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#142646 - 10/10/05 10:53 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
play nicely please boys....

you are both getting close to a warning

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#142647 - 10/10/05 11:20 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Reiki]
Mike_L Offline
Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 420
Loc: Rio Rancho NM/Louisville KY (U...
I suggest you all read "Ninjutsu history and tradition" by Masaaki Hatsumi" it should clear up any misconceptions on the history of Ninjutsu. At least the togakure ryu.
_________________________
"There is no such thing as Perfection... Only excellence"

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#142648 - 10/11/05 01:45 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Quote:


considering I'm a HISTORY MAJOR....





I am a history major as well. Japanese medievel history to be specific. But your words speak louder than your history major does, as you do not appear to have studied what ninja, ninjutsu, or ninpo are all about, judging from your post. At least not in depth.

I would recommend you take a look through Bansenshukai, Shoninki and Ninpiden before drawing the conclusions that you have come to.

Learning to speak Japanese and how to dissect the kanji that are used for words such as ninja, shinobi no mono, kusa, etc, may also help you understand the subject.

Rest assured if you become proficient enough in Japanese or you find an English copy of any of the books I have mentioned above, with a little thought put into it you will see very clearly 'ninja' are still around and practicing to this day. Your homework is to figure out how and why they can still be called ninja.

Hint 1: Ninja were never a part of the Japanese class system. Maybe I completely misunderstood you but if you think ninja were all oppressed freedom fighters (as one author put it) you're way off base. Ninjutsu and ninja are far more involved than that. Ninja are a concept not a class.

Just a note for you: do not read between the lines or read too deeply into my post. I haven't left any hidden meanings or anger in this post. I've given you some information here, I'm not angry, never was angry, upset or anything like that. Just take what I've given you and if you want to, research it.

Here's a huge big hint that will give you almost all the information I told you to research in the first place.

www.ninpo.org

That is about the best info source you're going to get until you can read old Japanese script.

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#142649 - 10/11/05 01:57 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Quote:


with a little thought put into it you will see very clearly 'ninja' are still around and practicing to this day. Your homework is to figure out how and why they can still be called ninja.




I never said they weren't now did I? Well this is easy homework...

"MODERN ninja exist, ie, the practicioners of ninpo/ninjtsu".

But you can't compare the ninja of Medievel
Japan and say they are the same as ninja of today.

Quote:


Hint 1: Ninja were never a part of the Japanese class system. Maybe I completely misunderstood you but if you think ninja were all oppressed freedom fighters (as one author put it) you're way off base. Ninjutsu and ninja are far more involved than that. Ninja are a concept not a class.




Again, where did I say that ninja were a separate class in Japanese society?

I was talking about the class system in general as a social institution in Medievel Japan, hence "historical context". Can women today be considered ninja? If the definition of ninja is a practicioner of ninpo/ninjutsu, then yes. Could women in Medievel Japan be ninja? I can't answer this, because I don't know, but my answer based off of knowledge of common history would say no.

Think of it in terms of the evolution of the word "Caesar". In 200 b.c., it was just the name of a large clan, like saying "the Smith family" today. In the Empire it was used as the title of the Emperor, and is where we get Czar and Kaiser from.

So if I had said "Casears no longer exist", I would be both wrong and right, depending on the historical context. As a family, no, the Caesar clan no longer exists, but as a title of a king, yes, Casears exist to this day and age. That's what I was trying to get at.

Quote:


Just a note for you: do not read between the lines or read too deeply into my post. I haven't left any hidden meanings or anger in this post. I've given you some information here, I'm not angry, never was angry, upset or anything like that. Just take what I've given you and if you want to, research it.




Ok, then I apologise for taking your post the wrong way. Aparently it was I who got up on the wrong side of bed.

Quote:


Here's a huge big hint that will give you almost all the information I told you to research in the first place.

www.ninpo.org

That is about the best info source you're going to get until you can read old Japanese script.





I'll check out the other stuff you mentioned too. So there's no well documented history type book where I can learn this stuff? Cause I usually don't like resorting to web pages as my sources, but I guess if you're referring it to me, then it checks out pretty good then, right?

