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The castle tower of Edo Castle in the Imperial Palace East Gardens in Tokyo.

The first Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, initiated the castle construction in Edo, present Tokyo, in 1603, and its castle tower was completed in 1606. This huge castle, so-called Edo Castle, was the central government at that time. Thereafter, this castle tower was largely renovated two times by his son and grandson. However, this stately castle tower was reduced to ashes by a conflagration know as Meireki-no-Taika in 1657. The reconstruction plan was carried out immediately, with a stone base construction as a beginning. This stone base still remains as shown in the picture. This castle tower construction work was discontinued at this extent because of the change of sense of value. A castle tower was generally used as an armory and watchtower in case of emergency. So nobody usually lived here. It was no more than a symbolic tower to show a military power and political power of the central government run by samurai warriors. That is, it's a white elephant in peaceful years after the complete unification of the country by Tokugawa shogun's family. A great deal of money for the tower construction work was used to cover the expense for the reconstruction of the destroyed houses of Tokyo locals.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.


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