Hiroshima: The Katsunari experience at renovated Fukuyama Castle

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A visitor rides a model horse as part of a “race” to Osaka Castle.

The Spearhead Ichibanyari Race, an attraction at the newly opened Fukuyama Castle Museum, lets visitors experience how Mizuno Katsunari may have felt as he headed to battle during the 1615 Summer Siege of Osaka. Katsunari was the first to reach Osaka Castle — the Toyotomi family stronghold — and he successfully raised his flag upon arrival.

By sitting atop a model horse in front of a screen, and controlling its movements with reigns, participants dodge obstacles and compete against other “warriors” on screen. The first to reach the goal is the winner.

The museum also has a shooting attraction, in which visitors use a replica gun to aim at a target on a screen. The game is a reference to when Katsunari shot a target 36 meters away with a matchlock gun at the age of 87.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man tests his aim in a shooting attraction.

When the trigger is pulled, exploding gunpowder is shown on the screen, and, if accurate enough, visitors can take a commemorative photo in front of the screen with a close-up of the target.

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