Dad in Japan, Part One – Nagoya Castle

Congratulations! If you come to Japan and hang out with me, you are most likely blog fodder. Especially if we went somewhere pretty.

Sorry Dad, but you seem to have spawned your own three part series. I’m also using some of your pictures (hint – if I’m in the picture, I didn’t take it).

Like, say, Nagoya Castle.

There are a lot of castles in Japan and Nagoya Castle is perched pretty much near the center of town. All of the castle’s outbuildings were destroyed at some point or another (in fact, I doubt that this structure is the original in any way) and replaced with a park. And city hall. Unlike the castle at Inuyama, which has been left pretty much intact, this castle has been turned into a historical museum. You cannot look out the windows and an elevator has been installed.

This is a close-up of a replica of the golden statues that you can see on the roof in the first picture. It’s called a ‘shachi’ and they’re placed on the roofs of castles to help keep them from catching on fire. There was some confusion, as the museum’s English materials were translating ‘shachi’ as ‘dolphin’ and the last time we checked, dolphins didn’t have scales. Or a fearsome reputation.

It became more clear a few days later when the woman-formerly-known-as-host-mother pointed out a ‘shachi’ in some old pictures from an aquarium trip – it turned out to be a killer whale, or orca. Still no scales, but better than dolphin, I think.

Outside of the castle, a special flower exhibit was being shown.

Cool, eh? This was a large diorama set-up, with mannequins that had specially designed ‘clothing’ that had been arranged in such a way that their outfits literally bloomed into existence.

To get an idea of the scale – this is me. You can see the woman from the previous picture in the extreme left of this photo. The top of her head came up to my shoulder.

They had another, separate exhibit, consisting of what looked like your average bonsai trees that had been grown together with flowering plants in such a way that the combination looked like some flowering tree, rather than two separate plants.

Here’s one example. They’re had obviously been some sort of competition – some of the displays were wearing ribbons for various categories.

That’s it for Nagoya Castle. As I said before, there will be two more sections covering my dad’s visit here last week. I’m typing them all up tonight and then I’ll release them slowly over the next fews days.



Filed under japan

4 responses to “Dad in Japan, Part One – Nagoya Castle

  1. Dad

    I like your new banner shot! More host-family cleansing?

  2. Cecy

    Yay! I love that building! Plus we didn’t get lost there…oh wait, yes we did.

  3. Cecy

    And by “that building” I mean the one in your banner…

  4. shizuku_san

    According to Wikipedia, 鯱 has two readings. One is しゃちほこ and refers to the mythical creature on castles, an animal with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp. The other is しゃち and means orca or dolphin. Apparently, this is a source of confusion even among the Japanese. (So says Wikipedia.)

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