Kinda sucks that in oder to be a Japanese Medievel history major you have to learn Old Japanese Script. I certainly don't have to learn Latin and Greek in order to study their repective histories, but I guess dems da breaks...

I got to this, and these quotes basically say everything of what I was trying to get at:

"to define who is a ninja in the modern period (post 1868) is an elusive matter. This is due to fundamental differences in the characteristics of the modern period vis a vis early modern or premodern periods. Most notably are the change from military to civil rule, a shift from pre-industrial to industrial society, and from a relative international isolation to a country open to foreign (most significantly Western) influence. The change to civil rule was accompanied by the abolishment of the class system, bringing to an end seven hundred years of military rule. It is against this background that we should try to trace the development of the ninja."

"In its historical sense, Ninja, similar to samurai, ceased to exist as a social and military group . However, since Ninja were never an officially recognized social group, they could have potentially maintain their identity as such. Nevertheless, their existence was too much dependent on the overall social and military conditions within which they existed , and to insist that Ninja families and individual warriors continued to operate after the Meiji Restoration would be futile. Just as arguing that soldiers in Japan's modern army are in fact samurai is a baseless argument."

"That is, these martial traditions originating from an historical Ninja transmit fighting skills used by the premodern Ninja, but they also transmit a world-view, philosophy and fighting spirit that are not bound by historical periods. Therefore, it is more accurate to view the the historical Ninja as having been replaced by modern warriors who preserve premodern fighting traditions ".

http://www.ninpo.org/ninpohistory/ninpohistory2.htm

I even called them "modern ninja" to differentiate between the periods.

So once again, what do ninja have in common with Roman legionaries, gladiators, hoplites, and Caesars...?

They no longer exist....in their respective historical contexts.
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#142650 - 10/11/05 04:53 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
You read a good article but you missed the important thing he was trying to say.

How about this statement;

Riflemen do not exist.

in the 1700's, during the American Revolution, there were riflemen. Their methods were almost completely different from modern riflemen, and it's been a long time since those guys were around. Therefore riflemen do not exist, right? Wrooong.

Hint 3: Since ninja were never a defined class, you cannot apply a specific label to them unless they performed a specific function. The problem with that thinking is that the skills that ninja used are still practiced by people today, doing the exact same type of missions, some even using the actual ninjutsu skills learned from Japan.

Roman legionaires and the like, they ceased to exist because they were a defined fighting unit that flourished and then completely stopped existing. The techniques were lost, the units became useless, disbanded, whatever.

Ninja skills are universally applicable to every situation requiring infiltration. As such they have never been lost and the people called ninja still exist.

Being fixed on definitions will cause a person to think, 'Because he does not infiltrate castles or houses using a rag doll, he can't be a ninja'. That's the wrong way to look at it and it shows clearly that the word "ninja" is not understood by that person.

It's a concept, not a fixed definition. Ninja will exist as long as humans infiltrate using ninjutsu techniques, plain and simple. If you want to say "ninja who sneak into Japanese castles of the sengoku period at night and kill daimyo do not exist anymore", that would be a lot more accurate.

And yes, there were SOME ninja who can have a specific label applied to them, they generally performed specific tasks for the shogun or daimyo. Takeda, and Hojo used specific units skilled in certain ryuu of ninjutsu for example.

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#142651 - 10/11/05 06:05 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: paradoxbox]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Well we're in agreement, I'm saying nearly exactly the same thing as you, except using "Caesar" to replace "ninja".

"The problem with that thinking is that the skills that ninja used are still practiced by people today, doing the exact same type of missions, some even using the actual ninjutsu skills learned from Japan."

Some techniques had to have been added or changed (not necessarity ALL of them though), because I find it very difficult to believe that ninja techniques have not been altered at all over the centuries with the advancement of technology (every other surviving martial art seems to have changed over the years, why didn't ninjutsu?). If not then theoretically we could take a ninja from ancient Japan with all his equipment and tell him to sneak into the Pentagon without any additional knowledge or skills necessary to complete his mission.


We constantly discuss on these forums how TMA's are not actually traditional, since they are continuously improving and changing to fit our current time period and needs. If ninjutsu does not do this, then it's only a miracle that it survived...

