Day 14 – Help me, Oda Nobunaga; you’re my only hope!

Tropical Cyclone Chaba is making its closest approach to Japan today and rain is predicted for Osaka,  so I decide it is a museum sort of day,  but in fact it’s merely overcast…turned out just by luck that today was museum discount day…first stop…

Osaka castle

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was born a peasant but became ruler of Japan during what is called the Momoyama period. During his rule he built Osaka Castle

…that’s not the castle, just a watch tower on the outer moat…

..and here is the inner moat…with the castle in the distance… that’s what you call a castle!

The tour of the castle begins on the top floor (the interior has been modernised and there is a lift) from where you can see the following views of OsakaThe gold fish on the roofs of buildings are a ward against fire…so you see them on every corner of every old wooden building. The funky building just behind the fish is the Museum of History were I go later…

As I make my way down the inside of the castle, I am taught the history of region via a series of amazing dioramas,  that have a combination of statuettes and buildings and then a quasi-holographic projection of live action re-enactments of history…wait and see…Tradition says that a bright star appeared in the heavens to herald the birth of Hideyoshi…although in this case at least his mother used a traditional method of getting pregnant. Hideyoshi had a varied childhood ranging from time as a priest to time as a thief … around 1557 he meets his mentor

Help me, Oda Nobunaga; you’re my only hope!

… the great general Oda Nobunaga and at first becomes his sandal bearer…but Nobunaga has become impressed with Hideyoshi’s natural talent and trains him as a Jedi Knight warrior. After Nobunaga’s death, Hideyoshi rose to rule all of Japan but because of his humble beginnings as a peasant, he could never be called Shogun …

In addition to Osaka Castle, he also commissioned Higashi Hongan Jinja in Kyoto  and added the keep to Himeji Castle (I’m visiting Himeji tomorrow … even though the main building is being restored for the next 3 years, I hope there are still interesting things to see).  Hideyoshi was a formiddable opponent in battleHere is a scroll and model of one great battle

and here is a re-enactment of Hideoyoshi‘s marraige to the wise Yoda Yodowho gave birth to his heir, Hideyori. Hideyori was as fierce as his father…

After Hideyoshi’s death, Yodo and her son tried to rule the clan but became besieged in Osaka Castle. Tokugawa Iyeyasu predicted the siege would last only 3 days, and Osaka Castle did fall after 3 days as predicted with the suicide of both young Hideyori, son of Hideyoshi, and the wise and faithful Yodo.

Tokugawa who was of noble birth became SHOGUN.

Now while I was visting Osaka Castle it was the chrysanthemum festivalHere is a nice view along a moat with the shadow of the past impressed on the futureSpeaking of the future there is a time capsule buried in the forecourt of the castle

it’s due to be opened in 5000 years!

Osaka Museum of History

Amazing architecture, the museum is the building on the left and the entrance is the sphere below…once again you start at the top and work your way down, this story starts in prehistoric times and moves to the present…but most importantly the museum provides stunning views of the castle from on highthough taken through a window…Inside the rules of the museum are simple, you can’t photograph any genunine artefacts but you can photograph the reconstructions…here is a model of a warehouse in ancient Osaka port,  notice the torii in the water and the small canoe delivering goods…looks a bit Egyptian in some waysand this is apparently a copper refinery…As we move forward in time we come to an era called Great Osaka…no for an asian country you don’t see a lot of fresh vegetables much in Japan, so this recreation left me droolingduring Great Osaka, the people began their fascination with items from the west…

…my mum had one of these.

After I leave the museum I go hunting for something that Maryanne and Simon will appreciate……unfortunately it was too much of a challenge for me…I needed a better map.

Instead I found another fork in a river,  this time no stepping stones but the island between the two rivers was dedicated to miles of roses, they seemed to one of every type that had been cultivated…all named after movie stars, princesses etc..  this one is called the Osaka rose…the edges are a bit wearied but I like the contrasthere are a couple more

at the end of the rose gardens is the Museum of Oriental Ceramaics…totally amazing but unfortunately no photos allowed.

I also learnt that Osaka has the world’s longest continuous enclosed straight stretch of shopping arcade…it’s 2.7 km long….and I thought the one near my hotel was bewildering!

If you allow for bends, intersections and gaps to allow for the odd hotel or expressway, I get the feeling the entire city is one huge shopping mall…there are websites that specialise in locating hotels that are close to specific shopping malls 😉

Let’s end with a random shot from near my hotel

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1 Response to Day 14 – Help me, Oda Nobunaga; you’re my only hope!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very good Leon. I think you should prepare a slide show with verbal comments of the whole trip. I for one would be very interested.

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