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Hideyoshi's Fushimi Castle remains found(?); Unearthed tiles, stone walls possible proof of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's castle
Topic Started: Jun 19 2015, 02:14 AM (1,552 Views)
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Daijo Daijin

From Mainichi Online

KYOTO -- Numerous pieces of gilded tiles and major stone walls were unearthed from what is believed to be the remains of a medieval castle here, demonstrating the possibility that the legendary castle built by warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) actually existed.

A private excavation firm, Kyoto Heian Bunkazai, announced on June 18 that it has found those artifacts at the possible remains of Fushimi Castle in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward -- a retreat for Hideyoshi whose construction began in 1592.

After the castle -- also known as Shigetsu Castle -- collapsed due to a major earthquake shortly after its completion, it was rebuilt on nearby Mount Kohata. The existence of the castle had long been controversial due to scanty documents on it, with some saying the castle actually never existed. "This is an extremely important discovery that proves the existence of Shigetsu Castle," said one expert.

The company surveyed an approximately 600-square-meter area in the Momoyamacho district of Fushimi Ward ahead of the construction of condominiums, and unearthed stone walls stretching some 36 meters from north to south at a depth of around 80 centimeters from the surface. The original stone walls are believed to have been at least three-tiered, of which only one or two tiers remain -- rising 0.5 to 1 meter high.

Along the stone walls are moats measuring at least two meters deep and five to seven meters wide. From the moats were found over 100 pieces of tiles, of which dozens are gilded.

The stone walls were apparently built using a similar method to that for the stone walls at Hideyoshi's Jurakudai residence and the remains of the main enclosure of Osaka Castle. The stone walls of Jurakudai were excavated in Kyoto's Kamigyo Ward in 2012. The gilded tiles that were found in Fushimi Ward bear the emblem of the Toyotomi family -- just like the tiles unearthed from around Jurakudai.

Hideyoshi began the construction of Shigetsu Castle after yielding his position as chief adviser to the emperor to his nephew Hidetsugu in 1591. After Hideyoshi's mistress Chacha gave birth to their son Hideyori, he expanded the structure as a full-scale castle. He subsequently expelled nephew Hidetsugu to Mount Koya to have him commit harakiri suicide there.

Hideyoshi is said to have barely escaped from Shigetsu Castle when it collapsed in a massive earthquake in 1596. Although the castle was subsequently rebuilt on Mount Kohata about one kilometer northeast of the original location, it was later torn down in 1623. The site is what is today the Fushimi Momoyama Mausoleum of Emperor Meiji. A mock castle keep was built in 1964 at a corner of the remains of the castle on Mount Kohata.

June 19, 2015(Mainichi Japan)
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Daijo Daijin Emeritus
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Will be interesting to see how the archaeological work develops.
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Village Councilman
I saw this on the news today – it looks like the site was open to the public. There wasn't so much to see for the non-specialist - some trenches dug into the ground, with some of the finds displayed in a tent. However, the tiles they showed clearly showed remains of the gilding on the raised decorative parts. I haven't seen anything quite like it before – clearly very Hideyoshi-ish.

With the number of people who were snapping away, I'm sure some pictures will be up on various blogs before the weekend is out.

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Bridge Guard
Headline: Burned wall find shows history of Kyoto castle not set in stone

Link: Burned Wall of Fushimi Castle...

Here's the gist should the link expire one day:

“It was believed that Ieyasu’s new castle was built to some extent based on Hideyoshi’s one, but (the latest findings show) the design of the castle had drastically changed,” said Tomomitsu Umase, a section head of the Kyoto city government’s cultural property preservation section.
Finding Shisendo
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