I’m the Queen of the castle! No, wait…Queen of the palace!

Quick: castle versus palace! What’s the difference?

Eh? There’s a difference?

If you’ve seen one castle in Japan, then usually you’ll want to see another. And another. And another.

The most perplexed among us will wonder why so few of the Japanese castles show furnishings and daily life items from when the castles were in use. Nothing resembling a kitchen, a bedroom, the tea sipping room, the kids’ playroom. You know, the important stuff…where did they pee?!

Along comes my mom to politely explain that castles are for territorial defense, while palaces are for royal entertainment.

Ohhhhh….that makes sense.

And boy oh boy were those Japanese territories in need of being defended. I still can’t keep track of who defended which castles and territories, but the history is terrifically fascinating.

For your Japanese Castle unit (you’re planning one, yes?), have the students wander around these two sites: Japanese Castle Explorer and JCastle. Gallons of good stuff there! And then for all your LEGO Castle needs (you have castle needs! yes, you do!), that’s where you need to be.

My favorite castle! So far.....

I still want to know where they peed.


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