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[Castle EXPO2016, Part 2] Enjoy a castle full of castles! Three days where everything about castles gathered in Yokohama!

【お城EXPO2016・後編】お城づくしでお城三昧!お城のすべてが横浜に結集した三日間!

“Castle EXPO 2016” will be held for three days on December 23, 24, and 25. At Christmas, Minato Mirai is crowded with couples and families with large Christmas trees decorated everywhere, but when you step into the conference room of Pacifico Yokohama, you will find...

"Nice to meet you! Enjoy yourselves!"

Castle EXPO2016

And everyone dressed up as Sengoku warlords and ninjas instead of Santa Claus. They will accept photos in various formations and poses.
For the past few years, when I go to castles around the country, I often see these people called the ``Omotenashi Bushotai'' performing. You will immediately feel like you are in a castle and your excitement will rise!

A list of famous famous castles! Japan's 100 Famous Castles Photo Exhibition

The 1st to 5th floors of Pacifico Yokohama's spacious conference room are all made up of castles, so I wasn't sure where to start, but first I decided to go to the ``Japan's 100 Famous Castles Photo Exhibition'' .

Japan's 100 Famous Castles Photo Exhibition

``Japan's 100 Famous Castles'' is a collection of castles and castle ruins that represent Japan's cultural heritage and are historical symbols of the region. It was established in 2006 by the Japan Castle Association to promote the city.

There are currently 12 castles remaining in Japan from the Edo period, known as the ``12 Existing Tenshu'' , and 5 of them (Himeji Castle, Hikone Castle, Inuyama Castle, Matsumoto Castle, and Matsue Castle) are national treasures.

Starting with these 12 existing castle towers, at least one from each prefecture has been selected to make the total of 100 castles, and a stamp rally has also been set up to make your castle tour even more enjoyable.

Castle EXPO 2016 will feature photographs of 100 famous castles, from the Nemuro Peninsula Chashi Ruins in Hokkaido in the north to Shuri Castle in Okinawa in the south, as well as information on the history of the castles, representative castle lords, etc. Panels with information were lined up in a row.
Just walking around and looking at each one will make you feel like you've visited all 100 castles.

In addition to panel exhibitions, there will also be booths where local organizations from castles that have been selected as one of Japan's 100 Famous Castles will introduce useful information for touring castles and sightseeing in the surrounding area, with guides dressed as princesses and warlords from the Sengoku period. , there was an exhibition of armor and helmets, and a commemorative photo session where people wore the armor, so it was very crowded!

Left: I thought it was just armor because it didn't move, but I was surprised to see there was a person inside!

Left: I thought it was just armor because it didn't move, but I was surprised to see there was a person inside!

Local characters are also available!

There are local characters in towns with castles! (No, there are local characters all over the country.)

That's why local characters from all over the world gathered in Yokohama. The most popular one is definitely Hikone Castle's Hikonyan . This year, the NHK Taiga drama ``Onna Castle Lord Naotora'' starring Ii Naotora will be released, so it looks like it will be a very busy year for the Ii family cat.

Successful Priest Naotora-chan, Hikonyan, Successful Daimyo Ieyasu-kun

The photo shows, from left, Naotora-chan, a successful priest, Hikonyan, and Ieyasu, a successful daimyo . Naotora-chan is said to be from Hamamatsu and has an ``eel-shaped spear (!)'' in her right hand. (I feel like she resembles Kou Shibasaki, who plays the lead role.)

There are many others~

Umemaru, Wanmaru-kun

From the left in the photo are Umemaru from Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture (Odawara Castle), and Wanmaru from Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture (Inuyama Castle).

Shimanekko, Chikiri-kun

This is Shimanekko from Shimane Prefecture (Matsue Castle) and Chikiri-kun from Kishiwada City, Osaka (Kishiwada Castle)!

As expected, they are all local characters from a town with a castle, so they all have a Japanese style .

The characters who came all the way from Kumamoto were Kumamon , the local mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, and Higomaru , the local mascot of Kumamoto City. Although I couldn't meet Kumamon this time, I was able to see Higomaru 's show.

Higomaru

Higomaru is said to be a fairy who came to the present day in 2007 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the construction of Kumamoto Castle.

Her body looks like it would be difficult to walk, but when she started dancing, her movements were quite intense, especially her twirling technique!

What is pasted on the roof is "Rivatape"

yeah? Isn't it a bandaid? However, most people in Kumamoto Prefecture refer to bandaids as ``Rivatape,'' and this is a custom-made product from ``Rivatape,'' a local company that makes bandages.
Kumamoto Castle was severely damaged and damaged in last year's earthquake, but the message is to heal those wounds and do our best.

Since it was Christmas day, I was wearing a Santa hat and Live Tape , dancing and spinning around with my partner Arisa!

Kumamoto Castle (Photo taken in October 2015)

I can't wait for the day when Kumamoto Castle regains its original appearance. (Photo taken in October 2015)

At Castle EXPO 2016 , there was an exhibition of stones with rare patterns that were found during the restoration work of Kumamoto Castle, and there was also a reconstruction support corner for Kumamoto, and many castle fans raised 738,052 yen in 3 days. It seems that they have gathered!

What is Nobunaga's stonemasonry group, Anotashu?

At Oshiro EXPO 2016, talk events and forums were held inviting many "castle specialists" such as Shota Shunputei, a rakugo storyteller and castle enthusiast introduced in the first part.

I thought it was a very rare opportunity to work with the construction company Awata Construction ( headquartered in Shiga Prefecture, Japan), a descendant of the Ano-Ushu group of masons, who Oda Nobunaga hired because of their high level of skill. This is a lecture by Junnori Awata , representative of Otsu City, Prefecture.

