Smoke signal recreated in Japan's ancient capital Nara

An event was held in Japan's ancient capital of Nara to recreate a smoke signal thought to be used some 1,400 years ago.

It is believed that people in the Asuka Period, ranging from the late sixth to early eighth century, sent smoke signals to alert of approaching warring forces and other emergencies.

On Saturday, residents and officials of Oji Town in Nara Prefecture, western Japan, gathered at the top of Mount Myojin near the border with Osaka Prefecture. The mountain is an ideal place for a smoke signal, as it offers a wide view of the surroundings.

They set fire to cedar branches inside a large cylindrical object made from drums. White smoke began billowing out from the object.

From a hilltop in the village of Asuka, located about 16 kilometers away from the mountain, the village mayor and residents confirmed the smoke. They flew a big balloon into the air to inform the people in Oji that they saw the smoke.

Those who witnessed the smoke signal said they were impressed by the technique employed by the ancient people.

The organizer of the event said he found smoke signals to be a very effective form of communication.