17th-century map of ‘war-ready’ Edo Castle found in Matsue

MATSUE— The city government of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, said on last Wednesday a map has been found that depicts Edo Castle and its surrounding areas in the early 17th century.

The castle was expanded around that time by Tokugawa Ieyasu, who founded the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603 in Edo, the previous name of Tokyo.Image result for 17th-century map of ‘war-ready’ Edo Castle found in Matsue

The map was discovered during a survey of a castle picture map collection housed at the Matsue History Museum in the capital of the prefecture.

The survey found that the castle had a structure apparently designed with war in mind. The map, which is 27.6 centimeters long and 40.0 centimeters wide, depicted Edo Castle in a more detailed way than other maps drawn in the same period.Image result for 17th-century map of ‘war-ready’ Edo Castle found in Matsue

The map is believed to have been drawn around 1607-1609, according to Matsue municipal government officials.

The survey also found that the main part of Edo Castle had a quintuple-entrance structure and that a large main keep and smaller keeps of the castle were connected via corridors, a structure also seen at Himeji Castle in Hyogo Prefecture.

“We found that Edo Castle had an aggressive structural character,” said Nara University Prof. Yoshihiro Senda.

The castle is thought to have been designed to prepare for war with the forces of Toyotomi, the main opponent of Tokugawa at the time, he said.

In July last year, the survey of the picture map collection uncovered a map of Sanada Maru, a branch castle built near Osaka Castle.Speech


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