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Posted by
GJC (Kyoto, Japan) on 7 July 2011 in Architecture.

Matsue Castle was completed in 1611 for the Lord Horio, before it passed in 1638 into the Matsudaira family who ruled Izumo Province for more than 230 years. Fantastically grim, the thing is, wrote Lafcadio Hearn of this place, and grotesquely complex in detail .... the creation is a veritable architectural dragon, made up of magnificent monstrosities.

NIKON D300 1/200 second F/6.3 ISO 200 75 mm (35mm equiv.)

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

What a lovely description is given there . . all looks so placid in the image !

7 Jul 2011 8:52am

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

The description by Hearn must be of another part of the castle that we are yet to see. This beautiful scene only serves to whet our appetites. Well done GJC! ;-)

7 Jul 2011 11:27am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Did you take a boat tour around the castle ? Your photo reminds me days of Izumo, when my son (now 12 years old) was as old as 菊ちゃん is now.

7 Jul 2011 12:35pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

I agree with me, this is so lovely, but Hearn had his own ideas about things...for me, I would love to be well-preserved this is..All the best, GJC!

7 Jul 2011 4:39pm

@Denny Jump Photo: Thanks so much. Actually Hearn thought his description was very complimentary. He loved the odd and the queer and one of the things he loved most about Japan was its ghost stories. He collected one about this castle, in fact, that told of a young woman buried alive in the castle's walls when it was built. She was sacrificed for the sake of the building's safety. She loved, Hearn tells, to dance and so it was said that dancing was forbidden in the city of Matsue, because every time dance music was heard the walls of the castle shook and looked to crumble. One of the things Hearn loved most about Japan was that it was a place that kept alive, so he believed, the old, the mysterious and the odd. Matsue Castle was for him, then, a wondrous place.

Georgie from Sherwood Park, Canada

Sounds like Lafcadio Hearn prefers things more simple.....Looks wonderful to me!

8 Jul 2011 1:35am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A wonderful setting for a castle. Is this the original or a reconstruction?

9 Jul 2011 11:14pm

@Steve Rice: Indeed, it is beautiful. There is a large moat where you can take a boat ride (which is where I took this photo). The castle is an original-reconstruction. It is one of the only original castles left in Japan, and was completely taken down and put back up in the 1950s as part of an effort to stabilize and preserve it. It is most definitely worth a visit!

1/200 second
ISO 200
75 mm (35mm equiv.)