The Size of Himeji Castle
The length of Himeji Castle is from 950 to 1,600 meters from east to west and
from 900 to 1,700 meters from north to south. The circumference is 4,200 meters(2.53 miles).
It has an area of 230 hectares(2,828 square yards). The area is 60 times as big as Koshien Ball Park.
Nakabori or Middle Moat touched the present National Route 2 and Sotobori or Outer Moat touched JR Station.
The Background of Himeji Castle
Tokugawa Ieyasu won the decisive Battle of Sekigahara and his nation-wide domination was near at hand.
There was always a danger of Toyotomi Hideyori ,Hideyoshi's son in Osaka
Castle cooperating with the feudal lords in the western part of Japan.
Himeji was situated in a strong position to intercept an enemy and to attack Osaka Castle from the rear side.
Clever Ieyasu posted very trustworthy Ikeda Terumasa,who was a Tokuhime's husband (Tokuhime was Ieyasu's daughter.)
and gave him the provinces of Bizen(part of present Okayama) and Awaji (Awaji Island)
in addition to the province of Harima. The Ikeda Family was given 870,000 koku of rice
(One koku is 5 bushels of rice or 200 liters of rice). In fact it is said the Ikade Family was given
978,000 koku of rice. Ieyasu had Himeji Castle built to rival Osaka Castle.
13 families,48 persons, including lords from the Matsudaira,Okudaira,Sakakibara and Sakai families
lived in this castle for about 530 years from the time when Akamatsu Sadanori had first lived here.