|Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan|
The tenshu (keep) of Komine Castle
|Built by||Yūki Chikatomo|
|In use||1340 to 1871|
Komine Castle (小峰城 Komine-jō ) is a castle in the city of Shirakawa, Fukushima, Japan. It may be also called simply by the name of Shirakawa Castle (白河城 Shirakawa-jō ). In English, its literal meaning could be translated as "Small Peak Castle". Along with the Morioka Castle and the Aizuwakamatsu Castle, it may be considered as one of the three most important castles of the Tōhoku region of Japan. It is currently situated inside the Shiroyama Park, where public displays of flowers happen during the year. The park and the castle are located close to the Shirakawa Station (of the Tōhoku Main Line), approximately a 7-minute walk.
The construction of the Komine Castle was started in 1340 by Yūki Chikatomo, in a small hill then called Kominegaoka (小峰ヶ岡(小峯 is the original way it was written and is used in families today)). In 1627, it was under the control of Niwa Nagashige, who transferred 100,000 blocks of stone from the neighbouring Tanagura Castle (in Tanagura, Fukushima) in the year of 1628. This was done to aid in the expansion of the Komine Castle, then renamed Shirakawa Castle. Said renovation was finished four years later, in 1632. During most of the Edo period, the castle was ruled by the Matsudaira clan.
The Komine Castle became the stage of a battle during the Boshin War in 1868, where the allied forces loyal to the Emperor Meiji sieged the castle and defeated the local forces united under Matsudaira Katamori of Aizu, in the Battle of Aizu. This caused a fire to spread and destroy most of the Komine Castle, leaving it in ruins.
After this incident, the only remains of the castle were the moat and part of the stone walls. However, between 1991 and 1994, a great reconstruction plan was undertaken and most of the wooden structure of the castle was rebuilt, including the donjon and the main gate.
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-  (Japanese) – Shirakawa/Komine Castle
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