ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Inside the Ninja House

Updated on February 1, 2011

Today, ninja houses in Japan count among the most attractive tourist destinations of the country. They have been moved from their original places and rebuilt as tourist attraction. Not surprisingly, they look like ninja homes with various hiding places and trap-doors built in, but can we trust their authenticity?

It stands to reason that an infamous shonin, who was well-aware of the various techniques of infiltration and assassination employed by his own ninja, should put his knowledge to practical use, and turn his house into a super secure place to fend off potential attempts at his life. Their genuine fear for their life encouraged many powerful samurai lords to introduce well-authenticated features into their own homes and residences.

The most often employed features of building design were ones that allowed the secret and constant monitoring of visitors by the lord's guards, making it possible to overpower an assailant in seconds. 

A typical shonin house. Click to enlarge.
A typical shonin house. Click to enlarge.

Ninja House Illustration

The shonin's house in the ninja village is every bit as well-protected as the settlement itself. It is a thatched farmhouse, very cunningly designed. The ninja features added on to the basic-style Japanese cottage were intended as a defense against attempts at the shonin's life.

  1. A polished wooden corridor giving access to rooms floored with tatami, or straw mats.
  2. The shonin's reception room. Heavily guarded, with a secret bolt hole behind the hanging banner. A guard can eavesdrop conversations and, if necessary, intervene in seconds.
  3. A hidden underground passage. / A nasty booby-trap in the hallway with spikes beneath. An assailant may confuse them.
  4. A rotating staircase leading upstairs, pivoted so that it can snap shut.
  5. Windows on the upstairs plaster walls sometimes acting as gun-ports.
  6. The top floor is nearly invisible, with a trap-door through the thatch to the roof.

Security Features of the Ninja House

A removable floortile, near the sitting shonin's side when he held an audience, could easily hide a katana or wakisashi ready to be picked up by him.

Sliding panels, a common feature in Japanese homes, could be re-architectured to pivot around a central axis, allowing a man to disappear in an eye-blink.

Staircases could be built to fold away, causing confusion in the assailant.

An unexpected trap-door in a dark hallway could drop an attacker into a hidden pit on a row of poisoned spikes.

A vanishing staircase that could be immediately retracted by standing on the protruding end after climbing it could also trick any pursuer.

If you've heard about the otherwise well-known Nijo jinya in Kyoto, then you are familiar with the most exciting and most authentic example of an anti-ninja home. This house built near to Nijo castle was the home of Ogawa Nagatsuka, a former samurai and later a rice merchant. His anti-ninja devices were set up as very sensible fire precautions.

Real Ninja House - Amazing Video!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      meow 

      4 years ago

      meow

      meow

      meow

    • profile image

      stone cold steve austin 

      4 years ago

      i was here, buy me some beer. Greg is a nice guy, stone cold is out go oscar and issaac

    • profile image

      haloman 

      4 years ago

      hello hello rambo

    • profile image

      greg 

      4 years ago

      crocodile ate me brother

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      This is so fun, Haunty! Some friends of mine actually took me to Nijo jinya in Kyoto. I thought the pink ninja uniforms the girl tour guides wore were ADORABLE!

    • melodyandes profile image

      melodyandes 

      7 years ago

      I want to be, Very interesting.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      How fiendish! Thanks for the elucidation!

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR

      Haunty 

      7 years ago from Hungary

      Thanks, mega1! :)

    • mega1 profile image

      mega1 

      7 years ago

      Very nice! very entertaining video too!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)