Images: Daniel O'Grady
湯築城Yuzuki Castle is classified as a flatland castle (its layout: Teikakushiki), and is located in Ehime Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Iyo Province. It is associated with the Kōno, Ogasawara clans. Dates in use: 14C - 1587.
The days of Yuzuki castle actually resembling a castle are well and truly over, it is now a very public park. Remaining are two ringed streams, formerly the moats, and also preserved are sections of earthen mounds which were once part of the castle's defences. Excavations of the site revealed the locations & dimensions of a pair or Samurai residences which have been rebuilt along with their yards & open plumbing. To be honest though, it all looks a little try hard. (Sorry Matsuyama.)
Located within short walking distance is perhaps Japan's most famous hot-spring, Dōgo Onsen. Keeping a lid on the simmering spring is a large, old building of a lot of character. This very building was where the title character of the famous novel Botchan (by Natsume Sōseki) would chilax. It is also said to have formed the basis of the fantastical bath house in the Miyazaki Hayao film, Sen to Chihiro A.K.A. Spirited away.
|14C||Fortifications were established by the Kōno clan.|
|1585||The castle fell to HToyotomi Hideyoshi's forces.|
|1587||The castle was decommissioned.|
|1602||The fortifications were dismantled & then used in the construction of Matsuyama castle.|
|2002||The site was designated a National Historic Site.|
|Site||National Historic Site|