When I visited Hōkoku Shrine in Osaka Castle Park, I found pretty small shrines on its premises. The small torii gates standing in the corner of Hōkoku Shrine seemed as though they were inviting me. Allured, I stepped through and explored the area. It turned out that one of the shrines was originally built 400 years ago by a wealthy merchant in Osaka who did business for Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the king of Japan, who built the original Osaka Castle! Also, I found a cherry tree called 'Yukimura Zakura (Sakura)' in a bush near the small shrines. A famous samurai in the Sengoku period, Sanada Yukimura, fought for Toyotomi Clan against the Tokugawa army. Although Toyotomi lost the war and Osaka Castle was burnt down with them, Sanada Yukimura, for his audacity to challenge the powerful Tokugawa Ieyasu, was still very popular among the local people in Osaka. The cherry tree was donated by the city of Ueda, the hometown of Sanada Yukimura. For further guidance to the curious places inside Osaka Castle Park please refer to the links below.
Osaka Castle Park Series
1. Osaka City Museum Building
2. Hōkoku Shrine in Osaka Castle Park
3. Small shrines inside Hōkoku Shrine
4. Shusekitei in Hōkoku Shrine, Osaka
5. Beauties at Hōkoku Shrine, Osaka
6. Shudo-kan in Osaka Castle Park
7. Kyoikuto in Osaka Castle Park
8. Pretty Flowers in Osaka Castle Park
9. Animals in Osaka Castle Park
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I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.