15th century fortress besieged by pair of dogs’ age-old adversaries.

One of the neat things about the use of kanji characters in the Japanese language is that it’s easy to tell what the name of a place means. Tokyo, written with two kanji as 東京, famously means “eastern capital,” since it replaced the former national capital of Kyoto, which lies farther to the west. Yokohama (横浜), “wide beach,” gets its name from the expansive bay the city sits next to.

Then there’s Inuyama (犬山), in Aichi Prefecture. While the reason for the town’s name appears to have been lost to the shadows of antiquity, the meaning of Inuyama is quite clear: “dog mountain.” There’s even a “dog mountain” castle, as Inuyama Castle is one of only a dozen original construction castle remaining in Japan. The town’s primary attraction, the compact but beautiful fortress draws people from around Japan, but on a recent afternoon it also attracted some animal visitors…or maybe we should call them invaders.

As photographed by Japanese Twitter user @rimamofu, the walls of Dog Mountain Castle were breached, and as you might expect, the siege was orchestrated by canines’ old foe: cats.

Like many samurai strongholds, Inuyama Castle has small openings in its walls for defenders to shoot arrows or fire muskets through. However, such openings are technically two-way in nature, and here we see a cat coming through one from the outside.

This wasn’t a one-kitty operation, either, but a coordinated attack by a pair of raiders. Employing clever battlefield subterfuge tactics, one cat even went through its opening tail-first, making it seem like a single huge cat was storming the castle.

▼ One commenter added in a digital outline of how large such a beast would be.

While casualties are generally a forgone conclusion when attacking a fortified position, @rimamofu points out that both cats were actually at the castle with their human owner/general, who had them on a leash, and that neither animal was so wedged into the opening that it couldn’t easily extract itself.

Online commenters are currently debating whether or not this all means that the two cats should now be considered the rightful lords of the castle, and if so whether it should be renamed “Cat Castle,” or perhaps “Cat Castle at Dog Mountain.” If they intend to hold their newly won territory, though, the cats will have to be diligent against the prospect of a counter-siege by canine forces…provided they don’t get stuck somewhere else first.

Source: Twitter/@rimamofu
Top image: Wikipedia/ThorstenS
Insert images: Twitter/@rimamofu
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he never passes up an opportunity to visit a castle.