Tuesday, July 14, 2015

... burned down, fell over, THEN sank into the swamp...

The fire brigades and construction squads just could not catch a break with Osaka Castle.
"The center of the castle is called Hommaru and in the case of Osaka Castle, the government palace was situated in Hommaru. The palace built in the Toyotomi period was burned down in 1615 during the Summer War of Osaka. Later the Tokugawa Shogunate rebuilt the castle together with the palace but again it was burned to ashes in 1868 during the civil wars of the Meiji Restoration. In 1885 a part of the palace in Wakayama Castel was moved to this place and was called Kishu-Goten Mansion but this mansion too was burned down in 1847."

The castle grounds are a huge nested set of walled and moated compounds, and it was not particularly clear which pieces had burned down when, although some very involved infographic maps attempted to portray it. This is not helped by the fact that the entire zone shifted, grew and shrank, over the course of these several hundred fire-swept years.

This plaque --- freestanding in an open area --- also notably does not describe when, or by whom, any of the currently-standing structures (mostly stone) were built. I remain clueless, but delighted. I do not think that a Western cultural location would ever have such a frank and unabated listing of the various destructions the area had suffered. And the details! Not simply burned, but burned to ashes, a complete obliteration into tiny constituent particles and released energy.

This post's theme word is adjure, "to command solemnly," or "to request earnestly." The shogun adjured that the castle be rebuilt --- this time, of fireproof stone.

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