'Tycoon's Palace, Yedo (inside the outer moat)' [Tokyo, Japan]
'Tycoon' (great lord) was originally an alternative Japanese term for describing the shogun to foreigners.The Nishinomaru Palace within the Castle of Edo (now Tokyo) had been the seat of the Japanese shogunate (military governing dynasty) since the 17th century - while the emperor was maintained as a symbolic head of state residing in Kyoto. The 15th and last Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, acceded in 1866 but resigned in late 1867 without ever residing at Edo, during the events which precipitated the Boshin War (1868-69) and formal restoration of the Meiji imperial dynasty. In May 1868, the Emperor resumed residence in the Castle of Edo, which became the castle and Imperial Palace of Tokyo when the city's name changed to Tokyo (26 October 1868). The Nishomaru residence was destroyed by fire in 1873 and the site subsequently much altered. Butt therefore saw it at a critical moment, and possibly only because it was not officially occupied at the time. The sentry on the right bears a Western firearm.
Lt. James Henry Butt
Original size: 153 mm x 247 mm
- Image reference: PT2058
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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