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Tornadoes28
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Group proposes to rebuild Edo castle tower Reply with quote
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100718x1.html

A private group has proposed to rebuild the tower of Edo Castle to be no doubt a major tourist attraction. The group would prefer to build the tower on the original location in the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. But it is not certain that the Imperial Household Agency would agree to that. Any other location would not make sense though.

This right now is just a dream of the group so who knows when or if this will ever happen. They have no way to pay for the project at this time but they do have some prominent supporters such as the mayor of Tokyo.

Any opinions of whether you would like to see Edo Castle tower rise again? There are many other fine castle reconstructions such as Tsuruga-jō in Aizuwakamatsu so I think this might be a nice idea if it ever happens.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wow! What a marvelous idea, especially because Edo Castle wasn't just "a" castle, it was "THE" Castle! And that line about symbolizing the peace of the Tokugawa era might even help to clinch it. (They should get the "18th Shogun" on board!) Very Happy

Given the numbers of young (and old) jidai-geki fans out there, I would think they could get a groundswell of support going from the public, then form a foundation and accept corporate and private funds. The cost couldn't be that prohibitive, considering how many others were rebuilt much earlier as you mentioned, and I should think the eventual tourist income would more than offset it. Perhaps they could issue bonds for it?

BTW, there's a whole series of documetary clips on YouTube of the rebuilding process of Tsurugajo. Wish I knew how to post the link, but you can look it up there under Aizuwakamatsu City.

Based on the picture accompanying this article, the site doesn't look like it's doing much of anything else, so what's for the Imperial Household Agency not to like?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This idea has been floating around for sometime here in Tokyo and started gaining some steam recently. However, until the imperial family packs up its bags and returns to Kyoto on a permanent basis, it ain't gonna happen. And as for the emperor going back to Kyoto-- it ain't gonna happen.

Besides, Edo Castle hasn't had a tenshukaku since 1657, when it burned during the Great Meireki Fire. So even throughout most of the Edo period, the castle had no keep! So as much as the J-castle geek inside me is intrigued by this, I can't get too excited by the idea.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I know the Imperial family will never return to Kyoto in a million years but I wish they would. That's where they belong then Edo Castle can be returned to what it should be, a castle.

Interesting how the castle supporters stated that the tower stood as a symbol of Tokugawa power and a symbol of peace throughout the Edo period seeing as the tower burned down in 1657 two hundred years before the end of the Edo Period and was never rebuilt as you mentioned Obenjo.

How about rebuilding it in the form of what Chiyoda castle might have looked like?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I agree with Obenjo that it is not going to happen, and I don't care. The East Gardens are a good place to visit now, and I recommend them (just note they are closed Mon. and Fri.).

What is the point? Most of the large-scale reconstructed castles are of those destroyed during or since the Bakumatsu, so they are meaningful to the people there, and they have some knowledge about them.

Actually I would say not having a tenshukaku was a symbol of the Edo Period. It burned down just at the start of the "Mid-Edo" period, and not rebuilding, like other steps taken at the time, was part of the change from regarding other daimyo as enemies, to considering them as settled vassals. For instance, about the same time, they relaxed adoption laws, which meant fewer leaderless han for the bakufu to confiscate--and fewer people made ronin. Also they changed from the idea that Edo should be a secret maze to making routes clear in case of fire.

Now, if they would recreate the shogun's mansion, that might be another story...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Bethetsu wrote:
I agree with Obenjo that it is not going to happen, and I don't care. The East Gardens are a good place to visit now, and I recommend them (just note they are closed Mon. and Fri.).

What is the point? Most of the large-scale reconstructed castles are of those destroyed during or since the Bakumatsu, so they are meaningful to the people there, and they have some knowledge about them.

Actually I would say not having a tenshukaku was a symbol of the Edo Period. It burned down just at the start of the "Mid-Edo" period, and not rebuilding, like other steps taken at the time, was part of the change from regarding other daimyo as enemies, to considering them as settled vassals. For instance, about the same time, they relaxed adoption laws, which meant fewer leaderless han for the bakufu to confiscate--and fewer people made ronin. Also they changed from the idea that Edo should be a secret maze to making routes clear in case of fire.

