Lightin’ up

Image credit: Yomiuri Online

Image credit: Yomiuri Online

For a good cause

Seems like castles all over Japan have been trying to out light up each other of late. And all for good causes. It was mid-October when Nagoya, Kokura & Kouchi castles where all dressed in a lovely shade of pink to raise the awareness of breast cancer, and now one month later several castles are donning a blue hue in aid of World Diabetes Day.

Pictured is Matsumoto castle of Nagano Prefecture. Toyama castle of Toyama Prefecture has also received the blue rinse.

Masutomi Castle, the overnight castle

There is one other castle that has just wrapped up its light up activities. It wasn’t in relation to a specific cause but to a legend instead. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi was in the process of pacifying Kyushu and about to engage the Akizuki clan, he had an enemy’s fallen castle covered in white paper overnight to give the illusion that it had been re-plastered. To the Akizuki clan, it had a demoralizing affect for it looked as though the invading armies had truly infinite resources. This prompted Akizuki Tanezane to surrender.

Every year the local residents celebrate this historical event by erecting scaffolding in the shape of a castle (it looks way better than it sounds) and illuminate it for a week to remember the castle that was built overnight.

  • コルーズ・真秀

    That Hideyoshi sure was a resourceful fellow huh. I really enjoy the stories of how he was able to ‘bend’ other warlords to his will.

    My kind of guy.

  • JapanDave

    You know, I have been here long enough to know the Japanese love lighting up castles at night, but I only recently discovered it as I happened to walk near Okazaki castle on my nightly walk.

    Man, I really need to buy a tripod to take advantage of this stuff!

  • admin

    Hi there guys, thanks for your comments. I’m at work now so will re-comment later tonight.

    BTW… think I should’ve called this post Light ’em if you got ’em. Actually, the current one may be just fine.

    ***the re-comment***

    Yeah, Hideyoshi was a bit of a smooth operator. Or, at least that’s the impression I got from Eiji Yoshikawa’s, Taiko. I’m pretty sure that one book strongly shaped my opinion of all three unifiers. This worries me a bit because while the book is based on factual events, it is a piece of creative writing.

    JapanDave, (welcome and) I’m so jealous that you live so close to a castle, even a rebuilt one. btw, I discovered through your blog and subsequently used the “Light ’em if you got ’em” there. It made me happy.

  • コルーズ・真秀

    -off topic but………..
    -Here’s a link to an article on the Rebuild of Kiyosu Castle I thought you may like to see.

  • admin

    Thanks for that link, I enjoyed the read. I rarely read about Japanese castles in English so that was a nice change. I really want to visit Kiyosu castle (and Gifu castle) too

  • コルーズ・真秀

    i can’t even read the newspaper!

  • My Sunday adventure

    […] castle festival in Kaho (Fukuoka Pref). That’s how long it has been since doing a post on the lighting-up of Masutomi castle. I didn’t quite make it to the lighting-up, I just had to settle for a day-trip. And even […]