All columns

  • 2022-12-18

Capability of Ever-changing Appearance

Fully Committing to a Role Some ninjas served as low-ranking warriors, farmers, and sometimes even members of vigilante groups, and when they were engaged in public activities, the ninjas had a camouflage technique called “shichihode,” in which they disguised themselves as monks, peddlers, and street performers. For example, if pretending to be a monk, they wore the scent of incense and chanted sutras. If disguised as a “medicine seller,” they wore the scent of Japanese medicines, and as a draper, they wore the scent of kimono dyes. They also acquired knowledge of products and learned how to behave for each role. What an effort they must have put in! The reasons for going so far to disguise themselves were for these important missions: 1) to […]

  • 2022-12-09

The Visible and the Invisible

The Existence of What you can’t see Although ninjas are known as shadowy figures, they also sometimes disguised themselves as ordinary people to conduct espionage activities — both publicly and covertly. Why is it that ninjas are still internationally known today, even though there are people who engage in intelligence activities, not only in Japan but throughout every era and culture? It may be largely due to the influence of movies and manga, but we will look at this from the context of the uniqueness of the Japanese people in this column. Recent research has revealed that the mission of ancient ninjas was to survive and pass on information. In order to survive, it was clear that having useful information was more advantageous than expending […]

  • 2022-10-30

What The Ninjas Used to Eat

The Source of Ninja’s Power “Hyoro-gan” Eating has always been one of life’s great pleasures . From ancient times, Japan developed a variety of food cultures depending on the region, time, and circumstances. Even today, experiencing  Japanese food is the number one reason for sightseers to visit Japan. So what kind of food was “hyoro-gan,” the famous portable food for ninjas? Ninjas’ basic daily diet consisted of brown rice, barley, wild vegetables, and other foods similar to those of the people of that time, but they also had soybeans, surume (dried squid), carrots, “Takii” (cooked rice that has been further cooked until the water is absorbed), and sesame seeds in order to improve their physical functions. They also carried “hyoro-gan” when they were on duty […]

  • 2022-10-30

The Power of “Listening Well”

It is easier to disclose a secret when speaking voluntarily than when asked about it The basic mission of ninjas is to gather information. Therefore, the most important skill for a ninja was the ability to communicate with people. The phrase, “It is easier to disclose a secret when speaking voluntarily than when asked about it,” means that people tend to provide far more information when they speak on their own accord rather than when they are asked to answer specific questions. The skill of the ninja to gather secrets lay within their ability to get people talking. They did this in several ways. First, it is essential to have a natural greeting to be a good listener. It may seem surprising that a ninja […]

  • 2022-10-04

The Two Meanings of “Respect for Harmony”

The NINJA FOREST Interpretation of “Harmony is to be Valued.”   The phrase “Harmony is to be valued.” is written in Article 1 of the Seventeen-Article of the Constitution in the Chronicles of Japan. It has also become a proverb that expresses a spirituality that is essential to the Japanese. However, there are two main interpretations of this phrase. In this column, we will look at this phrase from both sides. The first interpretation emphasizes the importance of maintaining harmony in a situation, and that individual patience is necessary to achieve harmony. The other interpretation is that it is necessary to have a process which allows each of us to put forth our ideas and discuss them sufficiently in order to maintain harmony. I would […]

  • 2022-09-28

Strategy is the Best Way to Minimize Warfare

“A superior Ninja (Jyonin) is a man with no sound, no smell, no praise for his wisdom, no fame for his valor, whose deeds are like the creation of heaven and earth. (Bansenshukai)” A Ninja’s mission was primarily about gaining useful information to avoid unnecessary battles. Another duty was to increase the odds of survival, such as stealthily saving the lives of warlords and other influential or reducing the scale of warfare. Their work helped to prevent the loss of troops and provisions and minimized the chaos in the battlefield during times of prolonged warfare.   Sun Tzu said, “One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the best of goodness.” (Meaning, even if you fight a hundred times and win a hundred times, […]

  • 2022-09-14

The Art of Interchanging Fiction and Reality

No hesitation, be confident. The fiction-reality conversion technique is a tactic that skillfully interchanges fiction and reality (bluffing and honesty) to gain an advantage in a confrontation or diplomatic situation. It’s a strategy that takes advantage of an individual’s psychology, such as making something appear to be there when it is not or acting confidently even when feeling unsure. There are two sides to every coin. No matter how perfect, excellent, or strong an opponent may appear to be, there is always a weakness hiding under the surface. With careful observation, you will be able to spot and exploit a rival’s emotional weak points to gain control of the situation. Ninjas used this technique of shifting fiction and reality, such as acting confident even if […]

  • 2021-08-09
  • 2022-12-22

Win without fighting

What you want to fight for and what you want to get out of it The best way to fight, as described in the Art of War by Sun Tzu, was to “win without fighting.” The one who wins may be good at the time, but he will surely suffer losses in repeated battles, such as losing his own soldiers, running out of food, and destroying the land. On the other hand, the loser will be frustrated and look for an opportunity to take revenge, and in any case, in the long run, battles involve sacrifices on both sides and a negative chain of events. To avoid this, it is necessary to have useful information to formulate efficient strategies, which is why Japan has created […]

  • 2021-05-28
  • 2021-07-15

Right mind~Why Ninja is different from bandits~

  Remember the right mind.   If Ninjutsu is misused, it is the same as banditry. Ninjutsu should be used for the greater cause, not for personal gain. (Quoted from the book of Ninjutsu, Bnasen shukai) Ninja had various techniques based on infiltration and psychology to sneak into houses and people’s minds by setting fires, confusing people by spreading rumors. It was precise because he was such a ninja that he reminded himself not to forget the “right mind.” And as a ninja, he also made a firm promise not to use his skills and abilities for personal gain .   When Ninja were active in the war period, their goals were to “survive” and “return with useful information.” This is because fighting by utilizing […]

  • 2021-05-28
  • 2021-06-21

Knowing yourself deeply

Knowing who you are In order to become a good ninja, it is important to always be aware of the words “You should know about yourself.”(*)   Even today, knowing your limits mentally, capacity and physically can help you perform at a high level and respond calmly to pinch points and problems. It is a very important risk management to understand your ability correctly on a daily basis and not to overlook the signs that you are “I can go a bit further” or “It’s getting dangerous.” If you stop and think about your next move flexibly or take a break when necessary, you will be able to keep moving for a long time and may be happy in this 100-year period of one’s life. […]



くノ一空世(くぜ)が主に担当。 海外3カ国で12年間生活した自分が「日本人としてできること」を模索する過程で知り合った忍術道場の師範から「忍者」についての話を初めて詳しく聞き、その奥深さと平和への思い、そして哲学性に衝撃を受ける。「日本人の不器用な生き方」を解きほぐすヒントはそこにあると感じ、その場で入門して修行を開始。 サバイバルの達人・忍者の「力で勝つ方法ではなく、しぶとく賢く面白く生き残るための方法」で、日本中そして世界中の大人を元気にするべく忍者として活動中! Mainly handled by Kunoichi Kuze. When I first heard about "ninja" in detail from the master of a ninjutsu dojo, whom I met in the process of searching for "what I can do as a Japanese" after living in three foreign countries for 12 years, I was shocked by its depth, thoughts on peace, and philosophical nature.I felt that there was a clue to unraveling the "clumsy way of life of the Japanese," so I entered the dojo and began his training on the spot. I am currently working as a ninja to energize adults in Japan and around the world with "not a method to win by force, but a method to survive in a persistent, smart, and interesting way"!