Trace of Hollyhock Crest May Date to Ieyasu's Construction on Nijo CastleUncovered by Typhoon, Kyoto
A trace of a hollyhock crest decoration has been discovered on the roof of the National Treasure Ninomaru Palace, in Nijo Castle, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, as of September 26. The crest is associated with Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun of the Edo Shogunate, who built the castle. This was an unexpected disclosure as the violent storm of Typhoon No. 21, also named Typhoon Jebi, which hit the region on September 4, stripped off an ornamental metal fitting that had covered the trace since the Meiji Era, when the castle became an imperial villa.
The crest of hollyhock leaves was found on the bargeboard of the southern gable of the Ninomaru Palace. It is 64 centimeters in diameter. It seems that a wooden plate or copper plate with the crest carved on it was installed. When the castle's staff members checked the damage after the typhoon, they detected a trace of the crest standing out on the bargeboard from which the ornamental metal fitting was detached.
Nijo Castle has a deep connection to the Tokugawa family. It was completed by Ieyasu in 1603, and it was at that castle where Yoshinobu, the 15th shogun, declared the restoration of imperial rule in 1867. It was used as an imperial villa, called "Nijo Imperial Villa," from 1884 to 1939, when the castle was transferred to Kyoto City.
The current ornamental metal fittings were installed to replace hollyhock crests which were removed when the castle was used as an imperial villa. At the Karamon Gate and other locations in the castle, it has been discovered that several imperial chrysanthemum crests were placed to cover up hollyhock crests.
Following an on-the-spot investigation, Tamaki Goto, a manager in the Nijo Castle office said, "The Ninomaru Palace has never been destroyed by fire or other causes. It is possible that the hollyhock crest whose trace was discovered this time could date back to the time of construction by Ieyasu, and that it was originally gilded. We would like to conduct further investigation, including the status of other metal fittings and hollyhock crests."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)