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#339597 - 06/27/07 10:17 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: Taison]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Taison, Laf was a moderator on here for a long time, and is very well versed in authentic ninjutsu amongst other things. He was immensely helpful to me during my brief daliance with taijutsu, and has fielded all manner of weird and whacky Ninja-related threads with more patience and humour than i would think humanly possible.
He not only knows the history, but studies the art personaly (though I believe not exclusively), and his word can be trusted with confidence.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
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#339598 - 06/27/07 11:47 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: Cord]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
I'm just picking up where Joel left.

And where's your sources? Err.. wait.. no need. .

I think I was here when Laf was a mod. I think it was like 2 or 3 weeks after I became a mod that he stepped down.

-Taison out
_________________________
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

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#339599 - 06/28/07 12:26 PM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: jpoor]
groundfighter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Petawawa, Ontario, Canada
Yes I realize that wikipedia is a user updated resource. It is not completely unreliable as you say but certainly it is not the best source. Merely the easiest for everyone to find. I DID cite another source but now I will cite others so that I can better make my point.

The Historical Ninja By Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi

Hatsumi, Masaaki (June 1981). Ninjutsu: History and Tradition. Unique Publications.

Turnbull, Stephen (February 2003). Ninja AD 1460-1650. Osprey Publishing.

Most Ninja historical text (which is sketchy at best(even Hanzo Hattori (am very prominant leader and a ninja it is said), was in history books regarded as a Samurai as no one liked to give power to the myth at that time)) Ninja began as a philosophy and a tactic in war. None of these individuals had a "label" to call themselves. They merely performed the tasks that a Samurai could not. It was hundreds of years before the art began to be passed through word of mouth as a real clearly delineated art.
"As the passage of time continued to unfold the fabric of Japan’s history, the ninja and their ways of accomplishment, known as Ninjutsu, were always present behind the scenes of all the eras to ensure the survival and independence of their families and lands. In the regions of Iga and Koga, Ninjutsu became a special skill, refined and perfected by over seventy families, each with their own unique methods, motivations, and ideals.

Japanese history books, however, are curiously limited in their coverage and acknowledgment of the shadowy figures known as ninja. In textbooks even as recent as one generation ago, Hanzo Hattori, the head of one of the most influential ninja families in Iga and Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa’s director of ninja, was referred to as "a bushi (samurai) from the remote province of Iga". This hesitancy to openly acknowledge the ninja’s role in the forging of modern Japan stems perhaps from the glorification of the samurai concept and ethic that became very popular after the Meiji Restoration (1868). The Meiji Restoration abolished the samurai class and gave all citizens the right to affect social trappings that had once been reserved for samurai only."
The Historical Ninja

These warriors were the spies, the harrassers, the assassins and the reconnaisance of early Daimyo. Specializing in all forms of secret warfare. Hard to get into it all here. A fascinating topic though.
J
_________________________
train how you fight, fight to live.

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#339600 - 06/28/07 12:42 PM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: laf7773]
groundfighter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Petawawa, Ontario, Canada
Funny that you deride my sources (Chosen only for ease of access to everyone) but yet agree with my every point.

" 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."
Absolutely right, the culture at the time did not allow women to hold such a vital and important role in war. Not to say that they weren't used, but that the common misconception is that the majority was female is simply that, a misconception. When you say that they weren't primarily assassins, again you are completely correct (as far as the sketchy historical details can assertain.) They had far more clandestine jobs than just assassination (although they DID perform this task as well,) they gathered intel, they did reconnaisance, the acted as harrassing parties to opposing camps, too many tasks to mention. Never open warfare. HOWEVER, (as you stated) this was for a multitude of reason. Their equipment was often not suited and open combat is hardly the domain of a stealthy operation that "ninja" would be called to do. Which puts us to your next point...

"2. Ninja were not assassins. This was one of their functions but their primary reason for being was to gather intel." Again, as I stated previously, I agree.

"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."
Of course, myths perpetuated in every culture about everything that wasn't open knowledge because of the lack of mass media to inform. Why would they argue? It suited their purpose to be seen in such a way.

