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ART196 wrote a review Apr. 2016
244 contributions142 helpful votes
Or just Tagajō / Taga Castle. Kokufu means “Provincial Capital.” This is the OLDEST castle site I’ve ever visited: Tagajō was founded in 724. It is a type of fortification like a scaled-down walled city, as it also functioned as an administrative centre for the Yamato’s expanding frontier in Mutsu, formerly controlled by the Emishi, an ethnically distinct group from North Japan. So, if you’re up on your history, you will know that this is technically before samurai warfare, if we use chronically correct definitions, although Tagajō did survive on into the Heian period which saw the rise of the warriors we would properly call Samurai (originally called Saburai, at which time their most chrerished weapon was the bow, rather than the sword). Tagajō mostly saw action against the Emishi, who succeeded on sacking it on one occasion (780). With the rise of the half-blood Fujiwara no Kiyohira, Tagajō was eclipsed by his city of Hiraizumi and was soon abandoned. Tagajō once had a huge gatehouse. The government office was in the main hall, the largest and most important structure on the site, in the middle of the fort. These important structures had tiled roofs. Official ceremonies were hosted in the castle. At the site today the stone foundations and platforms on which the buildings stood have been mapped out, in some cases using the original stones. Dorui (earthen mounds) remain and surround the site, but the castle’s environs extend outwards across the countryside. The scale is quite vast. Earthen ramparts also survive on nearby hills, and an ancient stele, called Tsubo no Ishibumi, from the Nara period, commemorating Tagajō’s founding is to be found in a small lattice-work gazebo. When Matsuo Bashō, the travelling poet, came to Tagajō to inspect its ruins, he found this stele and wept. He wrote of his experience: “There are seldom any certain vestiges of what has been, yet in this place there are wholly trustworthy memorials of events a millennium ago”.
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Date of experience: March 2016
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517mark wrote a review Nov. 2012
Sendai, Japan7 contributions22 helpful votes
Perhaps the potential exists to make it a "real" historical park but in its current condition, there is really not much to see.
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Date of experience: September 2012
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