Kanazawa Castle (金沢城,
Kanazawa-jō) is a large, well-restored castle in Kanazawa, Ishikawa
Prefecture, Japan. It is located adjacent to the celebrated
Kenroku-en Garden, which once formed the castle's private outer garden.
The castle was founded in 1583 when the Maeda family moved to
Kanazawa to establish the Kaga Domain. It was greatly
reconstructed in 1592 after the Battle of Bunroku, at which time its
moats were dug. It was burned down and reconstructed in 1620-21
and again in 1631-32, then almost completely gutted in the great
Kanazawa fire of 1759, and rebuilt in 1762 and 1788 (Ishikawa-mon Gate).
After several minor fires and an earthquake, it was again destroyed by
fire in 1881.
What remains, including the 1788 Ishikawa Gate, is now part of
Kanazawa Castle Park. The Sanjukken Nagaya (an Important Cultural
Asset) and the Tsurumaru Storehouse are two additional remaining
The Hishi Yagura turret, Gojikken Nagaya warehouse, and
Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura turret were faithfully restored in 2001 to
their 1809 form, using traditional construction methods. Today's
pillars are Japanese Hinoki Cypress with massive American cypress as
ceiling beams. It is such a large structure within that in the
late 1700s it was called "the palace of 1,000 tatami". The
castle's distinctive, whitish roof tiles are made of lead. The
reason for that is not only that they are fireproof, but also that in
times of siege, the tiles could be melted down and cast into bullets.