"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”."
Indeed!!! Almost word for word what I was getting at. Samurai trained for open battle and as their primary job, many were very proficient. Ninja were not called upon to do these things as it wasn't condusive to getting their job done. Again, I completely agree!

"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."
THIS is a difficult point, because even though you are 100% correct historically a samurai couldn't be OPENLY asked to do such things. It was dishonorable. MANY abuses of samurai "power" came at the hands of these warriors but they were still subject to the rules of bushido in the eyes of their superiors and open judgement from them. Anything that could bring dishonour to a leader OPENLY would be frowned on. Make no mistake, in my opinion, these warriors were no better in all practicality than our knights (who were by no means princes of honour either)


This is an interesting topic, but since your point was to say that you wanted to adhere to a code that helped you in your personal life, I will say this. Kudos to you.
Ninja or not, samurai or not, the code you speak of is certainly a good one to be held by its ethos.
IF you are going to cite "ninja" or "samurai" then as a martial practicioner I would say that it is our responsibility to be informed, because to the initiate, our word carries weight.
Peace and love
J
_________________________
train how you fight, fight to live.

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#339601 - 06/29/07 05:31 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: groundfighter]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
groundfighter,

I didn't say i agreed or disagreed with anything you posted, only that the two resources you mentioned are not reliable for this sort of information. I try to stray away from responding to any one person individually in my posts but rather try to respond to the thread as a whole. There were things in your posts that i did touch on and no i didn't agree with everything you said. The things i didn't agree with are what i responded to. The rest was in response to things commented on in other member’s posts.

Quote:

Originally posted by groundfighter: They were not combatants, they were killers who were just as satisfied poisoning as they were sneaking in in the night and slitting your throat. Open combat was to be avoided at all costs. Spies and backstabbers, poisoning, sneaking, lying and infiltrating though decaption. Never warriors.




Quote:

Originally posted by groundfighter: Ninja were first and foremost assassins. They were not warriors in an open battlefield, but killers from the dark. Those who would poison, stab in the back, destroy reputations and perform clandestine murders. The only real code was that of secrecy and popular suspension of disbelief in their existance. Many instructors try to paint them with a warriors brush (ninja of old) when the last thing they wanted to do was face a warrior in open combat.




The things in bold i do disagree with and have responded to in my previous post. So i did NOT agree with everything you said, i only responded to that which i didn't agree. The fact is there will never be a way to fully know the role of the "ninja" at any point due to their nature. They relied on and influenced many misconceptions about who they were as did the enemy. Written documentation is sparse at best but i've spent the better part of almost a decade trying to separate the wheat from the chaff in regards to what is history and what is myth. I'm even pushing for orders back to Japan after this rotation just so i can get back in full contact with friends who have access to better resources, not only in ninjutsu but other areas as well.
_________________________
Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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#339602 - 07/03/07 09:32 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: laf7773]
groundfighter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Petawawa, Ontario, Canada
true enough, The bold areas are based on historical evidence and coloured by my opinion of what I feel is a logical interpretation of the facts. You are however correct in that there is no imperical way to know for sure. I DID enjoy reading your well informed posts though.
J
_________________________
train how you fight, fight to live.

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#339603 - 07/03/07 09:35 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: laf7773]
groundfighter Offline
Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Petawawa, Ontario, Canada
OHHH, although on second reading I will retract my "assassins" label as they were involved in many sorts of covert operations, however it was the assassination role that seemed to birth the need for the "ninja." Intelligence and information gathering personnel have existed since the time of Sun Tzu so I inferred that it was the taboo and honourless act of assassination that garnered the need for them as a whole (even though their skills were many and varied far beyond that)
J
_________________________
train how you fight, fight to live.

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#339604 - 07/03/07 09:38 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: groundfighter]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Tzu was chinese. Ninja were in Japan. different country, different military needs and development.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#339605 - 07/03/07 11:21 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: Cord]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Quote:

Tzu was chinese. Ninja were in Japan.



And where's your sources?

-Taison out
_________________________
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

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#339606 - 07/03/07 11:24 AM Re: The Ninja Mindset in the teenage world. [Re: Taison]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Quote:

And where's your sources?




in my fridge, next to the mustard
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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