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徳川将軍も泊まった華やかな城下町うつのみや徳川将軍も泊まった華やかな城下町うつのみや

どうして宇都宮城に徳川将軍が泊まったの? どうして宇都宮城に徳川将軍が泊まったの?
当Approximately 10,000 people lived in the castle town in the past which was an important base in military affairs and transportation, having been controlled by the hereditary fudai daimyos or vassals to the Shogunate. Approximately 10,000 people lived in the castle town in the past which was an important base in military affairs and transportation, having been controlled by the hereditary fudai daimyos or vassals to the Shogunate.

The castle where the Tokugawa shoguns stayed

When the Tokugawa Shogunate was established in the Edo era and Tosho-gu Shrine was built in Nikko to enshrine the 1st shogun Ieyasu, Nikko Shasan or Nikko-visit by the shogun family starts to be conducted. In the case of the 8th shogun Yoshimune, it was a large-scale procession with approximately 130,000 attendants and 220,000 workers, which indicated a strong power of the Shogunate. The Tobiyama-jo Castle was employed as a lodging for the shoguns on that occasion.

The remains of Utsunomiya-jo Castle

The remains of Utsunomiya-jo Castle

Utsunomiya-jo Castle Inside and Outside Ezu or a drawing

 

Suspended ceiling legend

The legend, set in Utsunomiya-jo Castle where this shogun stays, is “Utsunomiya suspended ceiling case.” This story is about Masazumi HONDA who was the lord of Utsunomiya-jo Castle, wishing Suruga Dainagon Tadanaga, or a province major counselor, to become the 3rd shogun, and attempts to assassinate Iemitsu with a suspended ceiling, who stays at Utsunomiya-jo Castle for Nikko-visit, ending up with failure in the attempt. There is an original story behind it that in 1622 when the 2nd shogun Hidetada paid a visit to Nikko, he changed a plan suddenly on his way back, avoiding Utsunomiya-jo Castle and returning to Edo, and that afterwards Masazumi was deprived of Utsunomiya-jo Castle. The story became a theme of storytelling and kabuki later, and got dramatized to generate the suspended ceiling legend after all.

A town of Utsunomiya-jo Castle crowded with people

Approximately 10,000 people lived around Utsunomiya-jo Castle in those days where people of various types of industry gathered to form a castle town. Kikusui-matsuri Tsuke-matsuri festival of Futaarayama-jinja Shrine, was crowded with many people, while Yatai and Dashi or festival cars decorated with gorgeous carvings, were marched out.

Araishi-machi Dashi (the Meiji 40s)

The Dashi restored in 2014 is displayed in the Machi-aruki town-walk hall of the Utsunomiya-jo castle ruins park.

Denma-cho Yatai

On the roof, a dragon shows its figure that seems to jump out at any moment. It is a colorfully sculptured car with splendid sculptures entirely attached to it including “a lion with peony” and “a Chinese phoenix in a pine tree”, etc. (Prefecture-Designated)

Citizen’s oasis Utsunomiya-jo Castle

The castle ruins park where a yagura (turret) and a dorui (earthwork), etc. near the honmaru (donjon) are partially restored. Utsunomiya-jo Castle became a filled-in ground leaving a part of the castle during the high economic growth period, but it was reappeared with the current figure after re-development of the castle ruins park, and is now used as a citizen’s oasis.

MAP