Nijo Castle (Japan)
The beautiful style of this castle was intended as a demonstration of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) 's prestige.
Nijo-jo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shogun of Kyoto, who had been ruling Japan for over 260 years from 1603 to 1868, and remains an eloquent testimony to their power. The wide moat, massive stone walls, and even heavy elaborate gates are still impressive, and were the only inhabitants fortifications deemed necessary, so firm was their hold on power. The grounds are large and contain several lovely gardens and woods of plum and cherry trees. The construction of the building itself is impressive, but after a closer look, it is rich in decorative details.
Inside the palace are several masterpieces of Japanese art, more particularly screens paintings of the main chamber. This room met the shogun daimyo (lords of the high-ranking administrators war) who sought an audience. The screens were painted by artists from the Kano school and employing intense colors and large quantities of gold to describe flowers, trees, birds and tigers. They were intended to impress. Even in the palace are the famous "nightingale floors" that are designed to squeak when steped of guards and then warning to all intruders.