"Riflemen do not exist.

in the 1700's, during the American Revolution, there were riflemen. Their methods were almost completely different from modern riflemen, and it's been a long time since those guys were around. Therefore riflemen do not exist, right? Wrooong."

How is this any different than what I said about Caesars?
How is it any different than this? "In its historical sense, Ninja, similar to samurai, ceased to exist as a social and military group. . .Just as arguing that soldiers in Japan's modern army are in fact samurai is a baseless argument."
So here we are in agreement again.


"Ninja skills are universally applicable to every situation requiring infiltration. As such they have never been lost and the people called ninja still exist."

So is the idea of being a Caesar, the next king of England will in essence be a "Caesar". But this is still VERY different from a Caesar in the Empire, 1st most obvious thing being that England is a democratic Monarchy.
Again in agreement.

"Being fixed on definitions will cause a person to think, 'Because he does not infiltrate castles or houses using a rag doll, he can't be a ninja'. That's the wrong way to look at it and it shows clearly that the word "ninja" is not understood by that person."

Hence the phrase "historical context". Once again, we agree with each other...

"It's a concept, not a fixed definition. Ninja will exist as long as humans infiltrate using ninjutsu techniques, plain and simple"

As long as 1 person retains rule over a country, then so will Caesars.
Were there any women ninjas?
cause that could change a whole lot of what we are discussing. Otherwise, again with agreement.

If you want another example besides Caesar (and more of a concept than a fixed definition), think of the word Spartan and all that it entails in today's connotations. That definintion is very different than the definition of actual Spartans in Classical Greece.

Hint: What does it mean to be Spartan? What would actual Spartans say in response to this?

"It's a concept, not a fixed definition. Ninja will exist as long as humans infiltrate using ninjutsu techniques, plain and simple"

Again, have ninja techniqes changed over the centuries at all? Has the Execution of these techniques changed at all? What is the ancient ninja technique to not getting caught by security surveilance cameras then?
In this day and age, this is certainly a legitimate infiltration question, which the ninja of mid. Japan would not be able to answer.

All in all, I think we are basically saying the same thing in a different light, I say ketchup, you say catsup (can't really do the "tomAto Tomotto" one over the internet ).
Maybe we should declare a ceasefire and agree to disagree...
cause this is about as effective as discussing whether or not the Trojan War existed.....

Edit: can't believe I missed this one...
"Roman legionaires and the like, they ceased to exist because they were a defined fighting unit that flourished and then completely stopped existing. The techniques were lost, the units became useless, disbanded, whatever. "

Ok, using Roman Legionaries as a concept then, they still exist. The idea of breaking a large army into several smaller units commanded by an officer with standardized training and equipment at the expense of the state is the basic core concept of a Roman legion, and in that sense, the U.S. army is a Roman legion, its soldiers being Roman Legionaries.


Edited by UofM Shorin Ryu (10/11/05 06:13 PM)

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#142652 - 10/11/05 08:15 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
I must say its really nice to see you guys having a good hard discussion and its a refreshing change from some of the name-calling that we've seen elsewhere.

Keep up the good work!
_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#142653 - 10/18/05 09:49 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: Gaara]
shotaki_ Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 1
You are in a clan, as am I. We are half Japanese and Half North American.I am Trained in Trained also in Ninjutsu.Also in Sholin Fists. I would be very interested to learn about your clan

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#142654 - 10/18/05 09:56 PM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: shotaki_]
paradoxbox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
Sorry, there are no ninja clans on the planet any longer. The 2 closest things remaining would be decendents in Japan of famous ninja families (Hattori, Momochi etc) and perhaps some people in the Yakuza. Even they aren't really a clan. Stop watching ninja turtles and get some real training, by the way your teacher is probably a fraud. Ninjutsu and Shaolin have nothing to do with eachother really, except maybe some 2000 years back.

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#142655 - 10/19/05 01:40 AM Re: "Ninja" swords [Re: shotaki_]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
There are NO more ninja. Hatsumi himself refers to Takamatsu as "the last true ninja". All others today are simply practitioners of the arts.

Whats with these so called "clans" popping up like a bad rash?
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Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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