In the 1983 BBC documentary “The Way of the Warrior”, Sensei Risuke Ōtake, a Master of the Katori Shinto Ryu swordmanship, explained clearly that in ancient times, samurais and warlords placed heavy emphasis on feng shui concepts as part of their considerations when building a house or castle. These are the four criteria when looking for a castle site:
北高山 (High mountain in the North) Back
东流水 (Stream in the East) Left
南田野 (Fields in the South) Front
西大道 (Road in the West) Right
If you are familiar with the four sacred animals (四象 Si4 Xiang4) used in Form Feng shui to represent the four cardinal directions, you will see the close association with it. The four directions are namely Red Sparrow (Front), Black Warrior (combination of a Turtle and Snake) Back, Green Dragon (Left) and White Tiger (Right).