Kyoto’s Bloody Ceilings

In 1600, rebel samurai attacked Fushimi Castle, south of Kyoto, in an attempt to kill five year-old Toyotomi Hideyori, the son and heir of the general who had recently united Japan. After a two-week siege, the rebels breached the walls, set fire to the castle and killed the garrison commander. With their leader dead, the remaining samurai defenders (approximately 400 men) committed seppuku (ritual suicide) inside the keep. The mass suicide flooded the wooden floor with blood, staining the timbers permanently. That portion of the keep survived the fire, although the structure was subsequently dismantled by the new Shogun, Tokugawa

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