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Nijo Castle's Karamon Gate hints at the splendour of Momoyama-period culture.
Nijo Castle symbolised the Tokugawa shogunate's authority in Kyoto. Construction was begun by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603, and completed during the rule of Tokugawa Iemitsu (died 1651). This magnificent work still displays the architectural splendour and decorative arts of the Momoyama Period (late 16th century). No less fascinating than the lavish decor inside the Ninomaru Palace (within Nijo) is the Karamon Gate that forms the main entrance. Originally part of Fushimijo Castle, the Karamon Gate was rebuilt here in 1626, after Fushimijo Castle was destroyed. The gabled roof, supported on four pillars, displays wave-like curves (kara-hafu) on the front and rear, and is shingled with cypress. Finely crafted carvings over the pent-roof, exquisite metal trimmings, and other decorative features form part of this magnificent spectacle of Momoyama culture.

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