Someone got in touch, asking if I had ever recorded a ‘nightingale floor’ when in Japan. Back in 2017 on a trip, my GF and I stayed in Kyoto for a couple of nights being tourists with some Tokyo friends and one place we did visit was Nijo Castle which has a nightingale floor.
A nightingale floor was basically an intruder alert system, where a special construction technique was used: “In installing nightingale floors, planks of wood are placed atop a framework of supporting beams, securely enough that they won’t dislodge, but still loosely enough that there’s a little bit of play when they’re stepped on. As the boards are pressed down by the feet of someone walking on them, their clamps rub against nails attached to the beams, creating a shrill chirping noise.”
The “nightingale” in the English name refers to the Japanese bush warbler, or uguisu. This is a type of bushtit or nightingale native to Japan.
This isn’t my video, but shows the kind of floor:
Unfortunately taking photos inside the Castle is prohibited, but I had my Sony D100 recorder with me so I recorded the squeaks of a nightingale floor, while us and other tourists walked around…