Aoba Castle (青葉城 Aoba-jō ), also known as Sendai Castle (仙台城, Sendai-jō), was the castle of the Date family. Built by Date Masamune atop Mount Aoba, it commanded a highly defensible strategic position overlooking the city of Sendai. Although the "castle" was the headquarters of the Date family and administrative center of Mutsu Province, the peace that followed the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) and the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate, mitigated the dangers of attack. Plans for the tenshu, equivalent to the main keep of European castles, were drawn, but it was never built. The castle was one of the nerve centers of the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei during the Boshin War, when Date Yoshikuni was lord of Sendai. Taken over by the new government in the aftermath of Sendai's surrender, it was partially dismantled in the 1870s. Many of the remaining buildings on the castle site were damaged in the firebombing of Sendai during World War II, but sections of the castle survived, and a great deal of it, including the stone base, some walls, and some wooden structures, have either been rebuilt or are currently being rebuilt. The castle site also contains a Gokoku Shrine (護国神社, Gokoku-jinja), as well as a large equestrian statue of Date Masamune.
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