These special forces were adept at disguise, deception, and assaulting enemy positions and strongholds, usually at night when they moved like shadows in their traditional dark clothing. Employed from the 15th century CE onwards, ninjas, because of their lengthy secret training in specialised schools and mysterious anonymity, have acquired a perhaps exaggerated reputation for fantastic feats and weapons play, which makes them perfect characters for many modern comic books and computer games. In medieval Japan , there were no fewer than 18 individual martial arts bugei or bujutsu. Besides the more familiar ones which are still practised today such as judo, jujutsu and kendo, there were those involving horsemanship and swimming. One of the 18 was the art of the ninja or ninjutsu, which developed during the Edo Period CE.
In feudal Japan, two types of warriors emerged: the samurai, nobles who ruled the country in the name of the Emperor; and ninjas, often from the lower classes, who carried out espionage and assassination missions. Because the ninja or shinobi was supposed to be a secretive, stealthy agent who fought only when absolutely necessary, their names and deeds have made much less of a mark on the historical record than those of the samurai. However, it's known that their largest clans were based in the Iga and Koga domains. Yet even in the shadowy world of the ninja , a few people stand out as exemplars of the ninja craft, those whose legacy lives on in Japanese culture, inspiring works of art and literature that last through the ages.
Ever wanted to be a ninja for a day? There are many places in Japan that allow you to rent a costume and enjoy a full day of training, whilst learning about these legends of deception and sabotage. Here are four of the best places to experience what being a ninja is all about:.
Another way of calling them is "shinobi", meaning "those who act in stealth". Ninja employed deception and forgery tactics to take opponents out by surprise. Due to their unorthodox methods which contradicted the way of the warrior bushido , the ninja were not credited with the same honor as the samurai. Experiences include: Ninja training, ninja show, ninja blow gun, ninja stars and ninja lessons.