15 Facts About Ninjas That You Probably Didn’t Know

Japanese and manga lovers must be familiar with Ninjas. In both Japanese and global popular culture, ninjas frequently feature as stock characters. Their mysterious appearance is interesting and unique, so that they are often portrayed as superhuman warriors. However, did you know that Ninja characters are inspired by the genuine Ninjas in real life? Unlike samurai warriors who were more interested in fighting, ninjas in real life were far quieter and more skilled. Ninjas are understood to have had two major roles; intelligence-gatherers, and assassins. In fact, they are trained in secret and infiltrated the territory of the enemy to carry out sabotage or assassinations.

Behind those awesome skills Ninjas have, there are a lot more interesting facts about Ninas you probably didn’t know. Whether you are Japanese pop culture fans or just curious about this mysterious character, those fun facts about Ninas below will surely broaden your knowledge. From the origin of the term Ninja to the trivia facts about Ninjas, we have compiled those facts in this article just for you. Let’s check this out! 

1. Ninjas Were Actually Called Shinobi In The Samurai Era

Facts About Ninjas

During the samurai era, Ninjas also known as “shinobi,” which means “those who act invisibly.” Ninja used deception and fraud to catch their opponents off guard. They were a type of warrior who specialized in unconventional warfare like as infiltration, sabotage, and assassination.

Facts About Ninjas

The first of these texts was created in 1375 stating that Ninjas were referred to as “shinobi no mono” in historical writings, which was sometimes reduced to “shinobi.” In addition, the term “ninja” is an on’yomi interpretation of the kanji.

2. Ninjas Cover Many Jobs and Skills

Ninjas were engaged for a variety of jobs, including spying and surveillance, as well as raiding and arson. They used whatever means possible to terrorize their opponents, including psychological warfare. The greater their skill set, the easier it would be for them to enter enemy lines.

Facts About Ninjas

Reconnaissance, infiltration, deception, ambush, bodyguarding, and their fighting skills in martial arts, particularly ninjutsu, were all ninja skills. Their clandestine irregular warfare methods were thought dishonorable and beneath the samurai’s honor.

3.  Female Ninjas Had Unique Weapons

Kunoichi, often known as female ninjas, used everything they could get their hands on as weapons. Their ornate hairpins, or kanzashi, were an example of this, which they could sharpen to a point or dip in poison. They also wore neko-te, which were metal claw-like nail decorations to attack their enemies.

When it came to breaking into samurai strongholds, the kunoichi’s ability to disguise themselves as a mistress or servant had clear benefits over male disguises. Because of their ability to imitate many types of women that samurai often regarded as harmless, kunoichi caused more fear than their masculine counterparts.

4. All Ninja Skills are Documented in Manuals

Did you know that all Ninja skills are documented in manuals for years? Well, thanks to those records, people who want to be a ninja can learn those amazing skills until now. Almost all of what is recorded about ninjas is from the 17th century’s peacetime. Many of the records are in the form of ninja manuals, which chronicle the talents of ninjas. The Bansenshukai is the most well-known of these manuals. 

Although ninjas were most active in the 15th and 16th centuries, when Japan was racked by wars across the country, there are few documents from this time period. There are an estimated several hundred more manuals, although many of them are still classified.

5. Samurai and Ninjas Often Worked Together

The samurai were not the ninjas’ adversary. Instead, samurai and ninjas frequently worked together. Ninjas’ opponents were the people they were hired to kill. When samurai and ninja fight, though, the samurai usually come out on top. A ninja might win if the combat took place in the mountains, but if the fight took place in a large group, the samurai would likely win.

Samurais were ancient Japanese warriors who belonged to the noble classes. Ninjas, on the other hand, were frequently mercenaries and so belonged to the lower echelons of ancient Japanese society.

6. The Last Ninja Clan Left In Japan

Ninjas, masters of the dark arts of espionage and quiet assassination, handed down their knowledge from father to son. Although the era of shoguns and samurai in Japan is long gone, the country still has one or two remaining ninjas. Kawakami is the 21st head of the Ban family, one of the Koka ninja clan’s 53 members. He began practicing ninjutsu from his master, Masazo Ishida, when he was six years old.

When he was 18, Kawakami inherited the scrolls of the Koka clan and is now the honorary director of the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum. The Koka and Iga schools are the most well-known ninja arts schools today. They are founded with the goal of serving the master ruler of their domain and contributing to the region’s growth.  According to legend, Japan’s territory was also home to 49 ninja schools. 

7. Ninjas Have Strict Diet

Ninjas have a strict vegan diet. Ninjas avoided meat, seafood, dairy foods, and sugars in favor of a diet rich in whole-grain rice and vegetables for their health. They also avoided meals that could cause body odor to avoid being caught while sneaking or concealing.

