What do you make of the claim that Ninjas never actually existed?

Jul 2018
67
United States
#1
Historian Stephen Turnbull did sort of a 180 on his earlier work. He used to relay fascinating info about ninjas from Japanese sources, but now claims that ninjas as a specially-trained class of stealth warriors never existed.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,048
Australia
#2
before 'he' replies ( :) ) I will get this in ; the term and the deffinition above may not have existed at the time there where supposed to have .

But I personally think that such societies would have used stealth, spying, sabotage , etc. and some people may have been trained in that area.


... just for fun , remember these guys ?

;


@ 0.24 :D
 
Likes: Belgarion

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,048
Australia
#3
... Ahhh! That sound track !

That's the type of music I like to put on in the car just after I have picked up a hitch hiker :)
 
Oct 2013
6,157
Planet Nine, Oregon
#4
I thought there were samurai who were trained as "shinobi". There were also two clans Iga and Koga and they trained ninjas, passing the arts down through family and initiates. There are surviving manuscripts too There was an attack on Christians in a castle iirc; it was taken by use of ninjas. This is what I remember, but it might be wrong.
 
Aug 2014
4,232
Australia
#5
I think you have to first define "ninja". There weren't dudes in black pyjamas running around killing people. There were spies and infltrators who carried out espionage and covert operations.
 
Likes: specul8

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,048
Australia
#8
You cannot say that this does not exist!
Also , non Aussies might not agree . I saw him interviewed years back in his post tv series life as a business man .

Background context :
" The Samurai proved to be highly successful despite its initially very limited budget. It was the first Japanese TV program ever screened in Australia, where it premiered in 1964 and built up a remarkably large fan-base among the local young audience at the time, rapidly becoming a cult favourite. Despite its massive popularity in Australia as well as success in Japan, New Zealand and the Philippines, the series was not widely screened elsewhere and its fame remains largely restricted to those countries. "

The Samurai (TV series) - Wikipedia

In the interview he said how he had to come to Australia on business matters. he got off the plane and there was a throng of people cheering, "I thought, OH, someone famous must be on plane ." But then he saw all these little kids running around in black suits waving plastic swords , and he thought - those look like the NInjas in that tv series I was in . :D Then he realised , as everyone rushed him that was him they where waiting for . He had no idea the series was so popular here, even many years after it ended filming . Giving autographs, signing swords ....


 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,523
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#9
That loud thumping sound you can hear is me banging my head against a brick wall.

Please read:
Let's talk ninjas!

Some of the image links no longer work, but I give an overview of how the modern image of a "ninja" came to be.

For those of you who believe in the pyjama clad ninjas, go to:
Are you ready to get pumped

(for the record, the plural of ninja should probably be "ninja")
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,523
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#10
I imagine that part of it is based on the real life samurai Sakamoto Ryoma, who lived during the bakumatsu era, and was one of the most important pro-reform figures of the period. Although he was a fully licensed sword master, he also carried a Smith & Wesson revolver for protection *and liked to wear western style boots rather than Japanese footwear) - although it didn't save him from getting assassinated.
 

Similar History Discussions