I was looking for a pillbox pockmarked with bullet holes in the Kudanminami district of Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. That's what an elderly friend told me I'd find in front of the area's Kudan Kaikan hotel.

He used the Russian loan-word "tochika" for pillbox and Kudan Kaikan's original name, Gunjin Kaikan. Indeed, the "Soldiers' Hall" served as the Martial Law Headquarters during the so-called February 26 Incident, a failed putsch by junior military officers in 1936. Perhaps the pillbox has been preserved as a historic relic, I thought.

I was surprised by the Kudan Kaikan's roof, on the northern and southern corners of which are piggyback structures resembling castle donjons.