Japan’s Finest Castle Palace, the restored Nagoya Honmaru Goten / 名古屋城・本丸御殿_01

2013.05.24 [PLACES,Samurai Central Nagoya-Aichi,WHAT'S NEW]

Japan’s Finest Castle Palace, the restored Nagoya Honmaru Goten / 名古屋城・本丸御殿 Part 1

Japan’s Finest Castle Palace, the restored Nagoya Honmaru Goten

On May 29, 2013, Nagoya Castle’s grand palace, Japan’s finest, the Honmaru Goten once again opened
it’s doors, 400 years after having first been built.






The History of the Honmaru Goten Palace.

In 1610, the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the
construction of Nagoya Castle, and so major works
soon commenced on building the palace and surrounding fortress.  By 1612 in a fine display of Tokugawa power,
the huge castle keep, Japan’s largest was completed.
Three years later, in 1615, the lavish living quarters of Tokugawa Yoshinao (pictured), Ieyasu’s ninth son, and
the first Lord of Owari as the region was called, was
finished. Lord Yoshinao’s extravagant wedding took
place within the gorgeous palace, however as the
Ninomaru,  the Second Citadel’s Grand Palace had
just been completed, the new couple moved out of the Honmaru, and into the Ninomaru Palace.


From that time on, the elegant  Honmaru Palace was
only used by the shogun as lodging on his journeys to
and from visiting the Emperor in Kyoto. The second
shogun, Hidetada and third shogun Iemitsu also stayed
here, however between 1634 and  1865 no shogun ever stayed in Nagoya, and so the Honmaru Palace
remained unused, hence it was kept in near pristine condition. During the Meiji restoration, the Emperor
would often stay in the Honmaru Goten, The Taisho and Showa Emperors also used the palace when visiting Nagoya.  In 1930 the castle became the property of Nagoya City. The impressive keep, various watchtowers,
gates, and particularly the palaces, 24 structures in all were designated National Treasures. Unfortunately in
1945, all were destroyed by the fire bombings in the closing days of World War Two. Although the keep was reconstructed in concrete after the war, for 70 years, only the foundation stones of the Honmaru Palace
remained as a reminder. From 2009 a citizens group commenced collecting public donations in an effort to
recreate the palace. 



1610(慶長15)年 徳川家康の命により、築城がはじまった名古屋城。1612年には徳川の力を象徴するかの





Recreating the Honmaru Palace.

Honmaru Goten Palace has been revived. Inside and out, it is an almost 100% perfect re-creation of the
original, and the first properly re-created palace in Japan. How could this be done? Fortunately, various circumstances aided in this rebuilding project. In the 1930’s when the castle was made a national treasure,
Nagoya City made a thorough inspection of the castle and its many remaining structures.  At that time, architectural plans as well as highly detailed glass plate photographs were taken of the castle, the palace
and its interiors. Also, in 1945, just before the air raids that destroyed the castle occurred, many of the
sliding doors are wall art pieces were removed from the palace and placed in the former gunpowder
storeroom, the sturdy Nogi warehouse, which survived the bombings.  


From the burnt wreckage of the castle, the fine metalwork from the doors and wall pins were carefully
sifted out of the ashes and saved for later inspection. For those reasons the many fine details, much
information and records of the castle built over 400 years ago remained for researchers to refer to,
to once again reconstruct the castle palace as it once was. The measurements, shapes, colours, materials
and the construction all have been painstakingly researched and re-created to restore the palace to its
former glory.


 (Original artwork saved from the flames / 空襲から守られた障壁画)





>>NEXT 本丸御殿の見どころは?

>>Next:  Highlights of the Palace





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