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ABSTRACTCastles are some of Japan's most iconic structures and popular tourist destinations. They are prominent symbols of local, regional and national identity recognised both at home and abroad. Castles occupy large areas of land at the centre of most Japanese cities, shaping the urban space. Many castles have their roots in the period of civil war that ended in the early seventeenth century, and now house museums, parks and reconstructions of historic buildings. The current heritage statusdoi:10.1017/s0080440118000063 fatcat:3rr5ycukkbab5kf3dsjehggk2a