...Such a difficult, constricted life as a woman was required to live! Moving things, amusing things, she must pretend to be unaffected by them. With whom was she to share the pleasure and beguile the tedium of this fleeting world?
The question of when the Katsura Palace was first built devolves upon that of when the village of Katsura came into the possession of Prince Toshihito, and the answer to this is conjectural. ... Prince Toshihito had no connection with the village of Katsura during Hideyoshi’s lifetime. As we shall see, this is a point of some importance, because it refuges one of the misleading legends concerning the origins of Katsura Palace.
Possibly to escape momentarily from the political manipulations of the shogunate and the court, on July 20, 1616, Prince Toshihito went to Senshõ-ji Village to “view his melons” and later “took a walk,” as the documentary source puts it, along the Katsura River. ... The record of this visit is the earliest suggestion of the country house that was to become the Katsura Palace.