The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

The Activities of Ninjas

The role of ninjas

Ninjas (E) refers to the group of professional spies who flourished in the pre modern age in Japan. What kind of activities did ninjas perform? Firstly, as ninjas are spies, ninjas entered into enemy territories in secret and they ran away with top secrets of their enemies. There were various ways they went about their activities. Primarily, the methods centred about not being seen by anyone. For instance, a ninja would creep into a residence where lords of his enemies lived and eavesdropped on confidential conversations of important people. In this case, of course his targets paid close attention not to leak important information. They tried to keep when and where meetings took place a secret, and even in real gatherings, they took care never to speak loud. However, even in such cases, a ninja had techniques to steal top secrets from their foes.

The incredible abilities of a ninja

Japanese straw rice]bags

Japanese straw rice]bags

The need to find out important information like dates and locations of important meetings meant that by any means ninjas did what they had to do. So what would a ninja do to get such information? He would sneak into the castle of his target and stay on an attic or under the floor for many days and eavesdrops on many people. From the information he got, he would judge about the details of the important meeting. In order to carry out such activities, a ninja needed to have a lot of abilities. Firstly, he had to spend many days with only a little food and drink but they were able to do this because ninjas possessed the constitution to survive for a long time without eating and drinking from their training.
Secondly, a Ninja had to be enormously nimble. It was a failure if a ninja made a sound and was noticed by his enemy therefore, to not have this happen, ninjas could move with perfect silent steps. To do this, a ninja needed to be slight because needless to say, if he was fat he couldnft enter a narrow space, and if he was lurking on an attic, he might smash the ceiling board under his foot. Accordingly, ninjas would typically weigh under 60kg. Why 60Kg ? Because it corresponded to almost the same weight of a straw rice]bag. It was considered that if a ninja was heavier than a rice bag, it would be hard for a ninja to accomplish his activities. Does this mean ninjas were all very weak? No way! Heavens no! Ninjas usually had a training of lifting a straw rice]bag only with his thumb and index finger. Why a straw rice]bag? I guess you already know the reason. The weight of a straw rice]bag was considered to be that of a ninja.
Thanks to the exercise, the fingers of a ninja had great strength. First of all, he needed to climb stone walls of castles with his bare hands. He couldnft bring any tools with him to steal into a mansion of his targets. Therefore, a ninja had to acquire the techniques of what we call "Free climbing " today. Thatfs not all, there was sometimes a need for a ninja to hang onto a beam only in a living room of a castle with his fingers for many hours. Given such activities that a ninja undertook, mighty fingers were very much necessary.

Ninjas disguised themselves

A typical japanese castle

A typical Japanese castle

Thus far, I have explained how a ninja went about hiding himself. Next, I am going to introduce how a ninja gathered information in the territory of his enemies by facing people. Of course, if a ninja did his activity in an enemy's land with his natural face, he would soon be arrested. Well then, what did a Ninja do? He disguised himself. When downtown, it would be as a tradesman, an artisan, or a priest, in a farmland it would be as a farmer, in a castle it would be as a servant or a bureaucrat. If disguised, he could listen to discussions from people directly linked to the enemy and others who knew them. According to a certain "Ninjutsusyo" (Ep a book about the skills of ninjas) , the disguise techniques of ninjas were classified into 7 patterns.


1. Zen priest (Tm )
2. Monk (m Komuso)
3. Mountain priest (R Yamabushi)
4. Merchant (l)
5. Magician (t)
6. Funny Bandsman (yt Sarugaku-Shi)
7.Ordinary form, like a farmer or a " Samurai () "


But it is never easy. If it was noticed by someone that he was a ninja, his activity would be ruined. For that reason, it was necessary for a ninja to obtain a perfect skill of disguise including a dialect of the territory. A Ninja had to possess the manners and knowledge of those person he was disguised as to make it looks natural. To carry out ninja activities, such kinds of special abilities were demanded and ninjas had to be educated in isolation from the cradle.