Early on, Japanese Castles were built mainly for military purposes
and were used in times of war, but later on, they became more
of a display of the castle's lord's (daimyo) power. Tenshus
became larger and their roof's military uses became decorative as
The higher and larger a castle's tenshu was, the number of people
who could see the daimyo's power increased. It was a grand symbol
for many historic figures including Toyotomi Ieyasu and the Tokugawa
family. Of course, aside from the military uses and artistic skills
placed into the design of the tenshu's roofs, ancient beliefs and
superstition was incorporated as well.
Not only was the castle's exterior design a form of displaying power,
so was its interior. Any lord would welcome a visit from higher
authority. To make the interior fit for this purpose, different rooms
were built according to ancient seating arrangements. Beautiful
paintings and murals were displayed on walls, sliding doors, etc.
Valuable objects were also displayed. Of course, the greatest
things were always in the highest ranking room, whether or not the
owner of castle would stay there. The Japanese had the utmost
respect for higher authority.
Not only were the interior of castle buildings a display of artistic skills,
but even the interior of the castle grounds. The Japanese regarded
gardens as an art because of the belief that its designs held were passed
down from ancient times. The different parts of a garden represented
different things in life and the thought and precision that went into
the placement of everything in the garden was most detailed.