[Very popular overseasll! Ninja] How to explain to foreigners


What do you know about Japan?”


When asked by a foreigner, many will reply, “NINJA ! Many people answer, “NINJA !

Overseas, the popularity of the ninja is always high and attracts more attention than we Japanese realize.

In this issue, what is a ninja from a foreign country’s point of view?

Why are ninjas so popular overseas?


What should I answer when a foreigner asks me about ninja?

I would like to think about the Ninja from a foreigner’s point of view.

Image of overseas ninja

Mysterious Ninja and the International Ninja Research Center

If you are interested in explaining Ninja in English, please refer to this article.

Reference article: How do you say Ninja in English? 5 recommended NINJA experiences for foreigners

Ninja dressed in black

Conducting top-secret missions.

Always live with darkness

The image associated with ninja is still mysterious.

The mysterious atmosphere of the ninja is said to be attractive to foreigners as well.

Many foreigners are now interested in studying these mysterious ninja professionally, and in 2017, the International Ninja Research Center was completed at Mie University.

The International Ninja Research Center includes the construction of a database on ninja and ninja materials mainly in the Iga region, surveys and research on historical materials, academic conferences, and experimental verification.

International Ninja conferences are also held, and ninja researchers from all over the world visit the area.

Exotic Ninja and the Japan Ninja Council

Ninja are a real entity in Japanese history.

The world of the ninja is filled with ancient Japanese imagery and exotic charm.

The Japanese character in the clothing and architecture, such as the black clothing of the ninja and the scenery of the Japanese castles and towns where the film takes place, is well represented.

And I think that the image of Japan embodies a different kind of charm from that of other Asian countries, such as a sense of depth and mystery.

The Japan Ninja Council, an organization that promotes such ninja as cool Japan content to the world, has been established.

This Japan Ninja Association has published the results of a survey on ninja from the world’s perspective.

The overall recognition of ninja in the 10 overseas countries is surprisingly high at 98.7%.

It was also found that approximately 50% of those who answered “I know a ninja” also answered “I want to become a ninja.

This also indicates that the inbound potential of the ninja is enormous.

Why is it popular among foreigners?

Bujinkan, a sacred place for ninjutsu

Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, about an hour from Tokyo by train.

The city, with a population of 150,000, is visited by numerous foreigners every year.

Here is the “Bujinkan,” a dojo for the ancient martial art of Ninjutsu.

Soke Yoshiaki Hatsumi is the 34th successor of Togakure-ryu Ninjutsu and the headmaster of the Bujinkan Ku-ryu school of Happo-Sekken.

Foreigners come from all over the world to learn directly from him.

Kobujutsu and Ninjutsu are as popular as Karate and Judo as martial arts in other countries.

Some of them are professors from the FBI, police, security, military, and other professionals from around the world who come to learn authentic ninjutsu techniques and training.

It is said that 80% of the 50 or so participants in the practice are foreigners, and many of them are women.

Movies Animation Comics

As for why ninjas are so popular overseas, the presence of media content is unavoidable.

Japan is the kingdom of stories, and the number of stories produced daily is the largest in the world.

Manga, novels, animation, movies, games, dramas

The medium varies, but at any rate, we are transmitting numerous stories to the world.

Many of these works are based on ninja themes and have been translated all over the world and always have a large number of overseas fans.

Ninja first appeared in stories in the world of kabuki and kodan (storytelling).

It was then expressed in ukiyoe.

Throughout the Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods, ninja appeared in novels and manga.

Even today, hit films based on ninja themes are being created at milestones in history.

1959 “Owl Castle” by Ryotaro Shiba and “Iga Ninpocho” by Futaro Yamada

These two major works and various other ninja novels became bestsellers.

This influence led to the visualization of ninja in movies and TV dramas.

The media of film became the medium for the ninja, and the films were shown not only in Japan but also overseas, and the ninja began to travel around the world.

The Ninja Sentai Gatchaman animation series was broadcast in many countries, and the ninja began to make their appearance among children in other countries as well.

