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Top 5 Facts about Ninjas

VO: Chris Masson
Script written by Joseph Jo Ninjas are awesome! I just wish we could see some. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this instalment, we're counting down the most interesting facts about the history and legacy of Ninja. Video stores, your friends and the internet brought you face to face with Ninjas through film, but who brought Ninjutsu to the west? Special thanks to our user IrisFan FanIris for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Written by Joseph Jo

Top 5 Facts About Ninja

Ninjas are awesome! I just wish we could see some.Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this installment, we’re counting down the most interesting facts about the history and legacy of Ninja.

#5: Ninjutsu has a Shadowy History

There are 9 schools, or ryu, of Ninjutsu, and Togakure Ryu is often considered the basis of them. Historical information is spotty and often disputed, but it seems that in the 12th century, Daisuke Nishina, a samurai, lost a battle, and rather than commit noble seppuku, he wandered for awhile, until he met a Chinese Warrior-monk named Kain Doshi. The two developed Togakure ryu. Emphasizing stealth, escape, and spying,, this new discipline was a long way from the bushido code that Daisuke once swore..

#4: Wardrobe Departments Need a Memo

If you were a ninja, would you really run around wearing all black with a headband? Maybe at a Comic-con you would. But in historic records, ninja never donned all black. A ninja had two duties: espionage and assassination, and generally, the ninja blended with the crowd. Some dressed as vagabonds, merchants, priests, or monks. Ninja museums actually suggest that their nocturnal camo was actually navy blue, as that works better than black. Similarly, a mask was never part of the standard outfit either– when you’re the only one trying to cover your face, you tend to stick out.

#3: James Bond Brought Ninja to the West

If you’re a ninja fan today, you can thank 1967’s 007 film “You Only Live Twice.”. Introducing the west to ninja might be Bond’s greatest achievement, along with breaking a certain interracial taboo 1973. . Because the idea of slick and swift ninja was so fascinating, this exposure led to a barrage of other works the following years . But even if these portrayals of the ninja are not historically accurate, we got to give props to these artists for given ninjas a really bad-ass image.

#2: Ninjutsu Is Not Just for Men

Great leaders are always ahead of their time and noblewoman Mochizuki Chiyome was one of them, one of Japan’s famous female ninja. Chiyome is noted for creating a band of female ninja or Kunoichi, by recruiting orphans, refugees, and prostitutes. During the prime of her organization, Chiyome had between 200 to 300 women working as spies for the Takeda clan. Fast forward 400 years to modern day Iran, a surprising setting for a sort of kunoichi renaissance. Although the school has no formal relationship with the traditional Japanese ninja clans, 3500 women were studying ninjutsu in Iran as of 2012.

#1: The Last Ninja is Alive Today

Ever wanted to meet a real ninja? Well, hurry up and book a ticket to Japan, because Jinichi Kawakami is the last living head of the Ban Clan and the last of its successors.Kawakami at an early age was taught ninjutsu without even knowing the value or the history of it until later. An engineer and part-time professor of ninja history, Kawakami still practices and demonstrates ninjutsu skills, but he has taken a bold decision to end the legacy of his Ban clan. Feeling that the techniques and the actual use of ninja no longer fit the modern world, Kawakami will break the tradition by not selecting a protégé to continue the legacy … though this could be just another ninja trick.

How about you? Would you want to become a ninja, even if you didn’t get to wear bad-ass black pyjamas? For skillful Top 10s and last of its lineage Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to!

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