Edo Castle had highest tower in nation, study finds

posted on December 20, 2015

The roofs and walls were jet black, and gold shachihoko, mythical fish with lionlike heads, adorned the castle tower, which rose nearly 60 meters above the ground.

This was Kaneido Tenshu, the last tower of Edo Castle to be built. Although the castle was destroyed by fire in 1657, we know it looked this way thanks to the research of Prof. Masayuki Miura, an expert on cultural assets at Hiroshima University's Graduate School of Letters.

Excluding its base, Edo Castle was then the tallest castle in the nation, exceeding Osaka Castle and Nagoya Castle, and its structure was capable of withstanding large earthquakes.

"It combined the technologies of the time, and was truly the greatest building in Japan," Miura said.

Kaneido Tenshu was built in 1638 by the third leader of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Iemitsu. It had one floor below ground and five above, and ultimately burned down in the Meireki no Taika (Great fire of Meireki), which also destroyed most of the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo).

The height of the castle tower without the base was 44.84 meters, making it taller than Osaka Castle (44.51 meters) and Nagoya Castle (36.06 meters) of the same period. It is believed that it was possible to see 30 kilometers in every direction from the highest floor, which would have afforded a view past Edo city all the way to modern Chiba city.

The height of the castle tower without the base was 44.84 meters, making it taller than Osaka Castle (44.51 meters) and Nagoya Castle (36.06 meters) of the same period. It is believed that it was possible to see 30 kilometers in every direction from the highest floor, which would have afforded a view past Edo city all the way to modern Chiba city.

source by the-japan-news
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