Written by: Michael Blair
Suddenly, everything becomes clear!
Reported by;Abeer Almadawy
As we care to take our trip among the castles of the world. Today it's our pleasure to meet with one with the most beautiful human creation in the world. It is the planet of Japan....our mission today will to discover everything about the Osaka Castle which is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan.
The castle is one of Japan's most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
The main tower of Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one square kilometer. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.
The castle grounds, which cover approximately 61,000 square meters (15 acres),contain thirteen structures that have been designated as important cultural assets by the Japanese government, including:
Enshogura Gunpowder Magazine
Three sections of castle wall all located around Otemon Gate
In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the site of the Ikkō-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji.The basic plan was modeled after Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Hideyoshi wanted to build a castle that mirrored Nobunaga's, but surpassed it in every way: the plan featured a five-story main tower, with three extra stories underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress visitors. In 1585 the Inner donjon was completed. Hideyoshi continued to extend and expand the castle, making it more and more formidable to attackers. In 1597 construction was completed and Hideyoshi died the year after. Osaka Castle passed to his son, Toyotomi Hideyori.
In 1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his opponents at the Battle of Sekigahara, and started his own bakufu (i.e., shogunate) in Edo. In 1614 Tokugawa attacked Hideyoshi in the winter, starting the Siege of Osaka. Although the Toyotomi forces were outnumbered approximately two to one, they managed to fight off Tokugawa's 200,000-man army and protect the castle's outer walls. Ieyasu had the castle's outer moat filled, negating one of the castle's main outer defenses.
During the summer of 1615, Hideyori began to restore the outer moat. Ieyasu, in outrage, sent his armies to Osaka Castle again, and routed the Toyotomi men inside the outer walls on June 4.
Osaka Castle fell to the Tokugawa clan, the Toyotomi clan perished, and the castle buildings burned to the ground.:153
In 1620, the new heir to the shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada, began to reconstruct and re-arm Osaka Castle. He built a new elevated main tower, five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and assigned the task of constructing new walls to individual samurai clans. The walls built in the 1620s still stand today, and are made out of interlocked granite boulders without mortar. Many of the stones were brought from rock quarries near the Seto Inland Sea, and bear inscribed crests of the various families who contributed them.
Construction of the 5 story tenshu started in 1628 and was completed 2 years later, about the same time the rest of the reconstruction, and followed the general layout of the original Toyotomi structure.153-157
In 1660, lightning ignited the gunpowder warehouse and the resulting explosion set the castle on fire.
In 1665, lightning struck and burnt down the tenshu.157 In 1843, after decades of neglect, the castle got much-needed repairs when the bakufu collected money from the people of the region to rebuild several of the turrets.
In 1868, Osaka Castle fell and was surrendered to anti-bakufu imperial loyalists. Much of the castle was burned in the civil conflicts surrounding the Meiji Restoration.:157
Under the Meiji government, Osaka Castle became part of the Osaka Army Arsenal (Osaka Hohei Kosho) manufacturing guns, ammunition, and explosives for Japan's rapidly expanding Western-style military.
In 1931, the ferroconcrete tenshu was built.157
During World War II, the arsenal became one of the largest military armories, employing 60,000 workers. Bombing raids targeting the arsenal damaged the reconstructed main castle tower and, on August 14, 1945, destroyed 90% of the arsenal and killed 382 people working there.
In 1995, Osaka's government approved yet another restoration project, with the intent of restoring the main tower to its Edo-era splendor. In 1997, restoration was completed. The castle is a concrete reproduction (including elevators) of the original and the interior is intended as a modern, functioning museum.
The castle is open to the public and is easily accessible from Osakajōkōen Station on the JR West Osaka Loop Line. It is a popular spot during festival seasons, and especially during the cherry blossom bloom (hanami), when the sprawling castle grounds are covered with food vendors and taiko drummers. The large indoor arena, Osaka-jō Hall, also is located within the grounds of the castle park.
Source: Wikipedia-castle civilization and Heritage magazine
Egypt succeeds in its new step for submitting The constitutional amendment, which began last Saturday for three days, and ended on Monday
The scene in most of the electoral committees in all the cities and villages of the governorates of the country ,witnessed a large sharing by voters, mostly of they support the constitutional amendment.
Castle Journal had a stop on the last day where the founder and CEO Abeer Almadawy of Castle Journal ,the British Group for Journalism and Media Group went to vote and witnesses the proceedings of the voting as a watcher and foreign media reporter.
