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James Moore
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Ninja Revenge: The Ultimate Guide to Slaying Your Enemies

Ninja Revenge: The History, Weapons, and Games of the Shinobi Warriors

Ninja are one of the most iconic and mysterious figures in Japanese culture. They are often portrayed as stealthy assassins in black robes with magical abilities in the arts of concealment and murder. But who were the real ninja, and what did they do? How did they become so popular and influential in media and entertainment? In this article, we will explore the history, weapons, and games of the shinobi warriors, and discover why they are still so fascinating today.

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What is a ninja?

A ninja (忍者) or shinobi (忍び) was a covert agent, mercenary, or guerrilla warfare expert in feudal Japan. The functions of a ninja included siege and infiltration, ambush, reconnaissance, espionage, deception, and later bodyguarding and their fighting skills in martial arts, especially what later became known as ninjutsu or 'the art of the ninja'. Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed dishonorable and beneath the honor of the samurai. Though shinobi proper, as specially trained warriors, spies, and mercenaries, appeared in the 15th century during the Sengoku period (a time of civil war), antecedents may have existed as early as the 12th century.

The origin and evolution of the ninja in feudal Japan

It is difficult to pin down the emergence of the first ninja, more properly called shinobiafter all, people around the world have always used spies and assassins. Japanese folklore states that the ninja descended from a demon that was half man and half crow. However, it seems more likely that the ninja slowly evolved as an opposing force to their upper-class contemporaries, the samurai, in early feudal Japan.

Most sources indicate that the skills that became ninjutsu, the ninja's art of stealth, began to develop between 600 to 900. Prince Shotoku (574-622), who is credited with introducing Buddhism to Japan, is said to have employed Otomono Sahito as a shinobi spy. By the year 907, the Tang Dynasty in China had fallen, plunging the country into 50 years of chaos and forcing Tang generals to escape over the sea to Japan where they brought new battle tactics and philosophies of war. Chinese monks also began to arrive in Japan in the 1020s, bringing new medicines and fighting philosophies of their own, with many of the ideas originating in India and making their way across Tibet and China before turning up in Japan. The monks taught their methods to Japan's warrior-monks (yamabushi), as well as to members of the first ninja clans.

independent and specialized in the arts of stealth and unconventional warfare. They were hired as spies, raiders, assassins, or even terrorists by various daimyo (warlords) who were fighting for control of Japan. Some of the most famous ninja clans were the Hattori, the Momochi, and the Fujibayashi. They developed a reputation for being able to accomplish any mission, no matter how impossible or dangerous.

The skills and techniques of the ninja: ninjutsu and other arts

Ninjutsu (忍術) is the collective term for the skills and techniques of the ninja. It encompasses various aspects of warfare, such as espionage, infiltration, sabotage, assassination, disguise, deception, escape, survival, and combat. Ninjutsu is not a single martial art, but rather a combination of various arts and disciplines that were adapted and refined by the ninja according to their needs and situations. Some of the arts that influenced ninjutsu are taijutsu (unarmed combat), kenjutsu (swordsmanship), bojutsu (staff fighting), shurikenjutsu (throwing weapons), kusarigamajutsu (chain and sickle fighting), sojutsu (spear fighting), naginatajutsu (halberd fighting), kyujutsu (archery), kayaku-jutsu (fire and explosives), chikyu-jutsu (geography), tenmon-jutsu (meteorology), henso-jutsu (disguise and impersonation), shinobi-iri (stealth and infiltration), inton-jutsu (escape and concealment), boryaku (military strategy), choiho (psychological warfare), seishin-teki kyoyo (spiritual refinement), and others.

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The roles and missions of the ninja: espionage, assassination, sabotage, and more

The ninja were employed for various roles and missions that required stealth, cunning, and skill. Some of the most common ones were:

  • Espionage: The ninja were experts in gathering information about the enemy's plans, movements, strengths, weaknesses, secrets, and allies. They used various methods of spying, such as disguising themselves as monks, merchants, entertainers, or peasants; infiltrating enemy castles or camps; intercepting or forging messages; eavesdropping or bribing informants; using animals or insects as messengers or surveillance devices; and using codes or ciphers to communicate.

  • Assassination: The ninja were also hired to kill specific targets, such as enemy generals, lords, or rivals. They used various methods of assassination, such as poisoning food or drink; using hidden weapons such as needles or daggers; setting traps or ambushes; sniping from a distance; striking at night or in disguise; or using explosives or fire.

  • Sabotage: The ninja were also skilled in disrupting or destroying enemy resources, facilities, or morale. They used various methods of sabotage, such as burning crops or buildings; cutting supply lines or communication lines; spreading rumors or propaganda; releasing animals or insects to cause panic or disease; causing floods or landslides; or planting bombs or mines.

  • Other missions: The ninja were also involved in other missions that required their versatility and adaptability. Some examples are: scouting or reconnoitering enemy territory; escorting or rescuing allies; delivering messages or goods; creating diversions or distractions; performing rituals or ceremonies; acting as bodyguards or decoys; training or advising allies; or serving as spies in their own ranks.

What are the weapons of a ninja?

The ninja were known for using a variety of weapons, both conventional and unconventional, to suit their needs and situations. Some of the weapons were specially designed or modified by the ninja, while others were borrowed or improvised from common tools or objects. Some of the weapons were used for combat, while others were used for utility or diversion. Here are some of the most famous weapons of a ninja:

The sword: the ninjato and other blades

The sword was the primary weapon of a ninja, as well as a symbol of their status and skill. The most common type of sword used by the ninja was the ninjato (忍刀), also known as shinobigatana (忍び刀) or ninjaken (忍者剣). The ninjato was a short, straight, single-edged blade with a square guard and a long handle. It was often concealed in a scabbard that was longer than the blade, creating the illusion of a longer sword. The scabbard could also be used to store other items, such as documents, tools, or weapons. The ninjato was designed for quick and precise strikes, as well as for stabbing and slashing. It could also be used to deflect or parry attacks, or to hook or trip opponents.

Other types of swords used by the ninja included the katana (刀), a long, curved, single-edged blade with a circular guard and a two-handed grip; the wakizashi (脇差), a shorter version of the katana with a one-handed grip; the tanto (短刀), a dagger-like blade with a pointed tip; and the kama (鎌), a sickle-like blade with a wooden handle. The ninja could use these swords for various purposes, such as cutting, thrusting, slashing, throwing, or hooking. They could also combine them with other weapons, such as chains or shuriken, to create more versatile and deadly combinations.

The shuriken: throwing stars, spikes, and darts

The shuriken (手裏剣) or throwing star was one of the most iconic and popular weapons of a ninja. It was a small, flat, metal projectile with sharp edges or points that could be thrown at high speed and accuracy. The shuriken came in various shapes and sizes, such as circular, triangular, square, hexagonal, or octagonal. Some shuriken had four to six points, while others had more than ten points. Some shuriken were solid, while others had holes or slots to reduce weight and increase aerodynamics. Some shuriken were smooth, while others had serrated or barbed edges to inflict more damage or prevent removal.

or weapons. The shuriken was often used in conjunction with other we


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