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Japanese Castles

From the mid-sixteenth century onwards, Japanese feudal lords competed with one another in the construction of massive and imposing castles. Today many of them have been lovingly restored.

A hanging scroll painting of Himeji castle.Not long ago a Japanese newspaper columnist complained that Japan was rapidly becoming a land of fake castles. For, in the first flush of their post-war development, the Japanese have evolved a form of “Instant History”; and throughout the country, either amid the apartment blocks, office buildings, department stores and factories of the cities, or on a hilltop in the suburbs, now rise the storeyed fagades of castles, newly restored—often in steel and concrete, rather than in the original timber, wattle and daub—but always with a loving respect for the structure and details of the ancient fabric.

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