Ninjas Headed For Extinction

NinjaaaSay it ain’t so! Everyone’s favorite assassin, the Japanese Ninja, is dying out per BBC News:

Japan’s era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but the country does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas. Experts in the dark arts of espionage and silent assassination, ninjas passed skills from father to son – but today’s say they will be the last.

Japan’s ninjas were all about mystery. Hired by noble samurai warriors to spy, sabotage and kill, their dark outfits usually covered everything but their eyes, leaving them virtually invisible in shadow – until they struck.

Using weapons such as shuriken, a sharpened star-shaped projectile, and the fukiya blowpipe, they were silent but deadly.

Ninjas were also famed swordsmen. They used their weapons not just to kill but to help them climb stone walls, to sneak into a castle or observe their enemies.

Most of their missions were secret so there are very few official documents detailing their activities. Their tools and methods were passed down for generations by word of mouth.

This has allowed filmmakers, novelists and comic artists to use their wild imagination.

Hollywood movies such as Enter the Ninja and American Ninja portray them as superhumans who could run on water or disappear in the blink of an eye.

“That is impossible because no matter how much you train, ninjas were people,” laughs Jinichi Kawakami, Japan’s last ninja grandmaster, according to the Iga-ryu ninja museum…

[continues at BBC News]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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9 Comments on "Ninjas Headed For Extinction"

  1. That’s what the ninjas want you to think. Masters of stealth.

  2. Anarchy Pony | Dec 3, 2012 at 11:47 am |


    • Jin The Ninja | Dec 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm |

      it ain’t. we’re of many faces, outfits and ‘hats’ so to speak.

  3. emperorreagan | Dec 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

    Hatsumi is quite possibly a fraud – he claims to have scrolls proving the lineage of his school, but won’t show them to anyone. The fact that he won’t name someone to continue his school certainly makes sense – he can carry his “scrolls” to the grave.

  4. At last, my medieval Japanese castle is safe.

    • Jin The Ninja | Dec 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

      is it? the sound of my shuko and ashiko against the external stone walls may say differently.

  5. Ceausescu | Dec 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm |

    Technological progress hurts employment in all areas.

    Now we have drones.

  6. InfvoCuernos | Dec 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

    You know what they say about ninjas- when you see one, there’s another hundred hiding in the dark- or is that bedbugs? I forget.

  7. BuzzCoastin | Dec 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm |

    based upon their reputation for stealth
    how would one know if they disappeared?
    sounds like a smokescreen to me

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