Ninjas are famous worldwide for being the silent assassins of feudal Japan. The ninja played a role in the warring states period of Japanese history, infiltrating and assassinating top targets. Many people from across the world are fascinated by these agile agents. Oshino Ninja Village ”Shinobi no Sato” opened in 2015 near the base of Mount Fuji. Here you can learn about the ninja life, eat ninja food and even learn to throw a shuriken!
It is unclear when the first ninjas emerged in Japanese history, some say it was as early as the 12th century, although many believe it was during the Sengoku period in the 15th century. During this time, ninjas worked around Iga Province. In Japanese the term for a ninja is “shinobi”, but the word ninja is more popular in Western countries. During this period of history, spies were specially trained for espionage. Their training was to allow them to spy, raider, commit arson and even commit acts of terrorism against their enemies. All of these acts were seen to be dishonorable, and so the noble samurai of this time would not carry out these tasks. Therefore, shinobi were usually recruited from lower classes. Shinobi were organized into family guilds with ranks from jonin (high ninja) through chunin (middle ninja) to genin (low ninja). Do you recognize these terms from manga series Naruto? Shinobi were trained in the Iga and Koka regions of Japan in very remote areas. The shinobi lived and trained here for almost one hundred years before being invaded and almost wiped out by Oda Nobunaga (a powerful samurai warlord during that time). The survivors fled into the mountains or to the rival Tokugawa Ieyasu (the shogun during that time). Shinobi were hired to protect Edo castle and to patrol its walls. The last time the shinobi were recorded was during the siege of Hara Castle by the Christians during the Shimabara Rebellion (1637-1638). After this, no written record can be found mentioning the shinobi.
The Oshino area around Mount Fuji is famous for their clear waters and stunning views. Since 2015, the Oshino Ninja Village has been in operation. There is a lot on offer here, they have stunning gardens planted with azaleas and irises along with relaxing foot baths. There is also a Ninja Karakuri mansion, but all is not as it seems. Within are tricks, hidden weapons and secret doors. You can try to find your way through the ninja maze. There is also an Oshino Shuriken dojo where you can learn the throw the ninja star! If this is still not enough, the Oshino Ninja also offers locally produced Japanese cuisine. Utilising the crystal clear waters of Oshino delicious tofu and soba are made. Enjoy tasty onigiri, wild mushrooms, fresh chicken and even dessert.
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If you happen to be in the area of Mount Fuji, make sure to stop by the Oshino Ninja Village to learn more about these fascination figures of Japanese history!