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June 13 2012

Odawara Castle Tokiwagi Gate -  via A Japan Photo per Day -

The Odawara Castle is one of the many Japanese castles that were rebuilt during the 1960s. The disadvantage of the reconstruction is that it is not historically accurate, both inside and outside - the great loss is the interior, but the exterior was changed too with the added observation deck…

However, one advantage of this reconstruction is that the castle’s gates, moats, bridges and defense walls were also rebuilt, thus providing a complete image of how the castle’s surroundings looked like.

Here is the largest gate of the castle, the first that was rebuilt, the main entrance to the inner courtyard and also an important strategic place for the castle’s defenses. The name of this gate is Tokiwagi, which can be translated as “Evergreen", a name that was inspired by the nearby large pine trees. The pine is, in the Japanese tradition, a symbol of longevity, so it is said that the name of the gate also reflects the desire of the castle’s lord for durability and prosperity…

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