Tour Report on Saturday, June 24
- East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Many thanks for having participated in our tour at the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace on June 24. We welcomed 75 guests from 23 countries. In spite of hot and muggy weather, I hope you could enjoy the moment and the instant kimono afterwards.
In the Japanese history there was the time when the government died during the Warring States period in the 15th to 16th century for about 140 years until the peaceful Edo period. There was a strong samurai feudal warlord, poet and a Buddhist monk named Dokan Ohta known for constructing the original Edo Castle at the age of 25. It was 150 years before the Tokugawa’s modern castle was built in the same place. The first Shogun of the Edo period, Ieyasu Tokugawa remodeled and expanded the castle over the foundation made by Dokan.
Although Dokan’s castle was not as great as the Tokugawa’s exquisite one, the fortresses were considered to be sufficiently secure from every kind of attack from the enemies at that time. Apparently Dokan fought in about 30 battles and never failed in the Kanto region.
There were about 200 fortified castles in the area and Dokan selected Edo for its topography and the possibility of economic growth. Dokan was the lord of the castle for 30 years.In fact the site was the place where earlier the Edo family had kept their residence.
Unbelievably he was assassinated by his boss in the conspiracy typical of the lawless period. Many people in the Kanto destrict even now keep in their mind that Dokan was the person to build the original Edo Castle, create a path to prosperity and died a tragic death even though 560 years have passed.
There are twelve bronze statues of Dokan in the Kanto mostly at the battle sites. Outside Hirakawa Mon Gate, the last of our guiding spots at the East Gardens, a stone monument of Dokan Ohta silently stands behind the tree.
Let’s get together at our tour and share the Japanese history, culture, etc. with you.
(Posted by Yoshi)