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Shogunate Japan (Castle Design and Defences)

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sam sumsion

on 29 August 2013

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Transcript of Shogunate Japan (Castle Design and Defences)

Shogunate Japan
Castle Design and defenses!
What the castles made out of?
Japanese castles are made from mainly wood and stone. They evolved from stockades from earlier centuries of history and came to there best known form in the 16 century.
What they are used for
Castles in Shogunate japan were used to guard important objects or things. This included strategic sites such as ports for boats to dock at, river crossings or crossroads to keep the population connected and they very rarely forgot to use the landscape to their advantage with defending their land.
What castle means
The term castle can actually be very confusing if it is used improperly. The term castle formally known as shiro must always reefer to the whole compound including the main keep, watchtowers, stable, walls, gates and motes. Without all these inside the walls this would not be called a castle
What shogun means
Shogun literally translates from Japanese to English into military commander.
Shogunate Japan made their castles to last many years. They made them with more stone foundation than normal Japanese buildings but where still primarily made out of wood!
Every castle in Japanese history had some form of defense. Whether it be a large river or moat. Most castles used steep riverbanks to use loose rocks to use as natural barriers to help defend against attacks on the castle.
Where ever a castle has lacked in defenses the natural surroundings made up for the lack in defense. Within the walls of the castle they have guard towers. These towers as they get their name, guard the surroundings and the interior of the castle.
The roof of the castles often had a pair of dolphins on it. These were made of tile or metal. The dolphins were thought to keep the evil spirits from entering the castle and cursing all inside. Both of these dolphins are known as shachi. The male was placed and on end of the roof and the female was placed on the opposite end of the roof.
Fire proof
The Japanese where advanced enough to even fire proof their castles. During the Shogunate period the most affective offensive tactics was to use fire to burn down the castles. They used fire because it spread quickly and easily and destroyed the inside of the castles because most of the inside was constructed of wood.

Japan Guide:


Japan Guide:

Japanese Castle History:

Castle Building Techniques and Designs:

The medieval castles of japan:

Japan’s samurai castles:
Full transcript