Maeda-daiba was built by the Chōshū Domain under Mōri Tadachika to protect the Kanmon Straits. Chōshū began attacking foreign shipping in 1863, leading to a repraisal attack by French forces which captured Maeda-daiba and took its cannons. Some of these cannons are still on display in Paris. The French ultimately retreated, however, and the Maeda-daiba was re-armed. Chōshū then continued to resist foreign and Shogunal demands, continuing to attack foreign vessels in its waters, blocking its straits to foreign shipping for over a year. As a result a coalition of Euro-American powers commenced the 1864 Shimonoseki Campaign and invaded Chōshū. Maeda-daiba was captured by British marines and disarmed.
For more historical background see my profile on Kameyama Battery.
There are several daiba (artillery battery emplacement) sites along the shore of Shimonoseki along the Kanmon Straits. Of those, Maeda-daiba has the best preserved remains of the old fortifications, including berms and trenches. The daiba can be split into two platforms, the upper (Taka-daiba) and lower (Hiku-daiba, or Ochaya-daiba) terraces. Here the British made their landing and seized the fort. A photograph taken of the navy men with the captured cannons is shown prominently on display boards here.
|English Name||Maeda Battery|
|Year Founded||Bakumatsu Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Access||Norfolk Hiroba Station on the Mojiko Retro Train; 45 minute walk via Kanmon Pedestrian Bridge|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Park|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||33° 58' 25.79" N, 130° 58' 15.24" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|