Will’s Library | Castles of the Samurai

Castles of Samurai

The castes of samurai are a thing of beauty. They serve a practical purpose as well as provide inspiring views to behold. In the late sixteen early seventeenth century hundreds of castles were built in a 40 year period. Today there are only twelve original castles. The extensive decorative style displayed both the wealth and authority of the daimyo and the position of authority they held.

Great consideration was taken for the aesthetics of these castles. They accented roof lines, gable ends, eaves. They decorated with symbols to protect from rain, family crests, and monsters.


They covered nails with decorative metals. (Page 61 quote) (page 65 quote) “the prolific building campaign of the late sixteenth century can be attributed to the scramble for power between daimyo, a need for stronger fortifications against new weapons, and ambitious building aspirations” Which is something we may all feel Will can relate to. (page 69 image) The layout of these castles had to take such form as to make it difficult to access the main keep and confuse enemies during times of siege. (Page 72) Varying layouts shows there are many possible ways to accomplish the desired goal and influences to the design and layout such as topography. (Page 75) With stonework there are varying methods for piling the stones; random stone piling, beaten/inserted masonry, smaller rocks were placed in between the larger ones, and cut inserted masonry.

(Page 86) “The Japanese believed that asymmetry encouraged creativity and imagination.” Zen Buddhism influenced the samurai creating these castles encouraging restraint and elimination of all that was unnecessary. The climate of Japan influenced their perception of beauty, which is something to be said about natures influence on the regional architecture.


And keep in mind (page 85) “architecture is a way to capture the beauty of nature…. …shaped stone”


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