I have received a number of postcards made from personal photos since I started postcrossing. Some are professionally printed cards (MOO, zazzle, etc.), others are photos which have been pasted on card stock, and still others are simply photos that have been mailed as postcards! This view of Nagoya Castle falls into the latter category. The photographer, a Postcrosser, chose to show off the main castle donjon. The majority of the castle and its outlying buildings burned down in 1945 during the wartime air raids. The donjon above was rebuilt in 1959 as part of post-WWII reconstruction efforts. Nagoya Castle thus joins the long list of buildings, even entire city centers, destroyed during WWII and rebuilt for future generations to enjoy. If you look closely at the photo, you can see one of the two golden tiger-headed dolphins, called kinshachi that adorn the topmost castle roof. According to the official website, the dolphins “appeared in the Muromachi Era (1334-1400) as a symbol of the feudal lord’s authority.” Today they are one of the castle’s main symbols and a gift store favorite as well!
Hommaru Palace which was located near the castle also burned down during the war. Luckily, many of its paintings had been moved for protection and survived intact. Currently, Nagoya City is spearheading a fundraising effort to rebuild the Palace and reinstall the artwork as it was intended to be seen by its makers. I wish them all the best with their efforts. The castle’s symbol might be a dolphin but I hope Hommaru Palace takes its cue from the phoenix and rises again to a new life from its ashes.