The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

The Rule of Ninja

The necessity of rules for ninjas

As described many times, the missions which ninjas had to accomplish were the crimes in a peaceful society. For that reason, being a ninja demanded a strong sense of self-control.
In Japanese Kanji (), the characters of " ninja " are written in this way " E " . " E "means " endure " and " " is " man ". In short, ninja means someone who can endure a lot. Moreover, the kanji " E " can be separated into these two kanjis. They are " n " and " S " . The meaning of " n "is " edge ", similarly " S " is "heart ". There is an edge on one's heart. It indicates the abandonment of one's individual emotions .
In a group of ninjas, above all, the rules of each community are regarded as the most important thing because each ninja had various specific abilities. If individual ninjas misused ninjutsu for self-interest, the community could not last any more.
For instance, a ninja often encountered such kinds of situations where there were precious treasures in front of them. Of course then, he couldnft pocket them. Secondly, he knew many top secrets and justly he had to keep them to himself. Thirdly, a ninja had a lot at stake when he had to throw away his honor, for example, when he had to pretend to be a beggar. In this case, he had to restrain his pride and perform the job given to him. Never letting anyone know that he was a ninja was one of the most important rules for ninjas.
Because the era ninjas participated most actively in was the Warring State period when it was very usual that a follower betrayed their master, ninjas were needed to enforce strong rules. In those days, it was often the case that the master of a ninja group changed, if one ninja was killed on his mission, as long as his ability was good, another member of his community could serve under the same master. Namely, it meant that the community to which the dead ninja belonged to could survive. This was the reason why the rules of a community were harshest on ninjas. In other words, it indicated that the rules of a community were the fabric of the society itself and the way of continuing the community and their masters.

Ninja image of the ideal seen to "Bansensyuukai(ݐWC)"


Bansen-shukai (ݐWC)

Only a small number of esoteric writings about ninjas and ninjutsu exist today. The reason is quite simple. Both ninjas and ninjutsu existed in secret. It was not possible for relatives of ninjas to keep information in documents. Basically, ninjutsu esoterica was transmitted by word of mouth. Accordingly, there must have been a lot of ninjas and ninjutsu which we have no way of knowing about but we do have some esoteric writings about ninja and ninjutsu today fortunately.
They were written in the Edo-period when ninjas and ninjutsu were almost forgotten about. " Bansen-syukai (ݐWC) " was one of them. In this document, the ten ideals of a ninja are listed and here they are.


1.To maintain a strong body, with loyalty, bravery, stratagem, skills, and belief.


2.To be gentle and faithful with less desire, to value academies, to remember obligations.


3.To be eloquent, to read domestic and foreign books, to be wise enough not to be cheated by anyone.


4.To know providence, to master the teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism, and to realize one's destiny.


5.To respect ancient, domestic and foreign ethos, to wear a heroic temper.


6.To be called a good man usually without arguing with anyone.


7.To have a tidy family and relatives, never to betray anyone and abuse ninjutsu.


8.To travel around all countries, and to know the customs and manners of each land well.


9.To have a talent for literature, to excel in writing and to possess a talent for and keen understanding of military affairs.


10.To acquire artistic accomplishments like singing and dancing, traditional Japanese music, making impressions of others, and to utilize them when necessary.

About "Nukenin(E)"

The movie Nukenin(E)

The movie Nukenin

In the ninja stories like " Kamuiden " and " Naruto ", we often find a ninja called " Nukenin (E) ". They are the ninjas who escaped from their ninja communities and in fictional works in almost all cases they are chased by their former associates because Nukenins betrayed their comrades and they still have secrets of communities to which they used to belong. According to the rule of ninjas, Nukenins had to be executed. So what is the historical truth behind this? Actually, there were some Nukenins and it is possible that they were punished, especially Nukenins from Iga which had very rigid rules.
But in fact, there are no records at all which say that Nukenins were killed. Thinking logically, ninja communities didnft have enough time and personnel to arrest a few Nukenins. In those days, it was not unusual for ninjas to work away from their homes therefore they had rigid rules tying the individual conduct of each ninja to a strict framework. In reality, there seems to have been no way for ninjas communities to cope with Nukenins. Nukenins perhaps found their own way of surviving like joining other ninja schools or becoming a farmer elsewhere.
The reason why Nukenins appear often in fictional works is probably because they seem to have a sense of despair and it is an appealing situation for romances.