Attractive sightseeing points ofGujo Hachiman Castle
Feel the remnants of the Warring States
period Stone wall of “Nozurazumi”
The wooden castle tower, which has been rebuilt for more than 80 years, is the oldest wooden castle in Japan. Its stone wall was stacked randomly (called Nozurazumi in Japanese) during the Warring States period from the end of Kamakura period (1185 – 1333) to the 16th century. This stone wall, which is made by stacking natural stones with almost no processing is one of the highlights of the spot.
A village where Yamauchi Kazutoyo’s wife, Chiyo, came from
Yamauchi Kazutoyo who made a big success as the first Tosa feudal lord is known as his wise wife who supported his career. The wife in the legend Chiyo was a daughter of Gujo Hachiman Castle’s founder, Endo Morikazu. Inside the castle, there is also an exhibition of “10 wisdoms of Chiyo, the wisdom of a wise wife” which is familiar to us today. Please enjoy together with the squeaking sound of the floor in the castle.
The legend of human sacrifice “The story of Oyoshi”
A beautiful 17-year-old daughter who helped transport large tree trunks for renovating the castle with mysterious power of strength. The stone wall at Gujo Hachiman Castle collapsed many times and the pillars did not stand up well at that time. People decided to set up a “Human pillar”. The daughter, Oyoshi, with mysterious power stood up to take the part. While parents and villagers objected, “No need to be sad everyone. I am not disappearing but continue to watch over Gujo as a guardian.” She slept under the castle as a human sacrifice. In front of the castle tower, there is a Kannon-do Hall that enshrines Oyoshi. Please also pay a visit to it. In addition, as one of the festivals of Gujo-odori Dance Festival in summer, Oyoshi Festival is held on August 3rd every year.
Legend of “Red Beard Sakubei, the stone lifter”
Sakubei (Commonly known as Akahige, red beard) was known as one of the strongest laborers during the major renovation of the castle by Endo Tsunetomo. He was so impressed and died when he was praised by the official from the Shogunate when he saw him carrying about 350kg of huge rock on his back. The stone at that time was found during the reconstruction in 1933 and is enshrined as a power stone inside the castle area.
A monument to “Ryosotai” formed during Meiji Restoration
During Boshin War, Ryosotai was formed by 45 members of Gujo clans. 17 years old Asahina Mokichi was the captain fighting for the Shogunate. They fought together with Byakkotai at the battle at Aizu Wakamatsu Castle. There is a monument near to Gujo Hachiman Castle to honor the members of Ryosotai. If you are a fan of Bakumatsu, it is a spot you cannot miss!
Castle town in the shape of a fish which you can see from the castle tower
Castle town seen from the castle tower of Gujo Hachiman Castle looks like a fish. The left-hand side is the head of the fish, and the right-hand side is the tail fin. It seems that a big fish is swimming leisurely between the mountains of Okumino. It is one of the wonderful sceneries at this water town, Gujo Hachiman. If you climb up to the castle tower, please look for this big fish.