She said on her official page that the cultural scene that she saw witnessed a great transformation in the culture of Egyptian society, who became involved in the political process and determine its fate , considering themselves the owners of the decisions,they are very different rather than before in the days of president Mubarak who were opposed to participate in any elections at his era.
Almadawy stressed as a watcher to the election that the conduct of the electoral process and voting, which is running smoothly without fatigue for voters and good treatment were a major reason for the success of the referendum.
On the other hand, the National Electoral Commission announced that the voting abroad has ended and gone to Egypt for its part and by the end of the vote on Monday the committee will take other five days to announce the final result.
The chairman of the committee said that any complaints would receive great attention and that the committee is not responsible for any results announced informally.
It is noteworthy that Egypt has the third entitlement ,it was the Constitution in 2014 and was among the articles of the term of the presidency , it granted to the President four years only in every period, while the Constitution gave the House of Representatives five years for every period!
During this time the politics and and men of law had confused and the Constitution is at a loss ,Why ?
Because Egypt doesn't know to whom it belongs; It will be a parliamentary or presidential state?
So that the new constitutional amendment will repair this issue and Accordingly, the new article concerning the term of the president has been amended to be 6 years instead of 4. The president has the right to stand for only two times. The constitution gives the president the right to implement the term of the new presidency, which is 6 years. And can be candidates for Only one other time forward.
So by being the period of the president 6 years ,it will overcome the mass of the political issues with the House of Representatives who still 5 years. What means that the ruling in Egypt will be parliamentary and presidentially.
The Constitution also added to the functions of the armed forces ,the protection of Civil country Constitutional , and was amended the role of the President in the inauguration of the Council of State and the addition of a new item allowing the post of Vice-Chairmen
The woman in the constitution amendment has a great interest , as she will represent in the parliament with 25% of the total seats.
Also the constitution approved for establishing the council of eldest.
it worthy to mention that the Egyptian information service assembly affirmed that there's no complaints were witnessed during the last three days and process of the election succeeded without a single broken.
As Egypt heads the African countries Union this year, President Abdel Fattah AlSisi met with the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Mrs. Soyata Maiga.
The President confirmed the importance that Egypt attaches to the success of the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights that will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh from 24 April to 14 May 2019, in light of its chairmanship of the African Union. He added that Egypt has been keen since the establishment of the Commission, which is responsible for monitoring the human rights in African countries, to cooperate and strengthen its role. Egypt has also participated in drafting the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Mrs. Maiga thanked the President for Egypt's hosting of 64th session of the Commission and confirmed Egypt's key role at the level of joint African action to improve the situation of human rights in the continent. The President highlighted that this would be an opportunity for the commissioners to know more about the real situation in Egypt and stressed that improving human rights is one of Egypt's priorities based on Egypt's Vision 2030.
President AlSisi reviewed the major developments and efforts by the state to improve the economic, social, living conditions and services, especially the eradication of slums and providing decent housing to nearly one million citizens, also the anti-Hepatitis C campaign and ending waiting lists for patients. This is in addition to efforts to improve education and social safety nets, empower the women and youth and caring for people with special needs.
The President also highlighted efforts to reinforce citizenship, religious tolerance and the acceptance of the other. This is in addition to the services that the state offers to the expatriates who fled to Egypt because of their countries' political and security circumstances.The President explained that all of these efforts come within the general framework of human rights, in accordance with the relevant United Nations charters.
The President confirmed that concurrently Egypt is fighting terrorism, which requires double the effort to fulfill the aspirations of the Egyptian people, in parallel with economic reform measures that seek to improve the quality of living of the Egyptian people.
The meeting also touched on the role of the Egyptian government in supporting the freedom of the work of Civil Society Organizations, which are estimated to be more than 50,000, as a requirement to encourage political participation and entrench democratic practices. The President affirmed that Egypt is open to cooperate with the Commission to improve the conditions of human rights in the continent and to maintain its independence as one of the main arms of the AU, especially in light of Egypt's chairmanship of the AU.
The Egyptian spokesman of the presidency,ambassador Basam Raday declared that
President Abdul Fattah AlSisi received Monday the Cypriot House of Representatives chief,Mr. Demetris Syllouris, and his accompanying delegation.
