By Andrew Abdallah
Yesterday, on our first real day in Japan, we visited the Nijo-jo Castle, built by the first shogun. The first I noticed was the architecture. Unlike the typical castle one would think of with stone walls and high towers, the building was much more intricate. Every part of the castle had so much detail. Overall it was really cool looking and had a lot of history within it.
One thing I found very interesting was how each room had a different painting according to the meaning the Shogun wanted to express to his visitors. Rooms with pine trees would represent strength with empowerment over the subordinates in attempt to intimidate them. Within his personal rooms, where only him and his “concubines” were permitted, there would be much calmer paintings, giving a more relaxing feel.
Another thing that was really interesting was the Nightingale floors. Even without shoes, which we visited the castle without shoes, the floors would squeak loudly. It was used as a defense system for the shogun. If there was an intruder in the castle he would know from the weirdly relaxing squeaks.
It was really cool to see how the shogun would live and his feelings towards other people.