Home > Japan In-depth > Cultural Quintessence > Japanese Colors and Shapes > Castles


Cultural Quintessence

Japan In-depth

Japanese Shapes


Japan's castles are quite ingenious in design. Moats and stone walls were built around castles to stop enemies from entering, while gates were positioned in a complex manner so that intruders couldn't advance in a straight line. The most visible castle tower (Tenshukaku) was used as a watchtower, and the living quarters of the lord of the castle were in the palace compound.
While there are several castles, the Himeji Castle of Hyogo prefecture in the photo is a valuable one, retained in its original form since built in 1609. It measures 92 m in height including the foundation. The castle tower with five layers and six floors is definitely worth seeing.

Tenshukaku (castle tower)

The central structure of the castle. As a symbol of authority, it was built tall and with splendor.

Koguchi (literally tiger mouth)

The entrance to the castle.

Yagura (turret)

A structure for storing food and weapons.

Ishigaki (stone wall)

A wall made with stone to prevent invasion by enemies.