Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Last Ninja

Interesting article on Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi 76-year-old who bills himself as the last living ninja on earth.

Hatsumi maintaints the Bujinkan Dojo, a cramped school outside Tokyo that is a pilgrimage site for 100,000 worldwide followers and is the only living student of the last "fighting ninja," Toshitsugu Takamatsu, the so-called 33rd Grand Master who was a bodyguard to officials in Japanese-occupied Manchuria before World War II and fought - and won - 12 fights to the death. Legend says that during one battle, Takamatsu snatched an eyeball from a would-be Chinese bandit.

Ninja is a compound word from the Japanese characters for "stealth" or "endurance" and "person," a reference to their traditional role as spies, mercenaries and assassins working for medieval warlords.

Traditional weaponry such as swords and throwing stars feature prominently is Hatsumi's lessons, as do handclaws for climbing walls, blow darts and chili pepper dust to throw in an opponent's eyes.

But true ninjutsu, Hatsumi says, is self-discipline and balance in the boardroom and the battlefield. It's about mastering one's weaknesses, including laziness and fear, and exploiting a rival's needs, such as sex and pride.

Interesting to see what is happening with the ninja movement as a follower of everything ninja in high school. I watched all the ninja films bought ninja shoes and even my brother made surikans in metal work. We still have a classic photo of my brother in full ninja gear hiding in a tree.

So its funny when my kids are choosing dvds like beverly hills ninja and ninja kids.


Blogger Jake Silver said...

I myself am more into Samurai... not the same thing as Ninja at all.

11:38 pm  

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