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A 17th Century Japanese Innovation By A Shogun Saved His Life More Than Once

Published on 30 August, 2017 at 9:00 am By

Japanese society has been a very closed one. Not much is known about Japan, and the hidden lives of Ninjas and Samurais have yet not come to light. Here is a story about a Shogun which developed an alarm to protect itself from assassins.


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Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, was the first ruler of unified Japan in 1601. But, like everything else, his rise to power attracted potential enemies who wanted to kill the leader and capture the throne. To protect himself from the assassins and other enemies, Tokugawa built the famous Nijo-jo Palace in Kyoto.

The palace was not an ordinary one. It has a state-of-the-art built in alarm system in it which cautioned the residents of restricted movements. Ninjas, the super secret assassins of Japan, were known for doing their job in absolute silence. Hence, Tokugawa installed a nightingale floor in his palace to raise an alarm against invasions.



 

The nightingale floor was built in a way that every small step would make a sound of chirps and whistles. It was done by the metal nails on the floor that would squeak against their nails when pressure was put on them through the wooden planks. The sound would resemble the melodious chirping of birds.

Nijo-jo Palace in Kyoto Japan-Guide


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However, Nijo-jo is not the only building in Japan to have such a floor. Several temples in and around Kyoto also sport these floors as they were used to set off the alarm for a possible burglary. The members of the palace and the temples were taught to walk in a way which would spark a familiar cacophony of chirping while the others would create a different sound.

Watch the video here:

 

Amazing, isn’t it? Let us know in the comments!


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