Ready for some NINJA FACTS?
We are your tech ninjas because TRULY sometimes we all need a tech ninja. But the history of ninjas is actually incredibly interesting and sparse. Much of what we know about ninjas is through speculation and some very light history found in archives. Originally called shinobi no mono in the medieval period, “ninja” which is the mock-Chinese reading of the same ideograms became popular in the 20th century.
1: The first historical record of ninja comes from the Taiheiki war chronicle written around 1375. It states that ninja were sent out on a stormy night to infiltrate and burn down enemy buildings.
2: There are very scant records for the ninja in the warring periods and it is only after peace arrived in the 1600’s that some peacetime ninja began to record their skills. The most famous of these is the colossal “ninja bible” known as the Bansenshukai which was written in 1676. There are an estimated 400 – 500 ninja manuals spread across Japan, many of which are still kept secret.
3: Popular media often portrays the samurai and ninja to be enemies. In fact the term ninja often refers to a warrior of any class within a samurai army and the position of ninja was akin to modern day Special Forces attached to the main force. Many samurai were trained in ninjutsu – the skills of the ninja – and a lord would keep his ninja close.
4: “Ninja throwing stars” have almost no historical connection to the ninja. Throwing stars were a secret weapon used in many samurai schools and they only became attached to the ninja in the 20th century through comic books and animation.
5: A popular argument today is that ninja did not wear black as it was too dark at night time and in fact they wore blue. This is a misunderstanding which originated from a ninja manual called the Shoninki (True Path of the Ninja) written in 1681. It states that a ninja can wear blue to blend in with crowds as this color was popular, meaning that a ninja would not stand out in a city or town if people were looking for them, it was used to blend in with the masses. In fact ninja documents say to wear black on a moonless night and white on a full moon.
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