Friday, 13 November 2015

Introduction: Ninja and Ninjutsu

Kanji for Shinobi
Path of Endurance
  '忍者' is the Kanji used for 'Ninja' or 'Shinobi'. 'Ninja' is an Onyomi reading of this Kanji while 'Shinobi-mono' is its Kunyomi reading and is the more appropriate one. Although most people think that 'Ninja' is a newer term than 'Shinobi' and that it is something that people from the 20th century have came up with, it is only true to some extent. The truth is that Ninja is an older term; the first word used was simply 'Kan' (chinese: observer /spy). It transformed through many words such as 'Kansai' to 'Kanja' to finally become 'Ninja' upon its introduction to Japan. Though as the art developed in Japan, the term 'Shinobi' came to be used in common; 'Ninja' too was used but not in common. It again became commonly known as 'Ninja' in 20th century, used by Seiko Fujita who introduced most of the dying art to 20th century. This was easy for the Newer Outer World to adapt with and thus now you see 'Shinobi' rarely used.

   If you ask me how do I feel about the term '忍', I will say 'very wisely chosen by a person of High Enlightenment'. The ideogram '' (Nin or Shinobi: 'to Hide' or 'persevere') consists of '' (yaiba: blade) and '' (kokoro: heart) and thus form several meanings: