Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Historical Ninja vs. Fantasy Ninja

Many events and stories surrounding the samurai in Japanese history are as much myth as they are reality such as the story of the 47 Ronin. The ninja are no different.

I recently came across a short but concise article describing the difference between the real ninja of Japanese history and the more well known fantasy ninja. The article on Suite101 was written by Carmen Sterba, a periodic and knowledgeable participant on the Samurai Archives Japanese history forums. I love brief yet informative articles such as Carmen's that get right to the point and teach people about the various myths of the samurai and ninja from medieval Japan.


  1. Never trust popular fiction, that's always a good start!

  2. @Sandra
    Well said.

    The media has seriously warped my perception of history.

  3. I want to go to Edo wonderland in Nikko.
    I heard that there were many real Ninja.


  4. Yes, very good point Sandra. Popular fiction is rarely accurate, even when it tries to be.

    I agree Contamination, I learned my lesson not to trust them either.

    Cocomino, I want to go there too. I have never been. :)

  5. Thanks, glad you did.

    I'd be interested to hear how.

  6. Contamination, I participate on the Samurai Archives history forum for over 2 years where I learned that even historical dramas such as the Taiga dramas on NHK are full of minor and even major errors in historical fact. I of course knew that dramas will embellish and distort to a certain degree but was surprised that certain historical events shown on the Taiga's can be so wrong. One example from the Taiga Tenchijin, the drama had the Uesugi fighting in Korea for Hideyoshi. However, the Uesugi never actually fought in Korea in Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea. May seem minor but to me that is a major distortion of historical fact.