Castles in Japan
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The author brings not only an immense knowledge but also a deep feeling for Japan and things Japanese to this sensitive study, formed from both the historian's and the sightseer's perspectives. Most of the Japanese castles, he explains, were built in several amazing decades at the end of the 16th century. The Tokugawa shogunate was then consolidating its power and local lords were girding themselves for the onslaughts of enemies supplied with that recent acquisition fro the West-firearms.
Castle architecture, among the most original of Japanese architectural forms, manifested a diabolically shrewd defense capability. An unwary enemy, if unwary he were, might charge into a veritable chamber of horrors-stonedropping chutes, hidden gates, sharplycurved passageways, flooded moats, trap doors, and floor boards that squeaked to warn of an intruder's arrival. In Japanese style, many even contained special suicide courts.
- Tuttle Publishing, June 1974
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