Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty
The Castles of Japan are both technical and aesthetic marvels. They are technical marvels in that they are perfectly suited to their roles of defensive fortresses and administrative centers in time of war. They are aesthetic marvels in that every curve and line reflects an extraordinary sense of beauty. How these castles came about, how they were built, and what their ultimate fate was, all this is depicted in sensitive prose and eye-opening photography.
The book is divided into four parts. The first deals with the question of who built these castles and why, taking a incisive look at Japanese history and the internecine fighting between samurai clans. The second part takes up the castle as a fortress - the importance of its location, its layout, stone walls and moats, towers, gates, shooting holes, and stone drops. The third part considers the beauty of the castle as a symbol, explaining not only the intricate craftsmanship seen in structural detail but also the aesthetics of the samurai class itself.
Whether for people who are interested in castles themselves and wish to compare Japanese castles with others they are familiar with, or for people who would like to know more about this unique example of world architecture, or for those who would like to add to their knowledge of samurai and Japanese culture, Castles of the Samurai provides a delightful visual treat and absorbing reading experience. The book also contains information for tourists who plan to visit the sites of the surviving castles.
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WHO BUILT THE CASTLES AND WHY?
Stone Walls and Moats
The AzuchiMomoyama Style
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Ashikaga Azuchi castle battle beauty Bitchu-Matsuyama castle building castle grounds castle towns castle walls castle was built castle's construction courtyard daimyo decorated defensive domains early seventeenth century eave-end tiles Edo castle family crest fieldstones fortress Fushimi castle gate Hikone castle Himeji castle Hiroshima imperial Inner compound Inuyama castle Japan Japanese castles Kanazawa castle Kiyomasa Kochi castle koku korai-mon Kumamoto castle Kyoto late sixteenth layout located lord lwaki main compound main enclosure main tower tenshu Marugame castle Maruoka castle Matsue castle Matsumoto castle Matsuyama castle moats Momoyama mountain castle Nagoya castle Nijo castle Oda Nobunaga Okayama Osaka castle Ote-mon palace plastered mud wall protected samurai shape Shinano shooting holes sixteenth century stone walls stone-dropping windows storehouse stories style surrounding third compounds Tokugawa Ieyasu Tokugawa leyasu Tokugawa shogunate Toyotomi Hideyoshi Toyotomi house tozama type of stone Uwajima castle Wakayama castle Warring States period warrior wood wooden yagura-mon