Discovery of “The Book of Phantom Ninjutsu,” which has never been published outside the gates…Learning from the Ninja the Wisdom of Surviving in the Midst of Adversity | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Discovery of “The Book of Phantom Ninjutsu,” which has never been published outside the gates…Learning from the Ninja the Wisdom of Surviving in the Midst of Adversity

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The reality of the “ninja” still a mystery…

In June of this year, a book on ninjutsu, which had been considered a mirage, was found in Konan Town, Koga City, Shiga Prefecture, the home of the ninja.

The “Book of Phantom Ninjutsu” was found in Konan Town, Koga City, Shiga Prefecture, in June this year. The ninjutsu book discovered this time is a ninjutsu book titled “Gunpo Kanrin Seiyo,” which is the middle volume out of the upper, middle, and lower volumes. It was discovered by Mr. Takahito Fukushima, a researcher of ninjutsu books. The reason why this book is called a “phantom” is as follows

Among them, “Bansen Shukai,” a ninjutsu book compiled in 1676, can be called an encyclopedia of ninjutsu, consisting of 22 volumes and one separate volume.

In it, “Mabayashi Seiyo” is mentioned. Therefore, it was known among researchers that there was a ninjutsu book called “Mabayashi Seiyo. But for the life of me, I couldn’t find it.”

said Yuji Yamada, Deputy Director of the International Ninja Research Center.

Ninja” are attracting worldwide attention, with the International Ninja Research Center being established and international ninja conferences being held. The photo shows the press conference of the “NINJA NIPPON PROJECT” held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (Photo: Afro)

It was forbidden to show ninjutsu books to anyone except those who belonged to the family that had passed them down, so although the existence of “Mabayashi Seiyo” was known, its contents were completely unknown. What in the world did it contain?

The ninjutsu books that have been discovered so far were compiled after the peaceful Edo period (1603-1868), so there are almost no descriptions of how to make weapons, how to invade enemy territory, or how to fight against enemies. In “Mamabayashi Seiyo,” those things are written, and that is very rare.”

One such weapon is a hidden weapon with a blade inside a walking stick.

It was known that such weapons existed until now, but it was also thought that travelers might have carried them for self-defense. The fact that it was written in the “Mabayashi Seiyo” revealed that ninja had them as hidden weapons. This is another great discovery.”

The way of fighting also overturned the conventional image of the ninja. The image of the ninja is that of a lone, stealthy fighter.

In most cases, however, ninja fight in groups. When they sneak into a place in pitch darkness, they take each other’s hands or say a password to each other. When the enemy spots you, two or three of you will clump together and cut to the right side of your opponent,” it says. I first learned about such things by reading “Mabayashi Seiyo.”

It is a little hard to imagine a ninja …… acting in a group.

The discovered “Mabayashi Seiyo”. It is believed to be a transcript of the original. It has 48 pages in total, and the page in the photo shows how to make a shikotsu-teki (a walking stick).

Was there really “ninjutsu” as shown in the drama…?

What about things like “suiton no jutsu” and “kinoha kagure no jutsu”?

“To keep a dog from barking, he would write ‘Oni’ in the palm of one hand and show it to the dog, and the dog would then bark at him. Then, while chanting the incantation “Rin, hyôi, fôsha, minna, jin, korai, zairu, mae,” I would cut a nine-syllable sign with my other hand. The other hand is used to cut the nine-syllable mark of the “”.

Does that stop the dogs from barking?

Yes, they do (laughs). You can’t just do it. (In another book on ninjutsu, there are instructions on how to walk on water and how to dive under water. However, according to those who have actually tried it, it is not possible to disappear using medicines, and walking on water is also difficult due to the water pressure.

Why are there things written in ninjutsu books that can’t actually be used? If a person thinks he or she has disappeared, but in fact the other person can see him or her, then his or her life is in danger.

But maybe we just don’t know how they really do it, and maybe they really do disappear, or maybe they can walk on water. Or maybe they wrote something appropriate to see the aptitude of prospective ninja and decided, ‘If you believe this, you can’t be a ninja.

We don’t know how much of what is written in the ninja books was really used as ninjutsu. It is as if we are being quizzed, ‘How much of what we ninja did was true?

Still, Mr. Yamada is attracted to ninjutsu books because they contain the wisdom of the time.

“Because they contain the wisdom of the time. There is no other book like it. By reading ninjutsu books, you can learn about the scientific standards of the time.

In the Warring States period, ninja were recruited by feudal lords from all over Japan to invade enemy territory to gather information, sometimes by arson and night raids.

In order to reach their destination, they had to know the direction of the enemy, astronomy, weather, and medicinal herbs. Along with how to make and handle tools such as fire and water vessels, ninjutsu books cover many aspects of medicine, pharmacology, food, astronomy, weather, and gunpowder.

Even today, it is essential for a top-class spy to have a wealth of knowledge, including command of several languages, but the ninja possessed an incredible amount of knowledge as well as a strong body. Moreover, they possessed an incredible amount of knowledge at a time when there was no such abundance of books as there is today. They were an incredibly knowledgeable class.

If you were born into a ninja family, you were probably given books and physical training from an early age.

Abdel Quader Ahmed, a “ninja” enthusiast who is famous in Egypt. His daily training and activities, along with the weapons he made himself, were distributed to the world via the Reuters news agency (Photo: Afro)

The Ninja were socializers!

Moreover, the ninja were also skilled in the art of socializing and dialogue.

The ninja are often thought of as lurking behind ceilings and eavesdropping on conversations, but in reality they often made friends with local people to get information out of them.

To do this, it is important to talk about things they like to talk about and make them happy and comfortable. If someone likes chess, talk about chess; if someone likes fishing, talk about fishing. Then they will think you are their friend, and they will talk to you about important things.

He has many hobbies and is good at socializing. Don’t ninjas work in the shadows?

Of course, there are times when they lurk in the shadows. As the character for “ninja” indicates, the most important thing for a ninja is to endure. In order to accomplish their goals, they must sometimes lurk in the shadows for days at a time, endure hunger, and wait for an opportunity to do something. You don’t leave your name behind, you don’t talk about it proudly, but you complete your work. That is what it means to be a ninja.

With high prices, extreme heat, and torrential rains, Japan today is forced to “ninja” like the Corona …… ninja. What we lack is either the physical strength of a ninja or the wisdom to survive in the present. If we were ninjas, would we calmly consider our next move while we were still ninja?

Yuji Yamada is a professor at the Faculty of Humanities, Mie University. Deputy Director of the International Ninja Research Center, he supervised the exhibition “The NINJA” held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in 2016. His publications include “Ninja History” (KADOKAWA), “Grudge, Kaiju, Ise Jingu” (Shibunkaku Shuppan), and “Ninja Literature Research Reader” (editor and author, Kasama Shoin).

  • Interview and text by Izumi Nakagawa

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