Osaka CastleШаблон:Nihongo is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
Originally called Ozakajō, it is one of Japan's most
famous castles, and played a major role in the unification of Japan
during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Osaka
Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one kilometer square.
It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer
walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each
overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on
the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall
stone foundation to protect its occupants from sword-bearing
The Castle grounds, which cover approximately Шаблон:Convert
contain thirteen structures which have been designated as Important
Cultural Assets by the Japanese government, including the Toyokuni
Shrine, dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The castle is open to the public, and is easily accessible from
Osakajōkōen Station on the JR West Osaka Loop Line. It is a popular
spot during festival seasons, and especially during the cherry
blossom bloom (hanami), when the sprawling castle grounds are
covered with food vendors and taiko drummers. The large indoor
arena Osaka-jo Hall is also located within the grounds of the
, committed suicide after the fall of Osaka Castle]]
1583: Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the
site of the Ikkō-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji. The basic plan
was modeled after Azuchi Castle,
the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Toyotomi wanted to build a castle
that mirrored Oda's, but surpassed it in every way: the plan
featured a five-story main tower, with three extra stories
underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress
1585: Inner donjon completed. Toyotomi continued to
extend and expand the castle, making it more and more formidable to
1598: Construction completed. Hideyoshi died. Osaka
Castle passed to his son, Toyotomi Hideyori.
1600: Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his opposers at the
Battle of Sekigahara, and started his own bakufu in Edo.
1614: Tokugawa attacked Hideyori in the winter, starting
the Siege of Osaka. Although the Toyotomi forces were outnumbered
approximately 2 to 1, they managed to fight off Tokugawa's
200,000-man army and protect the castle's outer walls. However,
Tokugawa attempted to muzzle Toyotomi by filling up the castle's
outer moat, rendering it largely defenseless.
1615: During the summer, Hideyori began to dig the outer
moat once more. Tokugawa, in outrage, sent his armies to Osaka
Castle again, and routed the Toyotomi men inside the outer walls on
June 4. Osakajo fell to Tokugawa, and the Toyotomi clan
1620: The new heir to the shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada,
began to reconstruct and rearm Osaka Castle. He built a new
elevated main tower, five stories on the outside and eight stories
on the inside, and assigned the task of constructing new walls to
individual samurai clans. The walls built in the 1620s still stand
today, and are made out of interlocked granite boulders with no
mortar whatsoever; they are held together solely by each other.
Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries in the Seto
Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who
laid them into the walls.
1660: Lightning exploded the gunpowder warehouse. And,
the castle surrounding set on fire.
1665: Lightning strikes burned down the main tower.
1843: After decades of neglect, the castle got
much-needed repairs when the bakufu collected money from the people
of the region to rebuild several of the turrets.
1868: Much of the castle was burned in the civil
conflicts surrounding the Meiji Restoration. Under the Meiji
government, Osaka Castle was converted to a barracks for Japan's
rapidly-expanding Western-style military.
1928: The main tower was restored after the mayor of
Osaka concluded a highly successful fund-raising drive.
1945: Bombing raids on Osaka damaged the reconstructed
1995: Osaka's government approved yet another
restoration project, with the intent of restoring the main tower to
its Edo-era splendor.
1997: Restoration was completed. The castle is a
concrete reproduction (including elevators) of the original,
although the interior does not resemble a Japanese castle at
Gallery: Castle in
Moat and outer walls