Japanese castle 日本城
There are many famous castle in Japan.
PICTURE: “Osaka castle”
In origin, Japanese castles were constructed as military facilities, to avoid enemy attack.
After the Warring States era (1467～1573), castles were constructed as a political and economic center.
Castles were built in hill or plain, and they were developed centering donjon.
Japanese castles are broadly divided into 3 types.
One is “Yamajiro” (a castle built on a mountaintop), and the second is “Hirayama Jiro” (a castle built on a hill), and the third is “Hirajiro” (a castle built on a plain).
“Yamajiro” were constructed as a fortress in the chaotic era of warring states.
They were located in steep mountains, so they only use in the time of war.
Representative castles are “Takatori castle”, “Iwamura castle” and “Matsuyama castle”.
PICTURE: “Matsuyama castle”
“Hirayama Jiro” were constructed in the end of Warring States era to
Azuchi Momoyama era(1573～1603) .
The main role of these castles were the center of political and economic activities.
Also there were castle tower to emphasis the lavishness of the castle.
Representative castles are “Azuchi castle”, “Edo castle” and “Himeji castle”.
PICTURE: “Azuchi castle”
“Hirajiro” were constructed in the end of Azuchi Momoyama era to Edo era(1603～1868).
The main role of the castles are the administrative headquarters.
Around the castle, they constructed the castle town, where the vassals, merchants and artisans were lived.
Also, there were multi layered moats around the castles to strengthen a defense.
Representative castles are “Osaka castle”, “Nagoya castle” and “Hiroshima castle”.