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Edo castle

The meaning of «edo castle»

Edo Castle (江戸城, Edo-jō), also known as Chiyoda Castle (千代田城, Chiyoda-jō), is a flatland castle that was built in 1457 by Ōta Dōkan. It is today part of the Tokyo Imperial Palace and is in Chiyoda, Tokyo (then known as Edo), Toshima District, Musashi Province.[1] Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa shogunate there. It was the residence of the shōgun and location of the shogunate, and also functioned as the military capital during the Edo period of Japanese history. After the resignation of the shōgun and the Meiji Restoration, it became the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Some moats, walls and ramparts of the castle survive to this day. However, the grounds were more extensive during the Edo period, with Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi section of the city lying within the outermost moat. It also encompassed Kitanomaru Park, the Nippon Budokan Hall and other landmarks of the surrounding area.[2]

The warrior Edo Shigetsugu built his residence in what is now the Honmaru and Ninomaru part of Edo Castle, around the end of the Heian or beginning of the Kamakura period. The Edo clan left in the 15th century as a result of uprisings in the Kantō region, and Ōta Dōkan, a retainer of the Ogigayatsu Uesugi family, built Edo Castle in 1457.

The castle later came under the control of the Later Hōjō clan in 1524 after the Siege of Edo.[3] The castle was vacated in 1590 due to the Siege of Odawara. Tokugawa Ieyasu made Edo Castle his base after he was offered eight eastern provinces by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.[1] He later defeated Toyotomi Hideyori, son of Hideyoshi, at the Siege of Osaka in 1615, and emerged as the political leader of Japan. Tokugawa Ieyasu received the title of Sei-i Taishōgun in 1603, and Edo became the center of Tokugawa's administration.

Initially, parts of the area were lying under water. The sea reached the present Nishinomaru area of Edo Castle, and Hibiya was a beach.[clarification needed] The landscape was changed for the construction of the castle.[4] Most construction started in 1593 and was completed in 1636 under Ieyasu's grandson, Tokugawa Iemitsu. By this time, Edo had a population of 150,000.[5]

The existing Honmaru, Ninomaru, and Sannomaru areas were extended with the addition of the Nishinomaru, Nishinomaru-shita, Fukiage, and Kitanomaru areas. The perimeter measured 16 km.

The shōgun required the daimyōs to supply building materials or finances, a method shogunate used to keep the powers of the daimyōs in check. Large granite stones were moved from afar, the size and number of the stones depended on the wealth of the daimyōs. The wealthier ones had to contribute more. Those who did not supply stones were required to contribute labor for such tasks as digging the large moats and flattening hills. The earth that was taken from the moats was used as landfill for sea-reclamation or to level the ground. Thus the construction of Edo Castle laid the foundation for parts of the city where merchants were able to settle.

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Ed Castleberry
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