History of the Ninja - Why are we so interested in Ninjas?

Kunisada Utagawa: Ninja and Prince Genji

Hello to all that love everything Ninja!
My name is Kuromaru, I am here today to talk to you about Ninja history.
When you hear the word "ninja," what image comes to mind?
Perhaps you think of mysterious warriors hiding in the dark, sneaking up on their enemies, and performing quiet exequitions.
Yes, the world of the ninja holds many secrets.
Today, let's open the door to those secrets and take a closer look at the history of the ninja.
If you want to know who the ninjas were, please read this article, "What's a Ninja?".

The Birth of the Ninja - Special Mission Professionals

The history of the ninja is not clearly known, as there are many theories regarding the origins of ninja.
According to one theory, the beginning of the ninja is said to be when Prince Shotoku gave the title of "shinobi" to Ohtomo no Hosohito who served him.
The main role of the shinobi was to act as "spies".
If you would like to know more about Ohtomo no Hosohito, please read this article.

The Ninja in Full Swing - The Dark Heroes of the Age

The Ninja came into their own in Japan between the 15th and 17th centuries, also
known as the period of the Sengoku period when warlords were constantly fighting for power.
The role of the ninja was extremely important and included espionage, assassination, and sabotage.
Many warlords hired Iga and Koga ninjas, two very legendary ninjas clans known now, as mercenaries that were equipped with unique skills that facilitated the conquest of castles and the winning of battles.
This was a pinnacle time for the ninja.


One of the famous recorded events of ninja was the Battle of Okehazama, fought between Oda Nobunaga and Imagawa Yoshimoto in 1560.
Eighty Koga ninjas were hired by the Tokugawa family, who were part of the Oda army, and given the task of raiding an outpost of the Imagawa army leading a horde of 25,000 men.
It is written that a small group of ninjas snuck into the castle, set fire to a tower, and killed the castle's leader.

Contrary to the image of the mystical warrior, their main role was espionage, and because of the need to live and report intelligence results, their techniques focused on defense, seclusion, and escape rather than attack.
Perhaps this is why so many ninjutsu involve defending oneself.

Secret Weapons - A Variety of Weapons

The ninja chose a wide variety of weapons depending on their mission.
Shurikens, daggers, blowdarts, smoke bombs, gunpowder, poisons, and various traps were some of the tools of the ninja.
These tools helped them deceive their enemies, launch surprise attacks, and in espionage, return to their Lord alive.
To learn more about Ninja weapons, please click here.

Ninja Training - Training the Body and Mind

The training of the ninja was very rigorous and multifaceted.
They honed their ninjutsu (ninja skills and techniques), disguise techniques, indirect tactics, survival skills, and information gathering techniques.
Mental training was also essential, and extreme patience, concentration, loyalty, and meditation were part of ninja training.
These drills helped the ninjas keep their cool in extreme situations and accomplish difficult missions.
To learn more about how to become a Ninja, please click here.


Ninja Costumes - Warriors in the Shadows

The ninja's distinctive costume, the black robe and mask, were an essential piece of equipment for their mission.
The black (or brown) robe and mask were lightweight, suitable for rapid movements, and even served as protective gear.
They acted in the middle of the night and made full use of this costume to escape the gaze of their enemies.
To learn more about Ninja costumes, please click here.

The Decline of the Ninja - An Era of Peace and Stability

After the early Edo period, Japan entered a period of relative stability.
During this period, the existence of the ninja gradually declined, but their techniques and skills were not lost, and some were passed on to martial arts and theater.
The ninja upheld a samurai-like code of morality, and their values had a profound influence on Japanese history.

Modern Ninja - Cultural Icons


In modern times, the ninja is widely recognized as part of Japanese culture.
Ninja names and postures have been used in movies ("Burning Ninja,", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"), anime and manga ("Naruto", "Blade of the Oni"), and video games ("Ninja Gaiden", "SEKIRO").
Widely loved, their traditions and techniques are being passed on to new generations.

You too can take on the world of the ninja!

The history of the ninja is fascinating in its mystery and diversity.
Ninja took on dangerous missions and used their top-secret skills and techniques to face their enemies.
Real-life ninja were supported not by miraculous abilities, but by skill and knowledge through training.
The ninja then passed on their skills to the next generation in the utmost secrecy.
As a result, their history has influenced many works and legends, and ninjas continue to be loved even today.
If you too are intrigued by the world of the ninja, I encourage you to explore their skills and values, and once you do, to hide in the shadows and test your own strength.

What Are We?

We run Ninja Experience Cafe in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, Japan.
Here you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture through experiencing ninja training.
Both adults and children are welcome to try their hand at defeating the ninja master inside the cafe.
The cafe is an indoor interactive zone, so it can be enjoyed even on rainy days.
If you are thinking, "I want to be a real ninja too!” If you are interested in becoming a real ninja, please visit us.
Reservations can be made here.

More information about Ninja is available at the following websites

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