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Chronological Table of Nijo Castle

Christian Era History
1601 1601 Ieyasu Tokugawa assigns the daimyo (Japanese feudal lords) of Western Japan to begin construction on Nijo Castle.
1603 1603 Nijo Castle is near completion (present-day outer palace), and Tokugawa enters for the first time.
1611 1611 A meeting between Ieyasu and Hideyori Toyotomi at Nijo Castle takes place.
1614 From 1614 Nijo Castle was host to the council of war for the Winter Siege of Osaka Castle the Summer Siege of Osaka Castle and the Tokugawa army left from the castle.
1624 1624 The third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu, begins upgrading the castle with an expansion of the castle and palace grounds.
1626 1626 Honmaru (inner citadel), Ninomaru (second citadel) and Tenshu(Donjon) are completed, and the castle takes its present form. In September a five day Imperial visit by Emperor Go-Mizunoo takes place.
1634 1634 Iemitsu and a great army of 300,000 march into the castle. Following this, guards were stationed at the castle and charged with keeping the castle. (four chief guards and fifty guards)
1750 1750 August. Following a lightening strike, the five-story castle tower is lost to fire.
1788 1788 January. The Honmaru palace and turret is lost to fire in a big fire that broke out in Kyoto City.
1862 1862 In order to greet the shogun Iemochi who was due to visit the capital, maintenance work of the Ninomaru palace and construction of temporary building was undertaken.
1863 1863 Iemochi enters in the castle (The first time a shogun had entered the castle since the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu, in 1634)
1866 1866 The fifteenth Tokugawa shogun Yoshinobu succeeds the shogunate on the grounds of Nijo Castle.
1867 1867 October. The executives of forty clans gather at Nijo Castle and the Taiseihokan (restoration of imperial rule) meeting takes place. Yoshinobu announces this in the hall of the Ninomaru palace.
1868 1868 January. The central government, Dajokandai ,(equivalent to the current cabinet) begins residence in the castle.
1871 1871 The prefectual government takes up residence in the Ninomaru palace. (This later temporarily becomes the Ministry of War)
1884 1884 July The castle becomes Nijo Rikyu (Nijo Imperial Villa)
1893 1893 The Katsura-no-miya Palace, formally located at the northeastern area of Kyoto Imperial Palace, is moved to Honmaru at Nijo Castle and becomes the Honmaru Palace.
1897 1897 The gable fittings, inner buildings and paper wall paintings in the hallways and coffered ceilings of the Ninomaru palace were refurbished.
1915 1915 The state ceremony for the coronation of the Emperor Taisho is held, and in preparation for the great feast (held at the location of the present-day Seiryu-en) the Minami-mon Gate was added.
1939 1939 The Imperial Household Department grants Nijo Castle to the City of Kyoto.
1940 1940 February 11. Access to the general public begins as Onshi Nijo Castle.
1952 1952 According to the establishment of the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties, six buildings of the Ninomaru palace are made National Treasures and 22 buildings including the Honmaru palace and corner turrets receive the designation of important cultural property.
1965 1965 Seiryu-en garden is created (using garden rocks from the residence of Ryoi Suminokura, a wealthy merchant who lived at the beginning of the Edo period.)
1982 1982 The sliding door panels of the Ninomaru palace receive the designation of important cultural property as fine works of art.
1994 1994 Registered on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
  • A Brief History of the Castle
  • Chronological Table of Nijo Castle
  • Ninomaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • The Nijo Castle Gardens
  • Flowers and Trees of the Four Seasaons
  • Wall Paintings
  • Links

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