“Kochi Castle, in the former Tosa Province-now Kochi Prefecture of Shikoku, is one of just twelve Japanese castles to have survived the fires, wars and other catastrophes of the post-feudal, modern age. It was first constructed between 1601 and 1611, but most of its main buildings date from 1748 after a reconstruction from a fire.
“Following the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Kōchi Castle was constructed in what was then the province of Tosa, ordered built by Yamanouchi Kazutoyo, who took control of the province after the Tokugawa victory.
“Construction was begun in 1601 and was completed in 1611. Much of the original fortress burned down in 1727; it was reconstructed between 1729 and 1753 in the original style. The castle underwent major restoration from 1948 to 1959.
“Although no battles were fought at the castle, it remains noteworthy because the castle is the original structure; not a post-war replica. It is also the only castle in Japan to retain both its original tenshu, or keep, and its palace, the residence of the local daimyō.
“In fact, it is the only castle [in Japan] to have all the original buildings in the honmaru, or innermost ring of defense, still standing.”
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