Ninja are synonymous with Japan. Many people from across the world become very interested in learning about ninja and following their ways. Sadly the way of the ninja has been gradually disappearing in Japan for hundreds of years, with the last written account being in the 1600’s.
But, now, in 2015 a new Ninja Council of Japan has been formed. Their one aim: to make ninjas popular across Japan!
The term ninja is actually not used that much in Japan, the true name for ninja is Shinobi. The term ninja originated in the 1900’s, long after the true shinobi were gone. Still even after all this time shinobi are still popular in both Japanese and international film and books. One of the most popular manga series of all time, Naruto, was all about the shinobi way.
The history of shinobi goes back even as far as the 12th century some say, although the best records started in the 15th. Shinobi originated from are were trained in two separate villages in Japan’s Iga Provence. Two clans were formed, the Iga and the Koga. These areas of Japan were very secluded, the villages surrounded by mountains. The traditions and skills of shinobi were handed down through the Iga and Koga families and they became the shinobi of legend. Shinobi were originally utilised to do the work that the samurai and damiyo would not carry out; the ambushes, spying and arson that went against the bushido code. The hierarchy of the shinobi was set, starting as jonin, advancing to chunin and finally genin. It is said that the shinobi have left quite a mark on the feudal history of Japan, ending sieges and storming castles, changing the path of history.
So after over three hundred years a new council of ninja has been created. This new ninja council is made of 11 governors and mayors who purely just want everyone to see how cool ninja are! They plan to collect all the information available on the history of shinobi in Japan and to allow everyone to find out more! They have only just begun the council, which launched at the beginning of October, so there is not much information out yet. Their website can help you learn more about the known history, and even show you places to visit if you want to see the marks that were left.
I think ninja/shinobi are a brilliant part of Japanese history, so I really look forward to learning more through the Ninja Council of Japan!
Japan Ninja Council*Automatic translation