Real Ninja Don't Wear Black - And Other Stories

Discussion in 'Ninjitsu' started by SifuPhil, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Real ninja don't wear black!

    It seems that this is yet another accidental creation by the performing arts industry, but this time it isn't Hollywood to blame - it's the Japanese Kabuki and Bunraku (puppet theater) stage-hands (kurogo). It seems that they traditionally wore all-black clothing so that their movements on stage while moving sets were unnoticed.

    The perfect costume for portraying a ninja! Thus was created the seed for countless cheap ninja movies, even though in actual practice a dark blue outfit would allow the wearer to blend into the night far more efficiently and in fact was often used by historical ninja when portraying farmers.

    Ninja have been claimed to have been a uniquely Japanese invention, but there is some contention on that point. Sun-Tzu's The Art of War, written around the 5th century BCE, contains a full chapter of espionage techniques that eerily foretell many of the ninja's exploits fifteen hundred years before they first occurred in Japan. This isn't to say that the Japanese didn't put their own unique spin on the concept - just that it wasn't a virgin birth in the Land of the Rising Sun.

    Assassinations - a specialty of the ninja, right? They could creep into a castle on a moonless night, take out the guards and ...

    Oh, but wait - there isn't a single documented instance of a ninja performing an assassination, In fact, one of the most famous assassinations in Japanese history - that of Oda Nobunaga - was carried out by one of his own generals. Certainly Oda feared the ninja and took precautions against them, but just as in today's society we are statistically more likely to be murdered by someone known to us he was looking in the wrong place for trouble.

    Ninjas can turn themselves into rats and ride on the backs of giant toads and ... well, not exactly. What is more likely is the association of the ninja with the yamabushi, monks that routinely wandered the mountains of Iga and Koga Provinces. In fact, the ninja often disguised themselves as yamabushi and indeed hung out with them, so it's not surprising that some mysticism would rub off.

    Finally, no story of the ninja would be complete without mention of their legendary abilities in the sack. As far back as the late 18th century ninja were being portrayed in erotic art as sort of land-locked pirates, plundering and raping fair maidens by the score. Throw in their magical powers of persuasion and hypnotism and you have a potent legend.

    Maybe it was just all the shellfish they ate ...
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Samurai

    Awesome, but you better start looking over your shoulder for black cladded, hooded warriors coming for you in the dead of night, lol!
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  4. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky


    I'm more concerned with these darned spider bites I'm getting recently - I'm waking up looking like I have the mumps!

    I don't like to kill any living creature (well, beside people), but I squished a little brown bug the other day and RED blood came out! Sucker was feasting on my frame! I don't mind sharing my digs with them, but when they start doing a cannibal number on me I draw the line.

    Maybe they're ninja spiders ... :confused:
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  5. Battodoka07

    Battodoka07 Warrior Monk

    The new secret weapons of the CIA, perhaps? After all aren't they trained by ninjas as well? :rolleyes:

    It's funny how legends arise out of different groups and people.
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  6. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    I just came across a classified video from the CIA that shows a deadly fight between a ninja and a field agent ...

    I think so. I had a "Daddy Long-Legs" in my room the other day as I was on the computer. About 5" across, leg-to-leg. He was moving REAL slowly up the wall right behind my computer. I looked at him, looked down at the screen for no more than 2 seconds, looked up again ...

    ... he was gone.

    Let me tell you, there's nothing quite like seeing a 6', 200-pound guy screaming like a little schoolgirl and jumping up on his chair in sheer terror! :confused:
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  7. Battodoka07

    Battodoka07 Warrior Monk

    That cartoon seems like it should belong in American Dad. And are you sure they weren't recording your scream? After all they have flies with built in cameras. :p

    And aliens who dress as ninjas.

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  8. Mario Paul

    Mario Paul Samurai

    Historically, ninja were just peasants who farmed the land.

    Now, they are doctors, lawyers, miners, labourers etc, wearing just normal clothes like everyone else. Blending in with society
    Blade Maker, Deborah and SifuPhil like this.
  9. dmach

    dmach Martial Archivest

    I know that a modern day student of ninjutsu has adopted the black suit as his gi of choice, but yes they used to dress as bland as you like in order to carry out their espionage duties (pretty hard to hide in a crowd wearing an all black jump suit).

    But SifuPhil, do you mean I will never be able to learn stuff like this???

    Damn!!! :D
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  10. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    A water-faced shark
    That attacks in the dark?
    Reading lips to see spoilers that spoil?

    I'm really surprised
    That not one of these guys
    Uses Ninja Invisible Oil!

    Great balls of Qi
    Cutting through a large tree?
    Sensei's head popping out of the ground?

    A few thousand clones?
    And the breaking of bones?
    Hey, to me that appears to be sound!

  11. Aaron

    Aaron Shadow Warrior

    Completely right about the roots of the black gi.
    Actually dark grey tend to blend better into the shadows, than black does.

    Most ninja would dress as peasants/farmers they would blend in, and usualy on carry a small number of weapons on them; knife, shuriken, metshibush, manarki kasuari.... thing that could easily be hidden or disguised as tools.

    The primary job of most ninja was spying; assassination was usually a secondary objective. Assassinations where rarely a primary objective of a ninja's mission. Causing confusion, disrupting supply lines, gathering intel, spreading false information... the ninja was the equivilant of today's modern spy than an assassin.
  12. arron butler

    arron butler Fist of Fury

    I have a black don't know much ninjutsu Should have got a grey one
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  13. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Black gis just look so much ... badder. ;)
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  14. Traderjoe

    Traderjoe Disciple

    Black makes us look slim!
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  15. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    I'm not sure but i think you just won at the internet today...
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