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Location Donjon, Himeji City, Japan   map
Date 1601 to 1614   timeline
Building Type castle
 Construction System stone walls, tile roofs
Climate humid subtropical
Context urban
Style Medieval Japanese
Notes many storied battered walls, flared hipped roofs, moated.


Photo, exterior overview showing keep and wall

Photo, exterior, inner moat gate

Photo, exterior, roof detail


Elevation Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

3D Model
3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

Model Viewing Instructions
Discussion Himeji Castle Commentary

"Himeji Castle , built between 1601 and 1614, represents the highest achievement in Japanese castle architecture. It is the sole example in which almost all the buildings other than the donjon still survive today. In addition to the usual compounds, turrets (yagura), turret-gates (yagura-mon) and earthen walls were constructed within the castle complex. However, the donjon was higher than usual; it had six storeys with a series of pent roofs, undulating gables and decorative dormers. Three small donjons (ko-tenshu) are connected by corridors linking the turrets. For defense purposes, gates were complicated by maze-like spaces to confuse the enemy."

—Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p744.

Sources on Himeji Castle

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. Boston: Butterworths, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. NA200.F63 1987. discussion, p744.

Munekazu Inoue. Castles of Japan. Tokyo: Association of Japanese Castle, [1958?]. interior photo of central tower, p52.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. photo, plan drawing, p22. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at Amazon.com

Yoshitaro Okumura, ed. Shashinshu Nihon no Shiro: Castles of Japan, Photo Collection. Tokyo: The Mainichi Newspapers, 1970. exterior photo of central tower, p1. exterior photo of central tower from access road, p8.

Henri Steirlin. Comprendre l'Architecture Universelle 2. Office du Livre, 1977. elevation drawing of main keep, p335. site plan drawing, p334.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.—



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