The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

Ninja museum of Iga-ryu

Iga today

If you have read articles from this blog so far, you would have gained an understanding of how " Iga (ˆÉ‰ê) " is an important place for ninjas. Iga is the birthplace and headquarters of ninjas and can be considered as a hometown for ninjafs. So, what is Iga like now ? We are going to look at it. Today, Iga is a city located in Mie (ŽOd) prefecture. The population of Iga is about 100,000 and Iga is surrounded by mountains. The main production you see is sightseeing which is mainly associated with the ninja industry. There are no less than one million tourists domestically and from abroad that visit Iga every year. In Iga, there are many institutions related to ninjas and the rich nature of the area. I am going to introduce some of them.

Iga Ueno Koen (Park)

Iga Ueno Park

If you go to Iga for sightseeing, the main spot will be "Iga Ueno Koen (ˆÉ‰ê ã–ìŒö‰€) ". In this park, there is a ninja museum, a ninja castle and beautiful nature. Originally, Iga Ueno Koen was a park which belonged to Ueno-Jo (ã–ìé). The lord of Ueno-Jo was Todo, Takatora (“¡“°‚ŒÕ), who was a military commander in the Warring States period to the Edo period. If you hope to enjoy Japanese nature, it is good to go to Ueno Forest Park located in Ueno Koen. You can find animals and plants on the damp ground, the plants there are especially beautiful. There are more than one hundred types of flowers which bloom from season to season. Above all, this park is famous for its cherry blossoms.
You can also have a good time outside of the park. Streets in the area are made in the pre-modern style. You can enjoy shopping having a meal while feeling Japanese history.

The ninja museum of Igaryu

Ninja museum of Iga-ryu

The ninja museum of Iga-ryu

(ˆÉ‰ê—¬ ”EŽÒ”Ž•¨ŠÙ)

In Iga Ueno Koen, the biggest museum dedicated to ninjas in Japan can be found called " The ninja museum of Igaryu " .


The museum is not just for viewing, you can also experience a lot of things there. Firstly, you can enjoy the tricks and traps of a ninja-house at " Iga-ryu Ninja House ". You will learn about the function and construction of ninja houses through the guidance of a female ninja "kunoichi ". In the ninja experience hall, you can watch a video showing how ninjas actually invaded a castle. Furthermore, many real tools are exhibited and they can be tried out practically. At the ninja traditional hall, you can learn some ninjutsu (”Ep) about real ninja life in those days and the meaning of old documents about ninjas. At the Ninja Experience Plaza, the ways of how real weapons and tools were used by ninjas are demonstrated directly.
In addition, from season to season many kinds of events take place here. If you hope to know about those in detail, you can ask the office by email. The mail form is posted on the above URL.

Iga-Ueno Castle

Iga-Ueno Castle

Iga-Ueno Castle (ˆÉ‰êã–ìé)

Iga-Ueno Castle is located inside of Iga Ueno Koen. Iga Ueno Jo has many spots to note. First of all, the beautiful shape of the castle tower in white and three stories high is magnificent. Another name of Iga Ueno Jo is " Hakuho-jo (”’–Pé) ". Hakuho means a white phoenix. Secondly, Ueno Jo has the highest stone wall out of all the Japanese castles with a height of about 30m . You can see large water moats around the stone wall and you can get on the third floor of the castle tower and enjoy the view of the park. Then, you will realize that it is hard to break into this castle because the water moats are so deep and large, in addition, the stone wall is so high and steep that it seems almost vertical.
This castle has a history of continual change. Every time the leader of Japan changed, the owner of this castle changed with it so change was frequent. During the Warring States period in 1581, the great Daimyo (‘å–¼) Oda, Nobunaga (D“cM’·) invaded Iga with 40,000 soldiers and slaughtered many of the combatants and ninjas. The reason is that Nobunaga had face stiff resistance from ninjas in the past. In a previous war, Nobuo, who was the son of Nobunaga failed to make Iga give in because of the successful fighting of the ninjas, nevertheless Nobuo had an overwhelmingly stronger force than Iga. After the suppression by Nobunaga, Nobuo made Takigawa Toshio the guardian of Iga. But in 1584, after Toyotomi, Hideyoshi (–LbG‹g) took the world of Japan, Hideyoshi set Wakizaka Anji as the guardian of Iga but soon after, Anji was transferred to another domain. The successor of Anji was Tsutsui Sadatsugu and he made a castle on the site of a temple which was destroyed by Nobunaga and this is the base of Iga Ueno Jo. Further to this, the course of Japanese history changed dramatically. From 1603, the whole country of Japan fell into the hands of Tokugawa, Ieyasu (“¿ì‰ÆN). Ieyasu positioned Iga Ueno Jo as the watching tower at the remnants of the Toyotomi-Family and other Daimyos. Then, Ieyasu appointed Todo Takatora (“¡“°‚ŒÕ) who was the master of the castle construction as a lord of Iga Ueno Castle. Takatora strengthened this castle thoroughly and made it an impregnable fortress.
Even after that, the lords of this castle often changed and this castle itself was frequently changed up to present day.