'Tycoon's Palace, Osaka' [Japan]
In 1615 the Castle of Osaka fell to assault by the founding father of the shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu, when the Toyotomi clan who began its construction in 1583 were extinguished as a political power. It was originally a stone structure, the outer walls, moat and a great deal else being substantially completed under Tokugawa rule in the 1620s, though it subsequently suffered much neglect and damage, including loss of the main tower to fire in 1665. Much of the outer wall, which Butt shows, was restored in 1843 and he saw it just before a further period of fire and conflict damage in the events surrounding the Meiji restoration (the Boshin War, 1868 -69) in which the lord of Osaka was an adherent of the Emperor against the shogunate. Further restoration, damage in the Second World War, and subsequent reconstruction followed. Today its appearance is only externally authentic, the modern main tower being post-war concrete with a non-historical interior. The only largely authentic shogunate castle which now survives (including a largely wooden main tower) is the so-called 'White Heron' castle at Himeji, a little to the west.
Lt. James Henry Butt
Original size: 231 mm x 170 mm
- Image reference: PT2062
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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