Japanese Ninja: 5 Myths Busted

Is your ninja knowledge fact or fiction? This week these covert agents are put under the microscope as 5 myths about them are debunked. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more videos!

1. Ninja dressed in black

The archetypal ninja is often portrayed as dressing entirely in black with a hood and mask, but this simply doesn’t make sense. A ninja’s job was to blend in with everyone else, which is impossible in such a costume – unless you’re at a football referee convention or a gothic music gig… Instead, Ninjas would have worn the traditional clothes of the era, which were available in a wide variety of colours from brown and grey to blue and red.

2. All Ninjas were assassins

Ninjas were so much more than simply assassins. They fulfilled many roles for many different people. They could be hired as a warrior to help storm or defend castles, but more often than not they worked as spies who were sent to obtain enemy secrets rather than to kill them.

3. Throwing stars were used to kill

The shuriken, or throwing stars, are commonly seen in ninja movies and are thrown to kill people from a distance. However, their real purpose was to cause a distraction, and the earliest versions were household items like coins. When shuriken were used as weapons, it was to slash or stab, not to kill.

4. Samurai were their sworn enemy

It is commonly believed that ninja and samurai were constantly facing off against each other, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, lots of ninja were from the samurai warrior class. One of the most famous ninja, Hattori Hanzo, was also a samurai.

5. They were poor peasant farmers

There is a belief that ninja rose from the lowest ranks of society, but ‘ninja’ was actually a job title, not a social class. Most ninjas actually came from the samurai or warrior class and were at least foot soldiers, making them closer to aristocrats than humble peasants who trained in the mountains.

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