Japanese Castles: Mihara Castle Ruins
Mihara Castle 三原城
Mihara Castle is not well known, due in the most part to the fact that very little of it is left standing, but in its day it was quite a formidable fortress. Mihara is located on the Inland Sea coast of what is now Hiroshima Prefecture.
History of Mihara Castle
Mihara Castle was built in 1567 and earned the nickname Ukishiro or "Floating Castle," because it was connected to two small islands. Modern land reclamation means the ruins are now far inland.
Mihara Castle was built by Kobayakawa Takakage to enhance the control of the coastline by the powerful Mori clan. The Mori "navy" were influential in aiding Toyotomi Hideyoshi's subjugation of both Shikoku and Kyushu, and later in his invasion of Korea.
Following the defeat of the Mori at the Battle of Sekigahara by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1600, Mihara Castle was awarded briefly to the Fukushima clan and then to the Asano clan who held it until the onset of the Meiji Period in 1869.
Mihara Castle had 14 gates, 32 yagura (turrets), and three baileys. A keep was never built, though the base for the keep was completed and was the largest in all Japan.
Mihara Castle was spared the fate that befell most Japanese castles at the onset of the Meiji Period as it was used as a naval base and not dismantled. However in 1894 it was closed down and all the buildings and much of the stonework were demolished to make way for the construction of the rail line and station that was built.
Almost all of what was left was destroyed in 1975 when the shinkansen line and Mihara Station was built. Some of the walls can be seen underneath the shinkansen station. A part of the moat and what is left of the base for the keep is now a small park.
Mihara, Tatemachi 1-1-1
Hiroshima Prefecture 723-0004
Google map of Mihara Castle
Mihara Castle Access
Mihara Castle Ruins are located right at Mihara Station on the Sanyo Shinkansen, Sanyo Main Line and Kure Line.
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