The Legend of Ubagaishi or Old Widow's Stone
In the middle of the stone wall you can see a fragment of a hand millstone covered with a wire net.
This stone is called Ubagaishi or Old Widow's Stone. There is a legend about it.
When Hideyoshi built the castle keep, he needed a lot of stones, but he couldn't gather enough.
He was in great trouble. An old woman who earned her living by selling roast rice cake heard
about this trouble and she decided to present her hand mill stone to him though she needed it for her trade.
Hideyoshi admired her sacrifice and used the stone in this wall.
It is said that people who heard this story offered stones to Hideyoshi,
so the construction work made rapid progress.
But we can imagine that feudal lords collected taxes severely in that age.
Photo of Old Widow's Stone
Stones of the castle
The most essential materials in building the castle are stones and wood.
As good stones couldn't be chosen one by one in the Age of Civil Wars in the 1500's,
stone lanterns, gravestones and stone coffins were also used for this castle.
Though we don't know for certain as there is no record, we suppose that the area
of a stone wall is about 28,000 square meters and the volume is more than 38,000 cubic meters
and the weight is 103,000 tons in just the area called Uchikuruwa(within Inner Moat).
If we should carry these stones by ship now, we would need 35 ships of 3,000 ton capacity
or 21,000 containers of 5 ton capacity.
Some big stones considered to weigh hundreds of tons were used,
and we can imagine that people who built the castle persistently toiled hard as
there was limited mechanical power in those days.
Photo of a base of a stone lantern used as a substitute stone
Photo of a stone coffin built in the stone wall