Osaka jo 大坂城
Today I’m bringing you to Osaka city in the middle of this city is situated the Osaka castle. The Osaka castle is not the most beautiful castle in Japan but it’s one of the most famous castle in Japanese history. A lot of great samurai battle took place at Osaka jo, there is even historical references that person like Miyamoto Musashi fought at Osaka jo. I did visit many Japanese castle and I must say Osaka jo is one of the most fun and educative to visit.
Osaka Castle and rampart in 1865
The construction of this castle started in 1583, the Osaka jo was commended by famous Toyotomi Hideoshi. the basic plan for the Osaka jo was modeled after Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Toyotomi wanted to build a castle that mirrored Oda’s, but surpassed it in every way: the plan featured a five-story main tower, with three extra stories underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress visitors. In 1598 the Osaka castle was completed but Toyotomi had past away with in the same time frame. The the full beauty of this castle was enjoyed by Toyotomi Hideoshi son. In 1614, Osaka Castle was Japan’s greatest fortification, measuring about 2 miles in length with double circuits of walls, 100 feet high. It was guarded by 100,000 samurai, loyal to their master: the head of the Toyotomi clan, Toyotomi Hideyori. The castle was seemingly impenetrable, however the ruling shogun of the age, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was determined to destroy this one last threat to his position as Japan’s ultimate ruler. In the winter of 1614 Tokugawa attacked the Osaka jo, starting one of Japan’s most famous Siege. Although the Toyotomi forces were outnumbered approximately 2 to 1, they managed to fight off Tokugawa’s 200,000-man army and protect the castle’s outer walls. However, Tokugawa attempted to muzzle Toyotomi by filling up the castle’s outer moat, rendering it largely defenseless. The next summer, Hideyori began to dig the outer moat once more. Tokugawa Ieatsu, in outrage, sent his armies to Osaka Castle again, and routed the Toyotomi men inside the outer walls on June 4. Osaka jo fell to Tokugawa, and the Toyotomi clan perished.
This monument marks the site where Toyotomi Hideyori 23 years old
and his mother Yodo-Dono 49 years old took their own lives on June 4, 1615
In 1620 the new heir to the shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada, began to reconstruct and rearm Osaka Castle. He built a new elevated main tower, five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and assigned the task of constructing new walls to individual samurai clans. The walls built in the 1620s still stand today, and are made out of interlocked granite boulders with no mortar whatsoever; they are held together solely by each other. Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries in the Seto Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who laid them into the walls.
From 1660 to the end of the 2nd world war the Osaka jo was left in decade.Major fires burned the outer walls and the main tower. In the War the castle was bombed by the Americans. After 2 restoration the castle was finally ready to show the modern world its beauty.
The Osaka castle must be on your list if you visit Japan. There is wonderful parks in side the walls and around the castle. In spring the place becomes like a sea of pink. The cherry blossom are amazing to observe near the castle and it a great time and place to have a wonderful picnic with friends. From an architectural point of view it is a master piece. Castle in Europe look like a bad work engineering compare to a Japanese castle.
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