Kunozan Toshogu clock
- Date: 1573, Belgium
The Kunouzan Toshogu clock, as it might be called, is the oldest extant Western-made clock in Japan. It is held at the Kunouzan Toshogu Museum in Shizuoka, and has been designated an Important Cultural Property.
The clock, made primarily of brass, is about 21.5 cm in height, 12.5 cm in width, and weighs about 2.8 kg. It was a gift to Tokugawa Ieyasu from King Philip III of Spain, as an expression of gratitude for the crew of a Spanish ship being rescued after being shipwrecked off the coast of Chiba prefecture in 1609.
For centuries, the clock has been believed to date to 1581, and to have been made in Madrid by the Flemish clockmaker Hans de Evalo, official clockmaker to the Spanish monarchy, as is written on a plaque affixed to the back of the clock. However, scholars discovered in 2014 or 2015 that a set of markings on the clock, beneath that plaque, indicate a date of 1573. Scholars now believe the clock was made in that earlier year, in Brussels, and by a different clockmaker.
- "X-ray reveals Western clock given to Tokugawa Ieyasu made in Belgium, not Spain," Asahi Shimbun, 4 April 2015.