A Library and a Castle

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On the first day, it rained…

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First tried out the Kyoto International Manga Museum, aka a Manga library.

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Seeing as how I didn’t come to Japan to read books, I quickly headed over to Nijo Castle.  Prior to the Meiji Restoration which introduced foreign ideas and transformed Japan, the country was a feudal society where ultimate power was held to varying degrees by the emperor and the shogun.  The shogun was a hereditary military dictator who ruled from 1192 to 1867.  He divided the lands that were ruled by daimyo, clan leaders, that used samurai to guard those lands.  A samurai is somewhat equivalent to a European knight.  He also had lands that were managed by peasants.

As an island archipelago, Japan avoided many of the land wars that occurred on the Asian continent.  Most notably, Genghis Khan and his descendants never invaded and conquered the shogunate.  In many instances, it was the attacking party into China and Korea.  Thus, it’s conceivable for a person to start a visit in Nara then visit Kyoto then Tokyo to see how the country progressed.

Nijo Castle was built in 1601 for the Tokugawa Shogun, the longest running shogunates in Japanese history.  Wikipedia says it’s been in use until 1939.

My folks like gardens so I took a bunch of photos of them.

Moat surrounding Nijo Castle

Moat surrounding Nijo Castle

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The karamon main gate to Ninomaru Palace

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Ninomaru palace

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Inner Moat

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Honmaru Palace

Honmaru Palace

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