Dr. Avnish Jolly, Aizu-Wakamatsu ,Fukushima Prefecture, 10th December , 2008 :Aizu-Wakamatsu is a town situated in the west of Fukushima Prefecture. It is spreading over the south of Aizu Basin and its southern mountain foot.
It faces to Lake Inawashiro in the east. The city center had been initiated by the construction of a castle by Ashina Family. During Aizu War, the castle and the streets were burned out but Aizu still keeps an image of the castle town. Moreover, the old household industries like Aizu lacquering and Sake brewing are still operating there.
The mansion constructed by Ashina Naonari in the first year of Shitoku Era would be the origin of Wakamatsu Castle. Afterward, Date Masamune, then Gamo Ujisato had taken the castle in the 18th year of Tensho Era to rename it Tsuruga Castle. In the 17th year of Meji Era, all the buildings including the main donjon were destroyed but in September, the 49th year of Showa Era, it was restored to the initial state.
Tenshyukaku is the main tower of a whole castle compound and was formed originally from a watchtower built above a habitation during the civil war period of Sengoku. It has become then more and more solid serving as well as a defense function. During Edo period it was considered a symbol of the local seignior's authority and became more decorative.
Beginning from a simple fort or a camp in the civil war period (Sengoku period), Japanese seigniors made it a habitation and an administration office during Edo period. It was served as well as a defense point for himself by adding a donjon to its center. Those compound buildings as a whole are called "Jokaku".
In 1868, after a defeat in the battle of Toba-Fushimi, the order had been given to subjugate the seignior Matsudaira Katamori. So, the government attacked his town, Aizu, while they opposed it by forming an alliance with about thirty feudal clans of Tohoku Region. They had resisted by holding Wakamatsu Castle but finally capitulated in September. The famous collective suicide of Byakotai (White Tiger Regiment) formed by children of the besieged occurred at that moment.