Daimyo yashiki: Enclosed compound with open social relations

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Daimyo yashiki (aka hantei) were residences of Japanese feudal lords, constructed within the Edo Shogunate castle town due to sankin kotai, the practice of alternating residences by daimyo between Edo and the daimyos’ domains.
Inside the daimyo yashiki compounds there were goten palaces used as the daimyos’ main residences. The goten contained omote goten for public use such as for political affairs and receptions, and the oku (or ura) goten for private use as the home of the daimyos and their families.
The retainers’ homes and public offices were located around the goten. Various kinds of employees visited the compounds regularly and helped to build up a more vibrant kind of society within the hantei community. In contrast to this image, the structures comprising the hantei were completely enclosed and protected spaces by the tall walls and nagaya, the row houses of retainers and servants.