Edo Castle

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View of Edo is a 17th century gilded folding screen depicting Edo (feudal era Tokyo) during the reign of the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu.

The Edo Castle donjon (tower) was constructed by Iemitsu in 1638 as a showcase of his power. At over 60 meters it was the tallest castle tower in the country. The tower was destroyed during the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657, though its stone foundation can still be seen today.

The castle was garrisoned with thousands of soldiers. A trio in the upper right can be seen practicing kyūdō (archery), while another group below are cleaning their muskets. In the lower left, merchants have laid out goods for sale, including bolts of silk, pottery, and tiger pelts. Below them are two Korean archers, members of a visiting delegation of the Korean envoy. They are differentiated by their hats and shorter bows.

After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Edo Castle became the Tokyo Imperial Palace, where the Emperor of Japan resides today. Most of the structures depicted in the screen were destroyed during World War II. The area between the outer and inner moat is now Marunouchi (meaning "inside the circle"), Tokyo's financial district.
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Size (inch) 12
Weight Light
Weight (mg/sq in) 68
Made in France