Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ninja Proof!

Inspired by Carrie as well as my fast draft of my WIP where my MC travels by the Immortal's secret channels to Japan, I've decided to do a post on Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan.

Last year, my family and I went to visit my sister in Tokyo as well as took a jaunt down to Kyoto. Here's a little history and fun stuff we learned along the way.
Nijo Castle stands strong and proud. Built in 1602 to protect the Shogun of Kyoto, Japan, it portrays power and beauty. Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, took great care to ensure that not even a Ninja could get inside.

How did he do this?
1. Two moats the length of a semi truck

2. An outer and inner wall with turrets designed to barrage an incoming attack with arrows

3. The nightingale warning system built within the floors of the Hanmarn Palace. This ancient day alarm system was designed to creak and squeak like a cooing bird as you walk.

4. If the ninja’s feet are softer than a feather, he might reach the First Grand Room. But behind tasseled doors lies ninjas in the service to the Shogun who can leap out at a moment's notice.

Nijo Castle was never attacked or penetrated.
Now we know why!


Mary Witzl said...

I like the idea of your WIP!

I've only walked past Nijo Castle, but I can attest to the effectiveness of those nightingale floors in other castles and temples in Japan. Even if you're light on your feet and fairly careful, you can't go anywhere without making enough racket to wake the dead.

Christina Farley said...

Thanks Mary. It's fun to know that you've lived in Japan. Lovely country. There are other beautiful castles there too but we didn't have time to go see any others.

Unknown said...

I remember reading about this after the book The Nightingale Floor came out (it was brilliant, did you read it?).

Wish I could see it in person!!!

Marcia said...

Super story! I love the nightingale warning system.

Kimbra Kasch said...

I never knew that's what those sqeaky floors were called - lovely. So, now, I'll tell my husband there's no need to fix our old floors - it's only a bird.


Kelly Polark said...

That is too cool. Loved the pictures and history!

PJ Hoover said...

Great post! I loved Japan and can't wait until my kids are old enough and we can go visit!

Carrie Harris said...

I know people who would find a castle like that to be irresistible. They'd want to try to break in, of course.

Silly ninjas. :)

C.R. Evers said...

Wow! great pictures! And I love the premise of your WIP! Can't wait to hear more!


Nora MacFarlane said...

So that's why my cats go nuts each night... our wood floors have the nightingale warning system!

I love reading your blog!

cindy said...

love the fotos! thanks for sharing. =D

Christina Farley said...

Thanks all. Yeah, I love the floors there. They really are the coolest. It is no joke that when you walk on them they squeak like a bird. It's a special design they invented.

Beth- no I haven't read that book, will have to check it out!
Kim and Nora- Yes! You're floors are not only a special alarm system but also modeled after the Japanese style flooring!
Carrie- Silly Ninjas!
C.R. and Nora- thanks (me smiling)
Cindy- glad you enjoyed. I had fun taking the photos

Rena Jones said...

Wow, that's really cool!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Oh I've been to that castle!

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Ok that is really really cool!!!!

What an awesome new MS? That's one I definitely want to read! Oh and by the way, since I have finished my first pass of revisions and have uploaded it to my critters, I am going to start reading your Korea MS now! Can't wait! Am excited!

Christina Farley said...

So cool you've been there Lenore! Love that.

And thanks Ellen. You're the best. Send me payback any time. Hugs.