The Matsumoto Castle is called “Black Crow Castle” for its black exterior. The walls are black in color as they are coated with black lacquer which has resistance to humidity.
The Matsumoto Castle is the nearest “National Treasure” castle from Tokyo. It is located near JR Matsumoto Station (2.5 hour train ride from Shinjuku, Tokyo). Its tower keep, TENSHU, was constructed in 1594, thus being the oldest among the existing towers in Japan.
There is another story behind ”Black Crow Castle”: the feudal load who built the Black Matsumoto Castle was one of Greats serving Toyotomi Hideyoshi who loved black castles. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was the leader of Samurai who united Japan in the late 16th century after the 100-year-long warring state. However, Tokugawa Iyeyasu overthrew the Toyotomi government and became the next ruler, establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603.
There is a castle called “White Heron Castle” in Himeji. You may want to look into a blog about it.
by Jin Shibata
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