The title is "Anatashu and their stone wall appointed by Nobunaga"

It is said that Azuchi Castle, built by Oda Nobunaga, was the first "castle with stone walls" that marked the turning point in the transition from medieval mountain castles to early modern castles, but it was Anatashu who built the stone walls of Azuchi Castle. was.

The stone wall of Azuchi Castle that still remains today

The stone wall of Azuchi Castle that still remains today

There is no manual for the Anatashuzumi stone masonry technique, and it is said that it has been passed down only by word of mouth. The reason is that

``The key is to listen to the voice of the stone, know the heart of the stone, make the heart of the stone your own heart, and train your heart and arms to place your heart and soul into each stone so that you can stay comfortably forever (Anatashu Secret Mindfulness) Than)"

Apparently, the essence of this ``dialogue with stones'' cannot be conveyed in words.
Mr. Awata, a descendant of the Anata clan, has been involved in restoring stone walls at places such as Azuchi Castle and Hikone Castle.
During the lecture, there was an introduction to the tools used by the Anatashu, but they were nothing special or new, they were tools that had been used for a long time.
I felt that the precision of the technique lies not in the tools, but in the power of the craftsman's imagination as he freely manipulates the stones.

Junnori Awata, a descendant of Anatashu

Junnori Awata, a descendant of Anatashu

Lastly, Mr. Awata introduced the words of Oda Nobunaga as a memorable quote.

“Those who are born with talent neglect their training and become conceited when they ask for it.
However, those without natural talent strive every day to acquire skills.
My mindset is completely different. This is important. ”

Mr. Awata, who has a special skill of stone masonry handed down over a long history, values Nobunaga's words, ``Daily effort is more important than talent .'' This may have something to do with the method of passing down the Anatashu's technique of "listening to the music."

When you go to see castles in various places, it will be interesting to look at them and think, ``This stone wall might have been built by Anatashu.''

There are also plenty of exhibits such as castle dioramas!

At Castle EXPO 2016 , there were also exhibits of castle models with 12 existing castle towers and castle dioramas of 40 castles from all over the country.

A model of Himeji Castle, a national treasure and world heritage site. The roof is black, so maybe it has not been renovated?

A model of Himeji Castle, a national treasure and world heritage site. The roof is black, so maybe it has not been renovated?

In particular, the castle diorama was a diorama of not just the buildings but the entire castle, and it was great to be able to easily visualize the size and height differences of the castle as a whole!

Diorama of Kochi Castle. Elevation differences are easy to understand

Diorama of Kochi Castle. Elevation differences are easy to understand

A diorama of Azuchi Castle with its burnt-down temple. The stone wall of Anatashu too!

A diorama of Azuchi Castle with its burnt-down temple. The stone wall of Anatashu too!

It's quite sophisticated, isn't it? It's a rare occasion for all 40 castle dioramas to be displayed together, so castle fans will be happy!

There was also a merchandise corner with castle goods, books, plastic models, and specially selected souvenirs from each castle town.

Due to the popularity of the 2016 Taiga drama Sanada Maru, there are many Sanada-related goods!

Due to the popularity of the 2016 Taiga drama Sanada Maru, there are many Sanada-related goods!

Famous sweets and alcohol from the castle town will also be available. There was also a gacha gacha!

Famous sweets and alcohol from the castle town will also be available. There was also a gacha gacha!

In addition, in the ``Castle Ukiyo-e Exhibition - Matsuzaki Collection'' corner, 10 ukiyo-e paintings of military commanders, battlefields, and castles drawn by ukiyo-e artists who were active from the Edo period to the end of the Edo period and the Meiji period are on display. At the exhibition , eight castle maps (including reproductions) from the Japan Castle Association collection were on display.

A picture of a castle shown on an old map of Japan

A picture of a castle shown on an old map of Japan. If you look at it like this, there were various castles in various places.

I think I'm starting to like castles even more!

armor

The exhibition took up all of the 1st to 5th floors of the Pacifico Yokohama conference room, and although it was held for three more days, Castle EXPO 2016 was so packed that it couldn't be seen in one day.

In particular, the lectures and talk events by "Castle Specialists" called "Selected Premium" were full of valuable content that you wouldn't want to miss.

In addition to the Yamashiro talk event by Shota Shunputei introduced in the first part and this lecture by Mr. Awata, a descendant of the Anada clan, there will also be a forum on the theme of ``Getting to know the reality of the attack on Odawara'' and a talk about the historical drama ``Sanada Maru.'' There was also a lecture by Yu Hirayama, who was in charge of historical research , and the content was very interesting for fans who watched the drama.

In addition to castle researchers, various other "castle specialists" have appeared, such as castle photographers and castle illustrators, who enjoy castles from different angles. For example, it has become possible to take photographs using drones. As a result, I was able to hear stories about how castle photography has become even more interesting.

The venue was always crowded with people, from adults to children, and I felt the current castle boom was gaining momentum. Apparently , the number of visitors over the three days was 19,000 !

I learned a lot about the fun of touring castles, including the fact that not only castles with castle towers are castles, but mountain castles are also very attractive as they are the origin of castles, and how fun it is to walk around castles with the feeling of attacking and defending. It was 3 days.

Castle EXPO 2016 ended with great success, but this was actually the first time it was held.
They plan to continue holding these events in the future to encourage interaction between castle fans and the areas where castles are located, and to develop castle research.

It's early to think about it, as the event just ended, but I can't wait to find out what this year's events will be!

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