The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

Tricks and Traps in Ninja House

Considering two meanings of ninja houses

Classical Japanese farmhouse

A classical Japanese

Groups of ninjas (E) settled in the deep mountains. Their social status right there was basically as clans and farmers. So their houses also had the function of a farmhouse. The outward appearance of their house was quite similar to that of an ordinary farmhouse. They were located in the center of fields but above all, the most important thing was that a ninja was a spy so his house had to be designed for espionage. Naturally, a ninja had a lot of enemies. It meant that two situations were possible for a ninja. One was that a ninja himself stole into a hostile mansion. The second was that a ninja always had the possibility of his house being raided suddenly by his enemies. From such a point of view, I am going to introduce the house of ninjas, and how they protected their secrets and lives.

The basic construction of a ninja house

A trick in a Ninja house

A trick in a ninja house

It was a matter of course that there were many types of ninja houses but what one can say in principle is that almost all of them were filled with various tricks and traps. In times of peace, a ninja worked as a farmer, he needed storage to put the farm equipment in and in there, a ninja would hide secret documents, weapons and gunpowder. Ninjas were specialists of gunpowder which was the most important thing in the Warring States period because it was the latest and strongest weapon in those days. Depending on the quality and amount, the destructive power of guns was decided. Consequently, in any district of Japan in that age, the gunpowder that ninjas held was top secret. Basically, it can be said that a ninja house was a stockroom. In addition to that, a ninja had to prepare for surprise attacks by his enemies, he had to set many kinds of tricks and traps in his house. That is the reason why the construction of a ninja house was so involved. Here, referring to the extant ninja house in " Iga iɉj ", I am going to describe the construction of a ninja house. In the first place, a ninja house looked like a farmhouse on one floor with a straw]thatched roof but in fact it was a fake. Actually, it had three floors. In the dwelling, a mezzanine and a second floor were part of the construction.

The substantial mechanism of a ninja house

Well now, let's look around each trick and trap in a ninja house in detail.


1.The hidden staircase


A hidden staircase was usually set sideways so that one would think it was a cupboard at a glance. On the ceiling, there was a raisable door which led to the mezzanine. Furthermore, on the ceiling of the mezzanine, a raisable door was set up so in an emergency, a ninja would take the hidden staircase from the wall and set it standing offset on the floor. After that, he would climb on the staircase opening the raisable door so he could reach the mezzanine. Then, he would bring up the staircase and put it onto the floor of the mezzanine. Next, he would shut the door and open the raisable door on the ceiling of the second floor also, and he crawled up onto the second floor. Herewith, he could arrive at the second floor and hide himself without it being known by his enemies as to how he could get up from the first floor.




2.The secret passages


In a ninja house, there were many secret passages which lead to the well in the garden of the residence. When a ninja received a sudden attack from his enemies, he could arrive at the well through the secret passages from his house, and escape outside by climbing over the wall. A ninja could enter the secrets passages by opening secret doors. There were doors everywhere in the house and the doors were made so skillfully that people couldnft distinguish the doors and walls.




3.The secret storeroom


A ninja needed to conceal important things like secret documents, weapons, and gunpowder in places that no one could notice and they were under the floor. Basically, the alcove in a japanese style house, wooden boards are spread. Ninjas took advantage of the construction. Some wooden boards on the floor have a mechanism, when the corner was pushed down, the opposite side rose and there were some cavities under the floor that were used as caches. The principle of this trick was same as that of " The Purloined Letter " written by Edger Allan Poe. The floors were so well designed that it was impossible to think that there were any precious secrets hidden under there. In short, "they were essentially invisible because they were superficially visible".