Wow....more holes than a fish net. Its funny how no matter how much legitimate info there is on ninja/ninjutsu people still seem to manage to find the wrong sources. Wikipedia and howstuffworks.com are not reliable sources for this subject matter.
1. Ninja were not primarily women. It is widely believed that many were samurai trained for clandestine operations. The majority were believed to be average people hired to gather intel posing as gardeners, cooks and various other “hired help”. Some were women but the image of the kunoichi is far from accurate.
2. Ninja were not assassins. This was one of their functions but their primary reason for being was to gather intel.
3. The myths and reputation surrounding the ninja were allowed and encouraged and sometimes started by the ninja in order to give them a psychological advantage over the enemy. If the locals believed ninja were 10 feet tall and could shoot fire out of their eyes they weren’t going to argue.
4. Saying the last thing ninja wanted was to find themselves in open battle with a samurai is partially true but not for the reasons some may think. They weren't typical soldiers so their job wasn't to confront guards. It was to collect info, spy or yes assassinate. So avoiding guards only increased their chances of success. They were just as skilled as many other "warriors" of their time and don’t even get me started on the “ninja-to”.
5. The samurai's "Bushido code" wasn't something followed as most like to glamorize and came about as a means to smooth relations with the local populous in a time when there was no longer a need or desire for the samurai. Some might want to look into what the samurai really were vise believing what Hollywood says they were. Same goes for ninja. I'd say 98% of what many "know" about ninja and samurai is either Hollywood BS or the ramblings of some wanabe "ninja master" who also learned everything he knows from Hollywood.
If you want to pattern your life after the ideals of what is believed to be the "ninja way of life" or Bushido that's fine. I'd suggest a bit of research though before talking about living life “like” a samurai or ninja. What's wrong with doing what your parents tell you is right? Why is it cooler to do the right thing and live your life the "right" way because it's how the ninja or samurai did than because its how your parents raised you? If you want to live the warrior life join the military, we need all we can get and I have plenty of jobs for you. If you want to be a ninja then there is always SEALs, CIA, SAS and many other groups who are the closest you will ever come to the work of the ninja. But if you’re going to follow the "ninja way of life" i hope your at least studying a LEGITAMATE system. Let's be real here folks...the study of the martial arts isn't what makes you a better person. It's the ideal, the lessons of “hard work pays off”, the mental fortitude to push yourself past what you believe you can achieve, the dedication to the perfection of something in your life that enhances YOU and those things can be found in any avenue of life regardless of what your chosen activity is. For most, whether they want to admit it or not, the martial arts are a hobby. It's something to occupy their time and their minds and an escape from work or school or what ever they feel to be mundane in their lives. Not trying to down play anyone’s dedication to their art or training but if you had never gotten involved in the martial arts but instead fell into computers, cars, basketball or any infinite number of "hobbies" i'm sure you would have been just as dedicated, just as enriched. I for one don't believe the martial arts should be held accountable for making someone a "better person". Morals weren't exactly stressed in training until the recent bastardization of the martial arts. When jutsu turned to Do and training had to become less of an art of war and more of an art of life. It's called nin-JUTSU and not nin-DO for a reason. It's not a path to enlightenment it's a martial art. It's not a blueprint for a better life; it's a means of self defense. It’s an art form and will enrich your life just as any other form of art will but its place isn’t specifically to teach you good morals and behavior just as no other martial art should be. If you want to see a good documentary on ninjutsu i suggest picking up a copy of Shinobi- Winds of the 34 Generations. It's a good DVD. http://webcurb.com/shinobiwinds/
No specific meaning...i just like this one.