Saturday, August 9, 2008

Japan - Nagoya Castle (JP-38363)

My 2nd official card from Japan is a beautiful night view of Nagoya Castle. Of course, I had no idea about it before, but Wikipedia is always very helpful ;)

Imagawa Ujichika built the original castle around 1525. Oda Nobuhide took it from Imagawa Ujitoyo in 1532, but later abandoned it.

In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the various daimyo to help with the building of a new castle on the site. This new castle was to be the new capital of the existing Owari Province and many of the materials used were sourced from the smaller Kiyosu Castle, including Kiyosu castle's tenshu, which was located in the existing provincial capital of Kiyosu. Nagoya castle's construction was completed in 1612.

During the Edo period, Nagoya Castle was the center of one of the most important castle towns—Nagoya-juku—in Japan and the most important stops along the Minoji that linked the Tōkaidō with the Nakasendō.

Until the Meiji Era, the castle was the home of the Owari Tokugawa clan of the Tokugawa family. It was destroyed by fire in World War II, but the donjon has been rebuilt.

During World War II, the castle was used as the District army headquarters and as a POW camp. During the bombing of Japan, the castle was burnt down in a USAF air raid on May 14, 1945. Due to the destruction caused by the air raid, most of the castle's artifacts were destroyed; many of the paintings inside, however, survived and have been preserved to this day. The rebuilding of the donjon finished in 1959. Today the donjon is a modern concrete building with airconditioning and elevators. In addition, there are plans to reconstruct the Hommaru Palace, which was also lost to fire during the war. Many of the paintings from this palace were also rescued, and replicas of these paintings will be placed in their appropriate locations within the restored palace. Until then, many of the objects formerly in the Hommaru as well as replicas of sliding shoji doors and the reconstructed Noh stage can be seen in the Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya.


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