One of Japan's most enduring cultural exports is the concept of the ninja, a secretive group of spies and assassins that use trickery (and sometimes mystical powers) to shape history while striking from the shadows. Contrary to popular belief, Japan is not exactly crawling with ninja. In fact, the demand for ninja entertainers so far outstrips the supply that currently Japan faces a bona fide shinobu shortage. Hit the jump to learn more.
Only a ninja can kill a ninja, and the war between the Kouga and Iga clans is returning to Japanese TV, because a new chapter of Masaki Segawa's Basilisk - The Kouga Ninja Scrolls manga is being adapted into a TV anime. Hit the jump to learn more.
Although they are paragons of Japanese pop culture, the evidence for the historical existence of the ninja - clans of spies and assassins who operated in secret during the feudal era of the samurai - has been relatively thin. However, a series of family documents discovered by Toshiyuki Watanabe of Kōka City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan may shed some light on the truth within the shadows. Hit the jump to learn more.
The Japan Ninja Council - an organization that promotes tourism through the study and spread of ninja culture - has released the results of its "Ninja Global Poll", an international survey that quizzed people from 11 countries around the world about their knowledge and opinions regarding the deadly art of assassination. Hit the jump to learn more.
Aichi Prefecture has started recruiting new members of its "Hattori Hanzo and the Ninjas" team to promote tourism in the area through their performance and original Ninja school. The full-time ninjas will receive a fixed salary of 180,000 yen (about 1,567 US dollars) monthly and a bonus. Any nationality is welcomed. Hit the jump for more details.
The main cast and staff have been announced for Nobunaga no Shinobi ("Nobunaga's Ninja"), an upcoming comedy TV anime based on the 4-panel manga of the same name by Naoki Shigeno. Hit the jump to ninja in the night.
Aspiring shadow warriors who happen to live in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, Japan, will now have the opportunity to hone their skills in the deadly art of assassination, because the Ninjitsu Academy is now offering weekend courses. Hit the jump to learn more.
On October 09, 2015, representatives from 10 of Japan's local governments met to announce the formation of the Japan Ninja Council, whose goal is to promote tourism based on ninja-culture in anticipation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hit the jump to move silently within the shadows.
The newest music video by Japanese death pop band Death Rabbits, entitled "Nande?" ("Why?"), envisions their gas mask clad stormtrooper manager Bucho as a frustrated salaryman who fights ninjas and engages in a little interoffice romance. Hit the jump to check it out.
Visitors to the Ninja Museum of Iga Ryu in Iga, Mie Prefecture, Japan, will have a chance to prove their assassination skills during the 7th annual shuriken throwing contest. Hit the jump to learn more.
The life of a shinobi isn't only skulking, spying, and stabbing from the shadows. Sometimes, ninja just want to dance. Hit the jump to see a group of Toei Kyoto Studio Park's black-clad ninja dancing to the Shuriken Sentai Ninninger ending theme.