Jurakudai (聚楽第)

Jurakudai (or Jurakutei) was a large residence built by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI in Uchino, Kyoto (the site of the Outer Palace Precincts in Heiankyo, present-day Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City) during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Also called Jurakutei. It is a kind of castle with a moat, and thus sometimes called Juraku-jo Castle.


The construction of Jurakudai began in February 1586, as an office and an official residence of Hideyoshi, who became Kanpaku (chief advisor to the emperor), a chief councilor to the Emperor, and completed in September 1586. After Hideyoshi conquered Kyushu, he moved into Jurakudai from Osaka to administer political affairs. On May 9, 1588, he was visited by Emperor Go-Yozei and entertained him in Jurakudai. Also, he gave an audience to Tensho Shonen Shisetsu (Boys' Envoys to Europe during the Tensho era) and Ieyasu TOKUGAWA in Jurakudai.

Jurakudai was supposedly extremely luxurious with its tiles covered with golden leaf. Although being called "-dai" (meaning tei/house), Jurakudai was in fact a castle on a plain, since it included several enclosed areas such as a donjon with a castle tower in the center and a secondary enclosure around it, and was surrounded with a moat. Within Jurakudai, houses for Hideyoshi's aides, SEN no Rikyu et al. were built. Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, where the Kitano Grand Tea Ceremony was held in October 1587, is located nearby Uchino, where Jurakudai was.

In December 1591, when Hideyoshi resigned as Kanpaku, his nephew Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI succeeded him as Kampaku and took over Jurakudai, at which time Emperor Go-Yozei visited again. In 1594, Hideyoshi began construction of Fushimi-jo Castle for his residence after his retirement, and in 1595, because of an adverse relationship with Hideyoshi, Hidetsugu was sent to Mt. Koya-san and then ordered to commit suicide, thereafter Jurakudai was demolished.

Many buildings of Jurakudai were relocated into Fushimi-jo Castle, but some other buildings such as Hiunkaku of Nishi-Hongan-ji Temple, Karamon of Daitoku-ji Temple, Daimon of Myokaku-ji Temple (Kyoto City), and the entrance of Hanto-in of Myoshin-ji Temple, are also reported to have been relocated from Jurakudai.


It is known that Jurakudai was once called "Uchino Okamai" (or Uchino no Onkamae) during construction, which first appears in "Tamon-in Nikki" (The Diary of Tamon-in Temple), in the section of February 27, 1586, 'the construction of Uchino Okamai began on the last 21st.'
The name "Juraku" began to be used after Hideyoshi came back from the Kyushu campaign.

As to the origin of the name "Juraku," there is a description of 'the place for gathering (ju) songs and dances (raku) for longevity' in "Jurakudai Gyoko-ki" (The Diary of Visit to Jurakudai) written by Hideyoshi's aide, Yuko OMURA, one of "Tensho-ki" (The Diary of Tensho). Since no other sources have been found so far, historians generally believe that the term "Juraku" was created by Hideyoshi.

Jurakudai of today
There is no recognizable structure of Jurakudai remaining today, except that the landscape bears its mark. In Matsuyamachi-dori, Shimo-chojamachi-dori, Agaru, Higashi Iru, Higashihori-cho, there is a historic site supposedly of "Tsuyu-no-I," but there is no evidence to show that it is a remnant of Jurakudai. In addition, there remains a garden stone supposedly contributed by Kiyomasa KATO in Bundo-cho, to the north of Kyoto City, Demizu, Day Service Center in Chiekoin-dori, Demizu-dori, Sagaru, but there is also no evidence to show that it is a remnant of Jurakudai. Meanwhile, names of towns such as Suhama-cho, Suhamaike-cho, Tenbinmaru-cho, Yamazato-cho, Kitanogomon-cho, Kodaiin-cho, and Higashihori-cho markedly preserve vestiges of those days. Also, there are many towns named after warlords who served under Hideyoshi, such as Nyosui-cho, Kodera-cho, Ukita-cho, Hidadono-cho, Tamura-Bizen-cho, Fukushima-cho, Chusho-cho, and Naoie-cho. There is a monument to Jurakudai to the north of Seishin Elementary School in Jofukuji-dori, Nakadachiuri-dori.

Note that in recent investigation, remains of a moat and tiles with gold leaf have been found.

"Nijo Shin-Yashiki" (Hideyoshi's before Jurakudai) of Hideyoshi HASHIBA (TOYOTOMI) of Nijo-jo Castle,

A list of castles in Japan

[Original Japanese]