Friday, November 7, 2014

Stavros Kyoto

Nijo Castle landmark in Kyoto.

Earlier this week I bought Matthew Stavros new book, Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan's Premodern Capital.  So far, it is a great book and I highly recommend it.  As for Nobunaga, it covers the construction of Nijo Castle in 1569.  It has nothing about the Nijo Palace which was built in 1576.  In fact, Nobunaga's construction of Nijo Castle would change Kyoto completely.  First, Nobunaga's fortress in no way reflected Kyoto's past or architectural history.  Second, it located in the heart of the city on the east side of Muromachi Road between Kamigyo and Shimogyo.  The road was cleared out by the Onin war.  Third, the size was huge in its day, wall, moats, and a castle tower, a first in its time.  Forth, it was the birth of Japan's early modern castle town.  Fifth, once Yoshiaki was expelled from Kyoto in 1573, the castle fell into disuse.  Its materials were used in the construction of Azuchi Castle.  Also Nobunaga ordered the residents of Kyoto's Kamigyo to fill in the moats so the enemy could not use the favorable location.

I would also like to include one theory on stones being used in the construction of Nijo Castle in 1569.  You can look back to Nobunaga's first major construction project which was Komaki Castle in 1563.  It did have some stone foundation and might have been a dry run for Nijo and Azuchi Castles.

Nobunaga no tame!

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