Ninjas again

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,877
Portugal
Not quite. The visual depiction comes from kabuki theatre. Stagehands would wear those black costumes so the audience knew they were not part of the scenery. An actor who was supposed to be "invisible" or in hiding would also wear the same costume to signal to the audience that he could not be seen. So, any character playing a hidden assassin would therefore wear that costume. The paintings are generally depicting scenes from kabuki.#

The black clad stagehand is called a "kuroko".

Interesting. Didn’t knew that. Thanks.
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,503
Planet Nine, Oregon
There were Shinobi and clans noted for spycraft. They dressed in disguise often. I suppose shinobi conducting night operations might wear dark clothing. There is a book "Early Japanese Images" and a few folks in there are apparently descendants from samurai and some have headcoverings etc. and could be mistaken for ninjas.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,379
Australia

*Wham*

That's my head hitting the desk. How can an organisation like the BBC publish this crap? It'd be like, oh I don't know, an article about Vikings saying they all wore horned helmets.


Its amazing the knowledge one can amass from " ... watching an animated TV show as a child " . :smirk:

I have met people that know some 'history facts' from watching ' The Simpsons ' , and just recently another heard some music I was playing and 'recognized' it as 'cartoon music ' ....





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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,207
T'Republic of Yorkshire
There were Shinobi and clans noted for spycraft. They dressed in disguise often. I suppose shinobi conducting night operations might wear dark clothing. There is a book "Early Japanese Images" and a few folks in there are apparently descendants from samurai and some have headcoverings etc. and could be mistaken for ninjas.
"Hey, why are you wearing black pyjamas? Are you a ninja?"
"No, I'm a wandering kabuki stagehand."
"OK. So why are you trying to climb the castle wall in the middle of the night?"

Dark clothes, shmark clothes. "Shinobi" just means "spy" or "intelligence gatherer", What does a spy look like? Betcha they don't go around in a tuxedo drinking vodka martinis, shaken not stirred.
 
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Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,620
Westmorland
What does a spy look like? Betcha they don't go around in a tuxedo drinking vodka martinis, shaken not stirred.
Bugger. I hope I kept the receipts for M&S and Bargain Booze...

I know nothing about ninjas other than their portrayal in film, which I accept is about as reliable as an Alfa Romeo on a cold day. Is there a good online reference source to get a falvour of what it was really all about?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,207
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I covered it in post'#3 in this thread:

I believe Stephen Turnbull has a book out about ninjas, which is NOT recommended. And don't ever read any books with the word "ninjutsu" in the title, if you're interested in history.

The history of where the ninja legend comes from can be traced to the Oda invasion of Iga province. Iga is a VERY mountainous and heavily forested area. When the Oda sent a couple of thousand men in, they disappeared. The locals simply used their knowledge of the area to ambush, push people off mountain trails, or they were eaten by bears. Suddenly, there a legend about sneaky super warriors sprung up. Nobunaga reacted in his typical way - he sent tens of thousands of troops in and burnt the place to the ground. So much for crispy fried ninjas.
 
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