The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

Ongyo-Jutsu -Ninja's ways to hide-

Ninjas vanishing when they hide

Ninjas vanishing when they hide
In hostile territory when ninjas came across their enemies, the most advisable action for them was " to hide " because ninjas always aimed to leave as small a trace of their movements as possible. The less their existence was known to anyone, the better. From this point of view, it can be thought that" fighting " and " escaping " are not necessarily better than " hiding " because in the case of fighting with their enemies, even if the ninja did win, the bodies of their opponents would remain. Similarly, if ninjas could escape from their chasers, their enemies would know of their activities.
But if they succeeded in hiding and disappearing, the proof of their actions would not be there. If ninjas were lucky, enemies might think their existence itself was something of an illusion or that it was their imagination. For such reasons, ninjas worked out a lot of techniques for hiding. They were called " Ongyo-Jutsu (隠形術) ". Let’s take a look at them.


In Ongyo-Jutsu, the most basic one was " Uzura-Gakure (うずら隠れ) ". In Japanese, " Uzura " means a quail, " Gakure " is " to hide ". The reason for this name was that, the posture that a ninja takes in Uzura-Gakure looks like the shape of a quail. A ninja would draw in his limbs and head almost like a rock. At that time, he had to hide his face in order for the whiteness of the skin on his face and his eyes not to show because in the darkness, the whiteness of skin stands out and human eyes brighten. At such a moment, the ninja would murmur the spell, " On-Anichi-Marishiei-Sowaka (オン・アニチ・マリシエイ・ソワカ) " to soothe his own mind. The most important point of this technique was to stay as still as possible and unify his existence with the scenery around him.
This is very a simple skill, but the effect is powerful and effective. In the first place, because the ninja is unable to see or often hear the enemy because his face would be tucked into his body, the ninja didn’t feel fear and this allowed him to calm his breathing and his heart beat. This in turn made the ninja more at one with the nature around him.
Psychologically, this technique is very effective. Firstly, if the enemy felt the feeling of a ninja, he was supposed to try to find the ninja in the lee or behind a tree or under the floor or some such location. It was unthinkable for him that the ninja could be crouching in the center of the garden next to a big stone. Especially at midnight, something at his feet and something unmoving was invisible. In a certain document about ninjutsu (忍術), we find such an episode. One evening at midnight, a certain ninja was staying in the garden of his enemy's residence posing in the Uzura-Gakure form. The enemy found the ninja and stabbed him with a sword by way of precaution but the ninja never made a sound or reaction so the enemy left because he had not considered the ninja was alive and though he was just an object.



In Japanese, " Kannon (観音) " means the statue of the Goddess of Mercy. " Kannon-Gakure (観音隠れ) " is the technique of hiding by standing in front of a tree or a wall. A ninja stands covering his face with the hem of his cloth making only his eyes visible. The reason for hiding his face was that in order to conceal the whiteness of the skin on his face and to dull the sound of the ninja breathing or to prevent the ninja from accidentally blowing air on an enemy.
Kannon-Gakure seemed really simple but this was also a skill for taking advantage of the blind spot in a human's mind. In those days, in the middle of the night, the light was only that of a candle, and then, people could not see an object directly so they tried to perceive something by its shady image. The shape of the shadows were obscure because the light from the candle wavered. As they could not recognize objects and people well, they could not see the form of a standing ninja. In addition to this, they would think that if an invader existed in their territory, the ninja had to be hiding in a sitting position behind something, they never dreamed the ninja would be standing. Ninja would let their chaser pass by in this way.


" Kitsune (きつね) " means " fox " in Japanese. " Kitsune-Gakure (きつね隠れ) " is a technique for hiding in water. The name of this ninjutsu results from the fact that a fox hides in water to erase his body smell when it is being chased by hunting dogs. Then, as you can imagine the skill of " Suiton-no-Jutsu (水遁の術) " comes from that. In this situation, the ninja escape skill is that a ninja in the water breathes by means of putting a pipe put out on the surface of water and waits for his pursuers to pass by but Suiton-no-Jutsu has some problems. The first was regarding the use of a pipe, if it was a thick bamboo pipe, it seemed so unnatural and noticeable that chasers could realize it. On the other hand, if it was so tiny like the stem of a reed, it would be hard for a ninja to breathe with it. Kitsune-Gakure was the ninjutsu to overcome such weak points.
Kitsune-Gakure is the skill where a ninja in water puts only his head out on the surface of the water. Then, he wears water weeds, algae, or a big leaf on his head as camouflage. It may seem a little obvious, but it was much more natural than Suiton-no-Jutsu. Further to this, the merit of Kitsune-Gakure consists in the point that then the ninja can watch around him and of course that he can breathe freely. It works so long as he avoids moving too quickly around in the water. With these tactics, the ninja can both hide from his enemies and conduct his espionage.

Other ninjutsu for hiding

At last here, we are going to enjoy another ninja's way of hiding. " Konoha-Gakure (木の葉隠れ) " is the method of hiding behind a tree or a garden lantern. In Japanese, " Konoha " means leaves and leaves can be found anytime and anywhere. Konoha-Gakure requires a ninja to be still and stone like by killing the movements of his living body like leaves. Then, the ninja had to keep the posture of putting one knee on the ground. The reason was that this stance was less remarkable than the complete standing one and the ninja could cope with the changes in circumstances around him immediately from that position. In passing, to hide by means of creeping into a crowd is called Konoha-Gakure.
" Yoji-Gakure (楊枝隠れ) " is the trick where a ninja throws a toothpick and the moment when his enemy glances at the toothpick, the ninja hides. Likewise " Sensu-Gakure (扇子隠れ) " is magic where a ninja opens a fan in front of his enemy and the very next moment the ninja vanishes from his companions.
In short, Ongyo-jutsu is the ninjutsu for hiding by making full use of everything around ninjas. Ninjas transform into something that is almost not living. Ongyo-Jutsu is the perfect skill for ninjas as by code they try to live a life that leaves no traces.