Now, if they would recreate the shogun's mansion, that might be another story...
Agree completely-- especially about the Shogun's mansion, including the ooku-- but that space occupies the nice picnic area in front of the base of the castle's keep. Sad

I am really excited about the ongoing reconstruction work at Nagoya Castle on the Homaru Goten and plan on being there for the grand opening of the "genkan" in October. It would be marvelous if they could do something similar in Edo Castle, but I doubt that will ever happen, too.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
As a tourist and visitor, and potential longer-term Tokyo resident, I think it would be great to have a visitable castle within the Metropolis.

Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Kanazawa, and tens of other cities have castles that can at least be viewed from the outside (e.g. Fushimi-Momoyama) if not ones that can be visited inside. Right in the center of the city, as a major destination, element of the skyline, symbol of the city, etc. As a Japanese history geek, I would love to have somewhere closer than Kawagoe or Odawara to visit to get my castle fill. Edo castle as it stands today, if I remember right from my last visit over there, consists primarily of public park and areas closed to the public. No historical museums, no reconstructed anything to walk around inside... just an attractive gardens/park no different from any other park in the city.

I find it hard to buy into a lot of the stuff that these kinds of petitioners tend to say to back up their petitions - about how the rebuilt tenshu will "symboliz[e] the essence of the Japanese spirit, culture and lifestyle", and "cheer up the spirit of the Japanese people." I'm not even sure it will really bring more tourists to Japan (though it very well may bring more tourists who are already in Tokyo to the Imperial Palace part of town).

I'm not sure I buy into all this stuff about the spirit of Japan, but, it would be nice to see something on that site more representative and acknowledging of the Edo history. Doesn't have to be a tenshu which burnt down in 1657 and was absent for the majority of the Edo period. But, if visitors could be allowed into some part of the palace - I like the suggestion of rebuilding the shogun's mansion - something that would serve as a historical museum for the former castle, that would be great. After all, there are tours at Buckingham, at the White House, at the Vatican. So it's not like it's so unusual for a royal palace (or the rough equivalent) currently in use to be opened to the public in some limited fashion.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't know if anything much has changed, really, with the plan, in terms of whether or not it's actually going to go forward, but, it's been in the news again, as the organization is now pushing for the keep (tenshu) to be done in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Their main website (http://npo-edojo.org/) contains a FAQ section, in which they explain, among many other things:

1) It has not yet been determined whether or not the project will be able to go forward, i.e. it has not yet been decided that the rebuilding will or will not take place.

2) The plan is to build in wood, not in concrete.

3) The plan includes that windows facing in the direction of the (main parts of the) Imperial Palace will all be closed, or that there won't be windows facing that direction at all, so that there's no feeling that visitors are looking down upon the palace, or upon the emperor.

This is actually a really interesting point, that I had not thought of. What chiefly came to mind for me was simply the question of whether the Emperor, or the Imperial Household, would be willing to share the space with such a tower, and perhaps more importantly the question of whether such a symbol of the shogunate could, by its very existence, be seen as an anti-Imperial symbol. The project page only touches upon the latter very briefly, however.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:57 am    Post subject: Interior Reply with quote
What was the Edo castle donjon interior like?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
lordameth wrote:
I don't know if anything much has changed, really, with the plan, in terms of whether or not it's actually going to go forward, but, it's been in the news again, as the organization is now pushing for the keep (tenshu) to be done in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Their main website (http://npo-edojo.org/) contains a FAQ section, in which they explain, among many other things:

1) It has not yet been determined whether or not the project will be able to go forward, i.e. it has not yet been decided that the rebuilding will or will not take place.

2) The plan is to build in wood, not in concrete.

3) The plan includes that windows facing in the direction of the (main parts of the) Imperial Palace will all be closed, or that there won't be windows facing that direction at all, so that there's no feeling that visitors are looking down upon the palace, or upon the emperor.

This is actually a really interesting point, that I had not thought of. What chiefly came to mind for me was simply the question of whether the Emperor, or the Imperial Household, would be willing to share the space with such a tower, and perhaps more importantly the question of whether such a symbol of the shogunate could, by its very existence, be seen as an anti-Imperial symbol. The project page only touches upon the latter very briefly, however.


If the Emperor doesn't like it then he can move back to Kyoto where he belongs. Just Kidding
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