NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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岡山城 Okayama-jo Okayama Castle

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In the second year of the Keicho period (1597), Ukita Hideie, one of Toyotomi's five major feudal lords, built Okayama Castle. Because the castle is covered with black-lacquered wood amd appears predominantly dark, it is popularly known as Crow Castle, in contrast to the white Himeji Castle in the neighboring prefecture, which is called Egret Castle.

The four-layered, six-storeyed donjon is said to have been made in imitation of Azuchi Castle. Okayama Castle was a pioneer of new construction methods, influencing modern Edo castles such as Osaka Castle, built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Hiroshima Castle, built by Mori Terumoto. The castle's turrets and stone walls give it a masculine and austere appearance.

During World War II, the tower and Ishiyama Gate were destroyed, but in 1966 the tower was rebuilt on the basis of a design found at Okayama University. In 1996, it was completely renovated and gilded tiles and gargoyles were installed. The Tsukimi Yagura (three-storied turret), which survived the war, is designated as an Important National Cultural Asset.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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