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Article Sugiyama Castle

Hiroto Uehara

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Sugiyama Castle

Sugiyama Castle (杉山城 Sugiyama-jō) was a hilltop castle located in modern-day Ranzan, Saitama Prefecture. Constructed on a mountain ridge at the edge of the Kantō plain it was overlooking the old Kamakura Highway, the modern-day Kanetsu Expressway. Making perfect use of the steep topography more than ten enclosures consisting of dry moats and clay walls were built across an area of eight hectares.

The designers of the castle used complex earthworks and moats as well as sophisticated construction techniques such as yokoya-kakari (横矢掛かり or 横矢掛り), structures that allowed defenders to attack the enemy from the side, and byōbu-ori (屏風折), castle walls that zigzag back and forth like a multi-panelled folding screens, thereby giving defenders a broader field of view to mount crossfire counter-attacks...
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