【ニッポンの希少部位 その壱】「天守建築」のディテールを解説!

【ニッポンの希少部位 その壱】「天守建築」のディテールを解説!

ニッポンの希少部位 その壱/Rare Parts of Japan vol.1
今回のお題 :天守建築/Topic :  Details of the “Main Peak” of the Japanese Castles.

今回から始まるこの連載では、ニッポン古来の「建築物」「モノ」「意匠」などから1テーマを選び、その各部位の名称、存在理由を解説します。しかも、海外の人たち向けに英語表記も併記。正直、日本人でも知らないことだったりするので、外国人の皆さん、この連載で予習しておけば「コレって実はね……」ってなノリで、逆に日本人にウンチク自慢ができちゃいます! そんなワケで、第1回は日本の城の象徴的アイコン、天守建築の希少部位(!?)を取り上げます。
You might come across with some Japanese traditional items such as dresses, tools, or buildings, and most of times you don’t know why they are shaped that way or their details.
This series will pick up one theme from Japanese culture, such as “Buildings”, “Items”, and “Design”, and explain their details and reasons for their existence. (With English translations for foreigners also.) Truth would be told, these are knowledges that most of Japanese people now days doesn’t know, so you can show off your intellect to Japanese people once you read these series!
Anyways, the first topic for this series will be about “Tenshu or Tenshukaku” (a.k.a. main peak, the most iconic part of the castle, also known as highest castle tower) of Japanese traditional castles.

The most iconic part of traditional Japanese castle, “The Tenshu” would probably be the most interesting part of the castle.

Back then people taking interests in the Castles were older people, but now days young people are starting to take interest in the Castle, and it is not uncommon to find young ladies to be one of them. So, new trend of “Japanese Castles” might be spreading quietly.

で、通になると、堀や石垣がどーとか、縄張り(城の各エリアや各建物などの配置プランのこと)がどーとか、そういったことにも興味が向かうのだけれど、一般人としては正直、天守(「天守閣」は俗称です)に魅かれます。だって背が高くて目立つでしょ? 攻めて来る敵を俯瞰するための高層建築であり、支配者の権威を領民などに見せつけるシンボルでもあったから、デザインが凝っていたり、シルエットが美しかったりと、他の櫓や城門などに比してグッドルッキング。見た目の迫力も格段に「チガウ!」って感じですもの。ちなみに元々、すべての城に天守があったわけじゃない(むしろ天守のない城のほうが多かった!)うえ、現在見られる天守のほとんどは昭和・平成時代に復元・新築された鉄筋コンクリート造り。木造の現存天守(つまりホンモノ!)は12城のみという、コレまさに「レアニッポン」なのです!
Anyways, once you become somewhat “Expert” of the castles, your main interest becomes about how the ditches and stone walls are placed, or the well-laid plans how each part are placed. But for regular people who started show interest in the castles, your main interest would be focused on the main peak of the castle, “The Tenshu” (a.k.a. Tenshukaku). Since it is the highest and clearly the main part of the castle. They are highest part of the castle with beautiful detailed designs, so they can spot the enemies approaching the castle and show the power of the ruler to the common people. Back then, castles with Tenshu were less then castles without them, so most of Tenshu you can visit now days are made during Showa to Heisei era (1956~) with concrete and steel. There are only 12 “Real” Tenshu (made when castles are built with wood and stone) exists, making them “Rare parts of Japan”.

So, let’s learn the details of the Tenshu from one of the “Real” Tenshu from Matsumoto Castle (National Treasure) as an example. If you master their secrets, you can apply the knowledge to other castles still exists today (Not all Tenshu has same details as the one in Matsumoto Castle).

NEXT > 次ページからはいよいよ各部位の用語を解説していきます!