Highlights of the Museum

Highlights of the Museum

The Reconstruction of the Omote Goten Hall

Hikone Castle Museum is both a museum and a reconstruction of the Omote Goten, one of the major buildings that comprised Hikone Castle. Omote Goten housed the main government offices of the Hikone han (domain) and the living quarters of the daimyo (lord of the domain). It was originally built circa 1615 – 22 (early Edo period) and functioned as the administrative headquarters of the Hikone han. Following the demise of the Tokugawa shogunate, the original Omote Goten was demolished in 1878, and the site was turned into a sports ground.

Momentum grew during the 1970s to build on the site a replica of the Omote Goten, which would also function as a museum for displaying materials preserved in the Ii family. Excavation surveys and research of old drawings and photographs were conducted, and the findings were incorporated into the construction of the museum.

Reinstated at the center of the museum is the original noh stage built in 1800, which had been saved but relocated when the original Omote Goten was demolished. The living quarters and chashitsu (tea room), where the daimyo spent his daily life, were faithfully reconstructed in wood.

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