2012年04月04日

'Ninja' used various kinds of unique weapons when he or she engaged in espionage activities.

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A group of 'ninja', who operated behind the scenes from the 15th to 18th century, engaged in espionage activities for their feudal lord while being in farming in their own communities across Japan. They usually received hard training for their special mission, at the same time they were developing necessary weapons and gadgets.
Some of these weapons are introduced as follows..
The first picture shows 'shikomi-hibashi', 'shikomi-kiseru' and 'shikomi-teppo', which literally mean a pair of picks disguised as tongs, a short sword camouflaged as a tobacco pipe and a pistol seems to be a sword at a glance.
In the second picture, from left to right they are dried water chestnuts, throwing knives and throwing stars. The first ones were scattered on the road so as to keep enemies from chasing when 'ninja' ran away. The two types of throwing objects were thrown at the enemy's eye, throat or forehead and these were well tempered to be blackened. It may be difficult for the enemy to dodge the black objects in the night.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:30 | "Ninja" | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年03月10日

'Koga Ryu Ninjyutsu', which is Japan's most famous art of ninjya, was born in Koka City ,Shiga Prefecture around the 15th century.

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Although 'ninja' in Japan is divided into the fifty schools or so, among which 'Iga Ryu' school in Mie Prefecture and 'Koga Ryu' school in Shiga Prefecture are outstanding.
The social position of 'ninjya' is ranked between a samurai warrior and farmer in the feudal caste system in Japan, from a samurai down to farmer, artisan and merchant. Because 'ninja' usually engaged in farming as well as espionage, and headed out to a battlefield as a soldier in an emergency.
The 'ninja' of 'Koga Ryu' school worked for Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japan's de facto ruler in the 16th century, by conducting espionage activities against his rival Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of Tokugawa shogunate, who was helped by 'Iga Ryu' ninja.
The old house in the first picture is the one and only existing house of 'ninja' which belonged to one of the high-ranking ninjas in the 17th century. The inside of this house is very special with many devices and tricks, such as secret doors and pitfalls, to capture the enemies or to escape out of the house. The second picture shows a hidden secret passage under the corridor.

licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 07:14 | "Ninja" | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年10月04日

In the grounds of 'Sainen-ji' Buddhist temple in Yotsuya, Shinjuku Ward, a tomb of 'Hattori Hanzo', who was the greatest ninja in 16th century, is in existence.

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'Hattori Hanzo' was one of the faithful retainers of 'Tokugawa Ieyasu', who established the seat of the shogunate in Edo, present Tokyo, early in the 17th century. He greatly helped 'Ieyasu', having control of many ninjas, for the sake of unifying Japan. 'Ieyasu' was able to bring the country under a single authority partly thanks to him. 'Hanzo' created 'Sainen-ji' Buddhist temple to perform a memorial service for the death of Ieyasu's son. In the decent precincts of the temple, although it was relocated from the original place in the 17th century, there stands a tomb of him, and a spear in the picture below that is said to be presented to him by 'Ieyasu' is on display in the main hall of this temple.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 09:23 | "Ninja" | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする