The Wonders of that we call, Ninjas
By Angeli Rambukpota
Do you know what a Ninja is? You may think you know what a Ninja is or how they look like from Animes shown on TV shows such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or in Bruce lee movies, but that is merely the crust of a New York cheese cake full of knowledge Ninjas have to offer. Nowadays people believe in artificial Ninjas portrayed on TV, that prevent them from acknowledging the real ones. Of course, everyone wants learn about real Ninjas. But the question is, how do we accomplish that? The answer is simple, we sit in the corner of a library with a book in our laps and a pencil in our hands and fill our little minds with such precious information. Although that sounds like a fantastic idea, unfortunately most libraries do not display books about Ninjas but instead occupy an entire shelf with Tw***ght books instead. Lucky for you, I was able to pull out enough information from a few remaining sources about Ninjas to understand their lifestyle. So get ready to let your mind explore areas of knowledge unknown to Muggles, because this is to become one heck of an essay.
So what exactly is a Ninja? A Ninja is in fact also human (if you didn’t know before) with special training. They are highly trained spies, feared by others but are not necessary respected (which is shocking judging by their highly respectable skills). They used to be hired by Samurais to spy, sabotage and even spread false information to throw enemies off track. They were sometimes hired to work as body guards or in other times, they worked with the police to catch criminals. The history of Ninjas go all the way back to the 15th century in Japan, where most Ninjas were recruited from lower class people to act as spies, arsonists and even terrorists during the time of Samurais. Back then, they wore all black, from literally head-to-toe, so they can roam around the night without attracting any attention. Thing about Ninjas is that they are always coming up with new tricks to fool their enemies. For instance, they may disguise as a priest, a farmer an actor; something that seems harmless enough to get close to the enemy with any suspicion. They learn to dance, sing, to act exactly like the person they’re disguised as, so they can convince any relative of theirs. Ninjas are always careful, making sure that they do not leave any evidence of their presence during a mission, for it can lead to enemies finding their hideout. To prevent that from happening, they are trained to learn the differences such as the difference between real and faked sleeping by listening to their snores and tiny sounds made by the moving joints in their bodies. Once they identify the difference, the Ninjas step over the real sleeper and let them be while the fake sleeper would get a real bad punishment (I’d hate to be that guy) for faking his sleep. Another trick that was taught was used when Ninjas had to travel across grounds that left feet marks. What they would do is that, they’d cover their tracks by walking side ways; feet facing in opposite directions so the footprints don’t show which way they were actually heading. Clever, huh?
Now not everyone can become a Ninja. That is because it runs in the family. Ninja families live together in the wild mountains to train in secret from the rest the civilization. Training started from a very young age, and to tell you the truth, it was tough. Girls and boys began when they reached the age of 5 or 6, they walked on narrow logs for balance, hung on trees with bare hands to strengthen and climbed and climbed for hours to make their bodies strong and flexible. Weapons are finally introduced to the training program at the age of 12 or 13. They use weapons such as swords, spears, staffs and even the Ninja’s most commonly known weapon, the shuriken or in other words, the throwing star. All Ninjas are trained physically and medically with survival and scouting techniques to help them complete their missions successfully. To be more specific, they have these tips to help them out. For instance, Ninjas traveled light; they carried everything they needed in a mission and dressed to blend in the surroundings (Black symbolized invisibility. They had similar clothes to the Samurai, yet the Ninja’s clothes were loose garments tucked into trousers and secured with a belt). Black clothes were especially good for operating at night. They hid small weapons and tools into the folds of their clothes and brought arrows and rope ladders for climbing castle walls. (Note: Ninjas were adapted to use a weapon or a tool for more than one job, which is quite convenient). For instance the Throwing stars were good for self defense and for digging, or the scabbard part (the handle) of the sword was also effective as a snorkel for underwater.
As mentioned before, Ninjas were trained physically (as in running, climbing, swimming etc.) and medically. In medical training, Ninjas were taught to create medicines like ‘Black medicine’ to stop bleeding wounds, in case of injuries. Other than potion brewing, they also learn the art of creating fatal explosives to bomb their enemy’s castle. When it comes to poison making, Ninjas are also very knowledgeable about them. They are capable of brewing a poison and sipping it into the enemy’s food. Although Ninjas are masterminds of destruction, enemies tried to take caution towards these assassins by building traps and trip wires to trigger the alarm bells around the castles and designed to make the navigation difficult with winding routes. They also used blind spots and trap holes to confuse Ninjas. Soon enough, the Ninjas came up with a tactic to over come those boundaries. They started to work with one another, in other words, formed teams and operated together (we call this ‘teamwork’). They used passwords to communicate and dressed like their enemies to confuse them. Girls Ninjas are said to be extremely had to identify due to their outstanding talent to blend completely into their surroundings, and are always able to avert suspicion from enemies. They are often disguised as servants/ maids to spy on enemy territories.
As time went by, Ninjas continued to assassinate enemies of the Samurai’s heir, bringing success to them until during the peace time in Japan, when the wars ended between Samurais, the demand for the Ninja’s assistance had decreased because there was no need for any spying. Unfortunately, many Ninjitsu skills did not survive the modern technology because electricity made it hard to hide in the dark corners.The last real Ninja was said to be Seiko Fujita (1899-1966). His grandfather trained him in the art of Ninjitsu, while Fujita taught himself to ignore pain and to survive poison. In order to teach himself, he stuck countless amounts of needles into his skin and he consumed rat poison, lizards, glass and even bricks. According to him, glass was not hard to swallow but a brick took him about 40 minutes to consume. He claimed to be the last Ninja and the secrets of Ninjitsu will remain unspoken, vanishing with him. In 1966, Fujita passed away, taking the secrets with him where no one will ever know the truth. In the end, this topic about Ninjas is important to study in class because a) Ninjas played a big role in the Edo period in Japan, and it helps us understand how things worked back then and b), as i mentioned in my introduction about the differences between real and ‘fake’ Ninjas and how there’s more to just stealth warrior like awesomeness that is Ninjas. This topic is connected to Japanese history and (somewhat) ancient civilizations (the hierarchies in Japan).
Here’s my Visual aid: THIS is what happens when you convert an essay to a prezi
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