The Third Floor of the Main Tower
This floor looks like an attic enclosed with the second layer of the roof. There is no window, but only one fanlight. You might never notice this room from the outside.
The Forth Floor of the Main Tower
This is the lord’s chamber.
In case of an emergency, the headquarter would be set up and the lord would stay in this chamber.
The Steep Staircase
The length between two pillars was 197 cm. All the stairs were basically constructed between two pillars in Matsumoto Castle. Therefore, the higher the ceiling is, the steeper the stairs become.
The Fifth Floor of the Main Tower
It is said that this 5th floor was used as a conference room to plan defence strategies.
Stairs between Two Pillars
On the 5th floor, the ceiling is very high. Its height is 4 m 54 cm. It was too high to connect the 5th and 6th floors with a flight of stairs between two pillars. Hence, two flights of stairs were constructed with the landing in between.
The original tax in Matsumoto Domain was slightly higher than the standard. When a lord introduced new even-higher taxes on the farmers, a farmers’ revolt took place to demand the tax reduction. It is known as Kasuke Riot named after the top leader.
The Sixth Floor of the Main Tower
東 南 西 北
On this floor, the gallery surrounds the central space. This gallery was originally designed as the balcony. There seem to be two reasons for the design change. The first reason is that the outside walls protect the balcony from the cold weather. The second reason is that the walls prevented exposure to rain so as not to cause the decay of the wooden floor.
The 26th Night Goddess
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the moon becomes very thin on the 26th day of a month. An old belief says that, if a person saw three gods on the thin crescent arch of the moon, his (or her) entire life would be happy. A lord’s family enshrined the goddess in hope of the long prosperity of their clan.
Story There is an interesting story, the story goes that, on the night of January 26, 1618, one of the man of the Toda Clan was on duty in the castle tower. When the moon rose, a noble lady in a white kimono and red hakama suddenly appeared in front of him. She handed him a brocade bag and said, “If the lord enshrines the Nijurokuyashin ( or The 26th Night Goddess) with offering 500kg of cooked rice every 26th day of a month, the castle and the Toda Clan will prosper.” Then she walked up towards the top of the main tower and disappeared. The following morning, he told the whole story to his lord, who took it very seriously and decided to deify the bag. He enshrined it on the beam in the ceiling here. From then on, Nijurokuyashin was worshipped on the night of the 26th of every month.
The Structure of the Ceiling
The beams interlock each other. Using the principle of leverage system, these beams support the heavy roof.
The South-East Wing
The articles on display are accessories used by gun-soldiers (or musketeers).
This Moon-Viewing-Wing is the most beautiful place in this castle. The floor used to be covered with tatami mats. When there was an event like a moon-viewing party, all the sliding doors were removed to enjoy the beautiful view.
In Japan moon-viewing is a kind of traditional pastime. In particular, the full moon in fall has been appreciated a lot by the Japanese people. They sometimes have a party in the evening, it is said that they enjoy three moons here at the same time: one in the sky, one reflection on the surface of the moat and one in the glass.