagura (turret), a watariyagura (passage) and
a ditch and then presented the hypothesis that the donjon of Kamei Castle was
built in the Renritsu style, where the donjon is built with several small structures
connected to it. Besides these major findings, the team has also found dozens of
roof tiles, celadon porcelains, nails, and circular, square and triangular markings
on the stone walls.The side of Kamei Castle is now a park.
In recent times, the site of Kamei Castle has become famous for cherry blossoms (Photograph taken circa 1994)
Although we normally associate castles with stone walls, the use of stone in buildings did not become common place in Hiroshima Prefecture before the end of the 16th century.
In the 16th century, Koriyama Castle, Hiyama Castle and Nitakayama Castle were among the first group to be erected with stone walls, followed by Mihara Castle, Hiroshima Castle and Kannabe Castle. In the 17th century, Fukuyama Castle and Kamei Castle were also constructed with stone walls, which are, however, a little different from those built in the 16th century.