KEY WORD : architecture / castles
Also written 曲輪. The general term for a castle compound. In the middle ages, when a mountain castle *yamajiro 山城, was built, the inclined site was leveled off first, with the higher land moved to the lower areas. Then the earthen embankment, or earthworks, and moat were built around the circumference of the castle. The area bounded by earthworks is the kuruwa. In the case of a flatland castle *hirajiro 平城, a moat for water was excavated, with the earth piled up on the inside of the moat used to build up the flat areas closest to the castle. This flat area was generally square in shape. The term kuruwa often refers to individual leveled off areas of land, or compounds; sometimes, though, the term refers to a group of such areas. In early modern castles, the main compound was called maru 丸 (circle). However, there is only one example of an early modern castle of the flatland type with a circular compound in Shizuoka prefecture Tanakajou 田中城. Almost all castles have a basic square shape, with bends added to the form. In early modern castles, the central compound is called *honmaru 本丸 with the *ni-no-maru 二の丸 and san-no-maru 三の丸 designated respective secondary and tertiary compounds. The outermost compound is called demaru 出丸. There are also directional designations for other subsidiary compounds such as the western compound, nishi-no-maru 西の丸, and the northern compound, kita-no-maru 北の丸. In castles of the middle ages, the main compound was called shukaku 主郭, jitsujou 実城, *nejiro 根城, or ichi-no-kuruwa 一の郭. A subsidiary castle located outside the compound was termed *tojou 外城. The designations honmaru (main compound) and ni-no-maru (secondary compound) are used today, even for medieval castles. The distribution of compounds is known as kuruwakubari 郭配り, and there are many names given to compounds according to their position and function. Examples include *uchiguruwa 内郭 (inner compound), sotoguruwa 外郭 (outer compound), *mizu-no-te guruwa 水の郭 (water compound), and kakushiguruwa 隠し郭 (hidden compound).

*obiguruwa 帯郭, *koshiguruwa 腰郭 

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