The President confirmed the deep historic relations that the two countries and peoples share and Egypt’s keenness to enhance them in various fields. He asked for his greetings to be conveyed to the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and expressed that he values the continued coordination and consultation with the Cypriot president to discuss further cooperation between the two countries as well as trilateral cooperation with Greece, noting that the trilateral mechanism sets an example for cooperation in the East Mediterranean region.
Mr. Syllouris conveyed the appreciation of President Anastasiades to President Al Sisi. He lauded the outstanding bilateral relationsand their recent development, affirming the interest of Cyprus in bolstering them.
The meeting reviewed aspects of cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus. President AlSisi welcomed the ongoing cooperation and communication with Cyprus at different levels, which is demonstrated by the increase in exchanged visits as well as at the level of parliament, whereby the speaker of the Egyptian parliament visited Cyprus at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart in 2018. The President looked forward to further cooperation within the framework of trilateral cooperation mechanism and building on the outcome of the six trilateral summits that have been held to date, especially in the areas of tourism, investment, energy and electricity connection.
President AlSisi and Mr. Syllouris also discussed the outcome of the first trilateral meeting that included the speakers of the Egyptian, Greek and Cypriot parliaments held in Cyprus in February 2019 with the aim of enhancing relations at the level of the parliament and people. This shall compliment cooperation efforts in different dimensions, such historic, cultural, political and economiccooperation so as to reinforce the partnership that the three countries share.
The President welcomed the initiative by the speaker of the Cypriot parliament to teach Arabic in Cyprus and noted Egypt’s keennessto assist this initiative, which shall strengthen bonds between Cyprus and the Arab countries.
Editing: Abeer Almadawy
As Egypt cares and watches the events in Sudan and works to enhance the stability and end the conflict there, President Abdul Fattah AlSisi met with the head of Sudan's National Security and Intelligence Service, Abu Bakr Demblab.
The spokesman of the Egyptian presidency Ambassador Basam Rady said that;
The head of Sudan's National Security and Intelligence Service delivered a letter to President Alsisi from the head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council, Lieutenant General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan. The letter included updates on the latest developments in Sudan and looked forward to Egypt's continued role to support stability in Sudan to overcome this phase.
This is given the close bonds between the two countries and Egypt's pivotal role in the continent, leading joint African action as the AU chair.
President El Sisi conveyed his greeting to the head of Sudan's Transitional Military Council and expressed his appreciation for the Council's efforts to address the current situation in the country.
The President confirmed Egypt's full and unconditional readiness to provide all support to Sudan in order to realise the milestones in the interest of the Sudanese people, and in a way that guarantees supporting their will and choices in drawing the future of their country and preserving state institutions.
Venezuela's government announced on Monday two marches to counter protests opposition leader Juan Guaido have been planned. The street demonstrations in favor of President Nicolas Maduro will be launched on Saturday, and May 1, Labor Day.
Saturday's event will also mark Venezuela's official exit from the Organization of American States, two years after Maduro made the decision to leave the bloc, accusing it of being part of a U.S. campaign to "intervene" in Venezuela.
"We want to summon our members to two great demonstrations," said Hector Rodriguez, a leader of Maduro's United Socialist Party in Venezuela (PSUV).
"We summon the whole Chavista population to mobilize and celebrate the definitive exit from this area of U.S. domination and subordination," he added, referring to supporters of the late president and Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez.
The government's announcement comes three days after Guaido revealed his plans for events on those two dates, including what he said would be "the biggest demonstration in this country's history" on May 1 to demand the end of Maduro's "usurpation."
Guaido, 35, and the National Assembly have branded Maduro a "usurper" over his controversial re-election last year. The National Assembly head launched a challenge to Maduro's authority in January, declaring himself acting president.
The government's announcement is in line with its recent policy of calling a counter-demonstration every time Guaido plans a protest of his own.
Maduro has repeatedly slammed U.S. interventions in Venezuela's affairs, as Washington pursues a policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the Venezuelan government in support of Guaido.
"With that same rebellion, today we confront new imperialists who seek to rob our sacred treasure, freedom. We will defeat them!" Maduro said last Friday on the 209th anniversary of the start of Venezuela's independence from Spanish rule.
China has called for efforts to promote the peaceful resolution of the Venezuela issue.
Beijing called on relevant parties in Venezuela to seek a political settlement via dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a routine press conference last month, underscoring China's opposition to interventions by "external forces" in Venezuela's internal affairs.