“NARUTO” by Masashi Kishimoto, serialized in Weekly Jump from 1999-2014.

Worldwide, 250 million copies were sold.

This work became such a big hit that it cannot be overlooked when considering the overseas ninja boom.

Through the influence of various ninja productions, the ninja became increasingly recognized abroad as something to aspire to.

Ninja in foreign works

Ninja hits appear not only in Japanese-made media contents, but also in those produced overseas.

1981’s “Burning Ninja” starring Sho Cosugi is credited with sparking the American ninja boom.

American Comics had a big hit with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” in which turtle ninjas fight aliens.

At that time, if a ninja was the subject of a film, it was sure to be a big hit.

So much so that it was said.

Ninja in foreign ninja works are often portrayed as superheroes, which is different from ninja in Japanese works, and there is a sense of flamboyance that cannot be removed.

But that is also the charm of the ninja.

The cool ninja from the foreigner’s point of view is different from the Japanese ninja works, and we can see the image of the ninja that foreigners are looking for from this.

Ninja Parkour

The image of the ninja is that of a person who can leap over walls with great grace, run to the top of rooftops in a blink of an eye, move with agility and without a sound, and travel as high as he can fly.

and there is always the image of the superhuman.

Parkour was born in France as a sport that directly transformed the image of the ninja.

Parkour is a method of transportation that developed out of French military training, in which one can run, fly, climb, and jump down with one’s body.

In 2001, the film was featured in Luc Besson’s YAMAKASI and Taxi 2, which brought it to the attention of the world.

Their sense of physical balance and use of force is like that of a modern-day ninja itself.

Of course, in France, the birthplace of parkour, it is compared to ninja.

It is a sport and acrobatics to see how smoothly and quickly you can move through it by training your own body.

Young people all over the world are rapidly becoming fascinated by the acrobatic maneuvers, running freely around the city with smooth movements.

Every year, Kanazawa, the land of the ninja, hosts the “Ninja Parkour World Championships,” attracting participants from all over the world.

Brief explanation of Ninja to foreigners

When you want to explain ninja to foreigners, here are some such tidbits that you should know!

Ninja History

Ninja were a real clan that existed from the Muromachi period to the Edo period.

Ninja were active during the Warring States period, receiving orders from feudal lords to use ninjutsu to spy on, plot against, assassinate, or disrupt the rear.

Iga, Koga, Togakushi, Kazama, and Sanada are the most famous, but there are places throughout Japan that are known as ninja villages.

In the peaceful Edo period (1603-1867), the activities of the ninja were reduced at a dash, but it is said that there were still many feudal lords, including the shoguns, who had their own ninja in their households.

Ninja Weapons

When explaining about the ninja to foreigners, they will be pleased if you tell them about the ninja’s weapons.

Ninja weapons have been developed to be disposable and highly portable with a high hit rate.

Shuriken : Shuriken was a weapon often used for covert assassination.

It was also covered with poison.

Throw and use.

Ninja swords: Shorter than ordinary swords, these swords were also used as footholds when climbing walls and the like by thrusting them.

Makibishi: Ninja used to use it when escaping, rolling it on the floor as they fled.

It is designed so that no matter what direction you throw it, the thorn will always come up.

In addition, the ninja have a variety of other techniques to use what is there as a weapon.

Ninja art

The ninja actually have a technique that can be taught.

The art of the wooden fugue, the art of the fire fugue, the art of the earth fugue, the art of the golden fugue, and the art of the water fugue

The art of shinobi is said to have been handed down from one school to another.

However, they are not supposed to be instructions on sorcery or witchcraft, but on how to actually hide oneself from the enemy, and as effective techniques for executing a mission in secret.


Before you know it, ninjas are out of Japan and around the world.

Today, ninjas are no longer just fictional ninjas that attract attention from overseas, but also range from academic societies that study real historical ninja to Bujinkan ninjutsu training.

The appeal of the ninja is profound, and ninjas will continue to draw fans from around the world to Japan.

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