Osaka Castle is a striking Japanese castle located in Chuo-ku, Osaka in Japan. Also known originally as Ozakajo, it is one of the most famous castles in Japan. It also played a significant role in the eventual unification of medieval Japan among its warring factions during the 16th Century.
Osaka Castle History
Osaka Castle was the brainchild of a great Japanese warlord, Hideyoshi Toyotomi. This castle was planned to display the vast power and fortune being enjoyed by Toyotomi during that time. Construction on the castle started in 1583 and was modeled after the Azuchi Castle which it plans to surpass in every way. Construction of the castle was completed on 1598 and it became the largest and most formidable of castles in Japan during its time.
In 1615, Osaka Castle was destroyed during the Summer War of Osaka. It was then reconstructed by the Tokugawa shogunate which took control of it until 1868. It was once again destroyed by fire during the civil conflicts that happened during the time of the Meiji Restoration. The castle was converted for a time into a barracks for the Japanese military.
In 1928, the Main Tower of the Osaka Castle underwent restoration. But bombing raids during 1945 damaged the reconstructed tower. It was sometime in 1995 that Osaka Castle once again went through another restoration project that aimed to restore the main tower back to its Edo-era splendor. The restoration was completed in 1997, with the castle becoming a concrete reproduction of the original.
Osaka Castle Features
Osaka Castle was built on the site of an ancient Ishiyama Hongan-ji temple. It was built on a land that covers around one square kilometer. The main tower of the castle was built on two raised platforms of landfill that was supported by walls of cut rock. The central castle stands five stories high from the outside and covers eight stories from the inside. It has a tall stone foundation that was built to protect its inhabitants from attackers.
The whole castle compound covers about 60,000 square meters. It also contains 13 other structures, with the compound surrounded by several moats. The Osaka Castle and its surrounding grounds are open to the public and has become a main tourist landmark in the city of Osaka.