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Ninjas are masters when it comes to espionage and they are silent assassins who are very rarely heard about or seen until they happen to strike. They were typically employed by Samurai warlords to sabotage, kill and spy but now they have but died out in the modern world of today. However, there is one Ninja left, the 21st head of the Ban clan.
The Ban Clan Dates Back 500 Years
The Ban Clan is a dynasty of secret spies with a history that goes back 500 years and the last ninja in Japan is Jinichi Kawakami, an engineer who is 63 years old. The last ninja in Japan has been trained so that he can hear when a needle has been dropped in another room and he can slice the throat of a victim for 20 paces using a two-inch death star and disappear in a cloud of smoke.
Kawakami said that he believes he is the last ninja alive as there is probably no one else who has learned the skills that were passed down to him from the ninja masters through the past five centuries. He said that ninjas no longer exist.
Kawakami went on to say that he is going to let the art die with him due to the fact that ninjas do not fit into with the modern day life of today. He went on to say that they cannot try out poisons or murder, even if they could follow instructions to make that poison, they cannot try it out.
Practiced Ninjutsu When He Was 6 Years Old
Kawakami is by trade an engineer who began to practice the art of Ninjutsu when he was just six years of age and then he started to train under the Buddhist master Masazo Ishida, which was a regime that was grueling. He went on to say that he would spend a lot of hours just staring into the candle flame until he could feel that he was inside the flame.
As one part of the training he had to climb walls along with jumping down from great heights and he was taught how to mix chemicals together to create an explosion and smoke. Kawakami went on to say that he had been trained to be able to withstand extremes of heat and cold, along with learning how to go for many days without needing water or food. In order to hone his hearing, he practiced listening to a needle being dropped onto a floor made of wood in the room next to him.
Ninjas Are Revered And Feared Throughout History
A ninja is also known as a Shinobi and they are said to be feared and revered throughout history. They are known to be scouts, spies, and assassins who are known for using stealth. They typically wear dark clothing covering up everything but their eyes and this allows them to become invisible in the shadows, with the person not seeing them until it is too late and they have struck.
The word Ninjutsu is translated to mean Art of Stealth or Art of Enduring and in the past Ninjas have been known to be able to walk over long distances without having to stop, jump over seven feet and even dislocate their joints so that they are able to make an escape from small spaces.
In Hollywood films, ninjas are mostly seen as being ruthless killers but there was a lot more to them as they thought the art of espionage greater than fighting, which always came as the very last resort. A ninja is skilled in defeating their enemies using intelligence and spying and using a sword was seen to be a lower art.
The Art Of The Ninja Is Surprise
Kawakami said that the training had been painful and tough and it became a part of his life. At19 he got the masters titles and secret scrolls along with ancient tools. He said that the art of being a ninja was in the power of surprise and not in outward strength or using brute force. He said it was more about exploiting the weaknesses of enemies to get the upper hand. The ability for a ninja to be able to hide was their greatest weapon.
Kawakami is now in charge of the lga-ryu Ninja Museum just outside of Tokyo and he is also studying the history of the ninja at the Mie University. He said that he has not chosen an apprentice to pass on the legacy to and this means that he is the last in the Ban clan of ninjas.