Hishi Gate (Diamond Gate)
This gate is called Hishi Gate because big diamond shapes can be seen on the tops of both pillars.
The gate is the biggest of all the gates in Himeji Castle,and the appearance is splendid.
The gate is said to have been moved here from Fushimi Castle in Kyoto.
Anyhow the gate is a beautiful example of a Momoyama Era (1568-1600) structure.
Two windows above the gate are called Katomado or Lantern Windows.
In this castle this type of windows can be seen in the West and Northwest Small Towers.
Originally this type of window was used in temples such as Kinkakuji( Golden Pavilion)
and Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) in Kyoto.
The stone and mud walls form a square shape commonly called Masugata.
This box shaped built in conjunction with the gate is designed to confuse and hinder attackers.
Once through a gate, attackers may find themselves surrounded by a small courtyard
and this prevents them from going through it.
Hishi Gate Bell-shaped window or Lantern window