Wakayama University

Wakayama Castle where Shogun Grew up

Wakayama Castle was constructed in 1585 by Hashiba, Hidenaga, a younger brother of the famous Toyotomi, Hideyoshi.  The name "Wakayama" originates in this period with the combined names of the then-Castle site, Okayama, and Waka no Ura (a scenic bay nearby). Later on, the then-feudal lord, Asano, renovated the Castle including the Castle Tower, and thereafter the Tokunaga Family was handed over the Castle and maintained it until the Meiji Restoration. The Castle Tower was struck by lightning in 1846, and was rebuilt in 1850. In 1945, the Castle was once again burned down by wartime bombing raids. However, it was rebuilt in 1958 with modern construction engineering to restore the original appearance. The Castle property is a government-designated Historical Site.

Wakayama Castle

Kishu Tokugawa Family and Shogun (General) Yoshimune

The Kishu Tokugawa Family, the Kii branch of the Big-Three Tokugawa houses of the Shognate, began in 1619 with the arrival of the Shogun (the Ruler of Japan during the Edo Period) Tokugawa, Ieyasu's 10th son, Yorinobu at the Wakayama Castle of Kii Province. The Kishu Tokugawa family continued until Mochitsugu, the 14th generation.

The Kishu 5th provincial lord, Yoshimune and 13th Yoshitomi became the Shogun.

The Shogun Yoshimune was born in 1684 in Kishu, and spent his childhood and adolescent period here. His childhood names were Genroku/Shinnosuke. In 1686, Yoshimune met the then-Shogun for the first time and became the chief of finance of Kishu. The following year, Yoshimune received thirty-thousand koku in Echizen territory and became a provincial lord there while remaining in Kishu. (A "koku" is an old measurement scale for a territory. One koku is believed to feed one person for a year.) In 1705, he assumed the position of a provincial lord of Kishu and changed his name from Yorikata to his new name, Yoshimune. In 1716, Yoshimune became the 8th Shogun in the new era of Kyoho. He is a well-regarded reformist in the history of Japan. His blood line continued until the 13th Shogun.

Ichi no Hashi (First Bridge)/Ote Mon (Ote Gate)

During the provincial lord Asano period, the main gate moved to the north as a part of the renovation. In the Tokugawa period, the development of the Honmachi Suji area, north of Kyobashi (Kyo Bridge), was undertaken, and Ichi no Hashi/Ote Mon became the main entrance to the Castle property. Ichi no Hashi is a bridge between Uchi Guruwa and San-no-Maru Palace that was renovated in 1983.

Ichi no Hashi (First Bridge)/Ote Mon (Ote Gate)

Okaguchi Mon (Okaguchi Gate)

Okaguchi Mon (Okaguchi Gate) used to be the main gate during Hashiba, Hidenaga's first construction of the Castle until the middle of the Asano ruling period. The east section of the Castle property is called "Oka", thus the name. Proceeding to the east direction, it reaches the high ranking shrine of Kii Province (Ichi no Miya). It was designated as an Important Cultural Asset by the government.

Okaguchi Mon (Okaguchi Gate)

Momijidani (Momijidani Garden)

Momijidani, located adjacent to the Nishi-no-Maru Palace, is a garden with a pond and a surrounding walk path. It was created by the first lord, Yorinobu. Momijidani was designated as a Scenic Site by the government in 1985.

Momijidani (Momijidani Garden)

Ohashi Roka (Ohashi Bridge)

Ohashi Roka (Ohashi Bridge) is a covered corridor connecting Ni-no-Maru Palace where the official work of the executive branch (lord) was conducted and Nishi-no-Maru Palace where the lord's private quarters were. It was constructed in the beginning of the 18th Century, but ceased to exist until 2006 when it was rebuilt. It is a rare structure due to the difference in height of the bases between both sides of the bridge.

Ohashi Roka (Ohashi Bridge) Ohashi Roka (Ohashi Bridge) Map

[Bus stops; Koen (Park); City Office; or Prefectural Office. Free admission except Castle Tower (admission ¥350)]


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