Moreover, there were also ninja-specific portable foods. For instance, the thirst ball is prepared with crushed plum pulp, rye ergot, and crystallized sugar to help with thirst control. Meanwhile, the hunger ball from carrots, buckwheat flour, wheat flour, yam, licorice root, and rice flour was soaked in sake for three years to hold back hunger.

8. Ninjas Didn’t Have A Specific Uniform

To emphasize their invisibility, ninja characters may have dressed similarly. They’ll be dressed in black to blend in with the surroundings. Although there was no such thing as a “ninja uniform,” many of them would have worn identical armor and weaponry.

Ninjas, regardless of their outerwear, would wear disguised armor if they anticipated battle. Kusari, or various types of chain armor worn by samurai, also would have been simple for a ninja to conceal beneath a disguise.

9. Ninjas with Their Superpowers Legend

The ninja was typically connected with superhuman or supernatural abilities. Flight, invisibility, shapeshifting, teleportation, the power to “split” into several bodies, animal summoning, and control over the five classical elements are just a few of the legends which you also can see in the Japanese anime. However, did they really have those superpowers?

In fact, the ninja would use these otherworldly rumors to make their opponent fearful. Rumors about supernatural abilities arose as a result of their hard training and the many items they employed as part of that training. The Ninja were master strategists who were regarded as medieval Japan’s “special forces.” As a result, they employed any measures required to get an advantage.

10. Koka’s Ninja House, Japan’s Only Historic Ninja House

If you want to get to know more about the history of Ninja, then you should visit Koka’s Ninja House. The Koka Ninja House in Koka City, Shiga Prefecture, is Japan’s only extant “ninja house” where real ninjas once resided. In this place, you can learn about Ninja with real equipment. 

In fact, it is about 300 years old and was formerly home to ninjas. It appears to be a normal house from the outside, but it is filled with inventive traps and devices designed to deter attackers and give a method of escape in the event of an emergency.

11. Ninjas are Master of Disappear

When it comes to disappearing skills, Ninjas are the master. They are masters of Ninjutsu, a ninja discipline that focuses on “disappearing” and includes a variety of walking and stealth tactics. Wilderness survival, fieldcraft, and silent movement steps and jumps are all included in this skill.

Moreover, ninjas utilize a cloud of smoke to distract and obscure their opponents’ view, giving them the time to flee. To mask your walking noises, they also mimic animal noises.

12. Bujinkan Martial Arts Was Introduced By World’s Famous Ninja

For those Ninja fans, they may know Hatsumi Masaaki, the world’s famous ninja that created the Bujinkan martial arts. He is also the founder of the Bujinkan Organization and is the former Togakure-ryū Soke or Grandmaster. People who practice the Bujinkan’s samurai jitsu and ninjutsu in person with a Dai Shihan for a long time will undoubtedly be competent in a variety of real-world street fights or self-defense situations against a variety of opponents.

The Bujinkan martial art is made up of nine distinct but complementary martial arts lineages that cover all areas of personal fighting and self-defense. Unarmed and armed personal fighting skills, as taught in Japan, are part of the training. This martial art is actually martial in the sense that it is based on centuries-old, battle-proven tactics.

13. Shurikens Used To Distract Enemies

One of the ninja’s major defense weapons was the shuriken, or throwing star. Ninja Shuriken means “hidden sword in the user’s hands” in Japanese. Throwing, stabbing, and slicing are all possible with these unique weapons. In contrast to popular belief, shuriken were primarily utilized as a delaying strategy rather than for killing. 

Ninjas would stop the adversary from moving forward by forcing them to duck, dodge, or block shots. They might, however, be poisoned and thrown with the goal of catching the enemy off guard. 

14. Female Ninjas are More Effective Than Male Ninjas

Female ninjas were among the most lethal warriors ever. Too many men have perished because they misjudged the women in their lives who turned out to be ninjas. Kunoichi, or female ninjas, were unrivaled in their ability to gather information and carry out assassinations.

Moreover, women were easily trusted by enemies, either because of their beauty or because they played a “harmless” social position. Kunoichi often pretended to be entertainers, courtesans, or servants. Seducing and poisoning a victim after they had gone asleep was one of the most successful methods of completing them.

15. The First Ninja In The World

The Japanese legend of Prince Yamato is commonly regarded as the original ninja story. Although Yamato did not wear the black clothing or use the stealthy tactics associated with ninja, he employed trickery to lure two barbarian chieftains by dressing as a lady. Yamato used a secret blade and killed both chieftains after they had been lulled into a false sense of security. As a result, Yamato is known as “The First Ninja” because of his use of disguise, which is a trademark of ninja techniques.

Ninjas were born into the trade, much like samurai, where traditions were preserved and passed down through the generations. When select samurai families began to focus on covert warfare, such as espionage and assassination, the first ninja specialized training began in the mid-15th century.

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