Osaka, the Merchant's Capital of Early Modern Japan

By James L. McClain; Wakita Osamu | Go to book overview

C H A P T E R T H R E E
Space, Power, Wealth,
and Status in Seventeenth‐
Century Osaka

James L. McClain

On the seventh and eighth days of the Ninth Month, 1619, the second Tokugawa shogun, Hidetada, toured the ruins of Osaka Castle.Four years earlier, in 1615, armies commanded by Hidetada and his father Ieyasu had laid waste to the citadel during the great Summer Campaign against Toyotomi Hideyori and his followers.That victory seemed to insure the hegemony of the Tokugawa family, but Ieyasu's death the subsequent spring raised new questions about Hidetada's claims to act in his own name as shogun, and his journey in the autumn of 1619 was part of a determined quest to ensure that former rivals from western Japan would never rise up to contest his suzerainty.In Osaka, Hidetada met with engineers and designers to finalize plans to rebuild the citadel.To oversee the project, the Tokugawa overlord chose Tōdō Takatora, the daimyo of a substantial domain in the provinces of Ise and Iga.Ironically, Tōdō had helped to construct the Toyotomi stronghold before he threw his support behind the Tokugawa cause; now Hidetada commissioned him to oversee the erection of a new fortress designed to challenge the grandeur of the former Toyotomi edifice.Under the patronage of Hidetada and his successors as shogun, Osaka Castle and the surrounding community would arise anew, emerging as a city of samurai and power, an anchor of strength that would guarantee Tokugawa military supremacy in western Japan for the next two centuries.

Hidetada also visited Kyoto in the autumn of 1619, ostensibly to pay official respects to the reigning emperor, Go-Mizunoo (r. 1611-29). Behind the ritualized aspects of that elaborate ceremonial, however, lurked a more practical purpose, to confirm the lines of political legitimacy that ran from emperor to shogun, leading from Kyoto, seat of traditional imperial sovereignty, to Osaka

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