'Tycoon's Palace, Osaka' [Japan]

No. 12 of 51 (PAJ2051 - PAJ2101): inscribed by the artist on the album page, as title, and dated '1/68'. 'Tycoon' (great lord) was originally an alternative Japanese term for describing the shogun to foreigners. In 1615 the Castle of Osaka fell to assault by the founding father of the shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu, when the Toyotomi clan who began its construction in 1583 were extinguished as a political power. It was originally a stone structure: the outer walls, moat and a great deal else were substantially completed under Tokugawa rule in the 1620s, though it subsequently suffered much neglect and damage, including loss of the main tower to fire in 1665. Much of the outer wall, which Butt shows, was restored in 1843 and he saw it just before a further period of fire and conflict damage in the events surrounding the Meiji restoration (the Boshin War, 1868 -69) in which the lord of Osaka was an adherent of the Emperor against the shogunate. Further restoration, damage in the Second World War, and subsequent reconstruction followed. Today its appearance is only externally authentic, the modern main tower being post-war concrete with a non-historical interior. The only largely authentic shogunate castle which now survives (including a largely wooden main tower) is the so-called 'White Heron' castle at Himeji, a little to the west.

Object Details

ID: PAJ2062
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Butt, James Henry
Date made: Jan 1868
People: Butt, James Henry
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 231 x 170 mm
Parts: Album of topographical views, mainly on the coasts of Japan, China and Formosa (Taiwan) (Album)

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