Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty

Jennifer Mitchelhill
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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