Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nagoya Castle

Today, my host mom and I went to Nagoya Castle. It was kinda rainy, but it was still amazing.

The Nagoya Castle that is there now was built in the early 1600s by Ieyasu Tokugawa. He ordered various daimyo (like lords) in the area to built certain parts of the castle. Many of the daimyo building the castle inscribed various markings on the stones to separate their part of the castle from that of other daimyo.

There are no markings on these stones, I just thought that the craftsmanship here was amazing.

On the top of the main castle building there are two golden dolphins* called kinshachi. It is believed that after the original dolphins were placed atop the castle in the 14th century later became a symbol of a feudal lords authority. When the dolphins were first displayed on the castle, it was said that the shine on the gold was visible for about four kilometers (a little over two miles, I think).

This one isn't actually gold of course, it's plastic, but the gold kinshachi on top of the castle are the same size as this one.

In 1945 much of the castle, along with the kinshachi, was destroyed in World War II bombing raids. (I felt a little guilty every time there was something about destruction during World War II.) Three towers, three gates, and most of the paintings on the walls of the Hommaru Palace (the palace built for visiting shoguns) survived the fires.

This is one of the three surrounding towers that survived World War II.

I don't think this is the 600-year-old endangered Japanese Nutmeg, but it's still a pretty cool tree. There's also a little sign around it, so I assume it's got some significance.

Pretty much everything on the castle grounds was pretty. Even the manhole covers were decorated.

*The kinshachi are actually dolphins with lion heads. They also don't look much like dolphins at all, but if they've been called dolphins for seven hundred years, then I guess they're dolphins.


hokgardner said...

Hi Lena - it's Ella's mom, with Ella reading over my shoulder. We're having fun seeing your pictures and reading your posts.

Ella says hi.

Lena Ray said...

I saw the results from divisionals! Way to go Ella!
Yay! I'm glad people are actually reading stuff and this isn't just for my own vanity's sake.

Anonymous said...

Umm... those are not dolphins, they are kingyo -- goldfishes :P

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