Ninja - Myth or Reality?

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
You're going to cause a lot less suspicion in a well planned disguise (such as a low ranking samurai, monk, etc.) than you will running about in black PJs.
What is your point? I can talk about lots of hypotheticals that don't prove anything as well. I see no reason to do that in the context of a historical discussion.

Go out to the countryside (if you have the chance) at night with a friend who is wearing all black, and see if you can spot them. It's not too hard, as black will leave an outline against the sky.
I do have quite a bit of experience in this. Camoflauge is the best. If you are going with solid colors, grey is the best. Which has absolutely nothing to do with the historical aspect of what ninjas wore.

You might want to read Bushido or Bull by Karl Friday. You can find it here. Even feel free to contact him. Here's his page at the UGA Website. Karl Friday

In this respective field, he is much better than Stephen Turnbull. (Turnbull himself is great for getting started, Karl Friday, Thomas Conlan, Jacques Papinot, Joseph Needham, among others are much better for delving deeper.) I'd also recommend reading his interview on the Samurai Archives Forum, he really is something.
Thanks for the refrence.
 

Thegn Ansgar

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
5,638
Canada
What is your point? I can talk about lots of hypotheticals that don't prove anything as well. I see no reason to do that in the context of a historical discussion.
I do have quite a bit of experience in this. Camoflauge is the best. If you are going with solid colors, grey is the best. Which has absolutely nothing to do with the historical aspect of what ninjas wore.
You are correct in that, but I would be wary of Edo era woodblocks that depict something from many years before. Much like you wouldn't trust Tang dynasty portraits of officers from the Three Kingdoms to show how they really looked (though it's useful in knowing what Tang dynasty armour looks like), the same applies here. By the Edo, much of the myths we know about shinobi had already come in full force. Notice what I said before though, the black PJs came about due to kabuki theatre. IF a shinobi indeed wore such a costume, it would have been better for them to wear blue than black. However, such an outfit is unlikely to have been used. There are no eye witness primary sources to even prove such a notion.


Thanks for the refrence.
No problem.

Prove that ninjutsu originated with farmers in secret? How would they do that?
How would they do that? Give me some peer reviewed articles written by a respected historian, that includes primary source material.

Do you think karate was developed by the samurai too?
Not the Samurai of Japan, but Karate was indeed developed by the Pechin class of Ryukyu, which are from the Shizoku (士族) category of classes. They would thus be the "samurai" of Ryukyu. It was originally known as just te, and utilized weapon forms as well as non weapons. After the Shimazu conquered Ryukyu and enforced the weapons ban policy it began to develop into karate.

However associating martial arts on Ryukyu with rebellious farmers is simply a romantic notion. Only the aristocracy and nobles were allowed to practice it, and commoners were prohibited. Not to mention the weapons ban was much the same as Hideyoshi's in mainland Japan. Commoners were not allowed to carry weapons, but nobles were still allowed to carry their swords.
,