Today, there are many cities in Japan taking pride in their castles and heritage, popularizing their local history and notable historical figures. But it wasn’t always like this…
At the end of the 19th century, after the Meiji Restoration, there was a period when the castles were viewed as symbols of an unenlightened past and many of them were demolished. This view changed a bit only after 1919, when the first law for cultural sites preservation was enacted, and some local authorities started conservation programs, saving several castles from decay. The public opinion made a complete turn during the 1920’s when, with the rise of the militarism, the castles became symbols of the Japanese military power.
Furthermore, the decision to rebuild some castles was made and, in 1928, the Osaka Castle (photographed here) was the first modern reconstructed tenshu. The rebuilding was done with modern technologies, by using steel-reinforced concrete, which allowed cheaper and quicker construction, and after the WWII dozens of castles were rebuilt like this. However, although on the outside they evoke the old glory, on the inside they are just modern buildings, with air conditioning and elevators…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: