Nagoya-jo Castle is a Japanese castle located in Nagoya, central Japan. During the Edo-era, Nagoya Castle was the center of one of the most important castle towns in Japan—Nagoya-juku— and it included the most important stops along the Minoji, which linked the Tokaido with the Nakasendo.
Tokugawa Ieyasu decided in November 1609 to rebuild the castle at Nagoya. Up until the Meiji Restoration, Nagoya Castle would flourish as the castle where the Owari branch, the foremost of the three Tokugawa clan lineages, resided.
During World War II, the castle was used as the Tokai district army headquarters and the main POW camp in Nagoya, although it held no prisoners and was just the administration office. The aerial bombardments by the United States Air Force brought the most destruction to the castle in its entire history. On January 1945, the Sarumen Tea House was destroyed in air raids. On May 14, the main donjon, small donjon, golden dolphins, Honmaru Palace, northeast turret and other buildings were completely destroyed in air raids (B-29 x 480). In June of that year, some of the paintings saved from the Honmaru Palace (Honmaru Goten) were moved for safekeeping to the Haiho Shrine, Toyota-shi. These returned from the shrine in May 1946. The castle's surviving former national treasures, which included the southwest, southeast, northwest turrets, the Omoto-Ninomon Gate and some the Honmaru Palace paintings were redesignated as important cultural assets by the national government. In 1953, the southeast turret was dismantled for repairs. The Ninomaru Garden was designated as a place of scenic beauty.
In June 1955, most of the Honmaru Palace paintings, and a exactly year later the ceiling panel paintings were designated as national important culture assets. In 1957, reconstruction of the castle donjons were started. The second-generation golden dolphins were cast in the Osaka Mint and transported to the castle. On October 3, 1959 was the reconstruction of the two donjons completed and opened to the public. The next couple of decades saw further renovation work. In March 1964, the northwest turret was dismantled for repairs. In 1967, the Ninomon of the western iron gate was dismantled for repairs. In 1972, the stone walls at the west side of the East Iron Gate of the Ninomaru were dismantled. The wooden Ninomon was dismantled and later rebuilt at the east Ninomon Gate of the Honmaru.
In preparation for the Expo 2005, plaques using the English language were added to most displays for the castle and a 3-D movie showing the paintings in Honmaru Palace was created for the anticipated large number of visitors to view. Reconstruction work of the destroyed Honmaru Palace begann in 2009 and is slated for completion by 2017.