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Hassan Graves
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Ninja Assassin: A Tribute to Sho Kosugi and His Legacy


Ninja Assassin: The Ultimate Guide




Ninja assassins are one of the most intriguing and mysterious figures in history and pop culture. They are stealthy, skilled, and deadly warriors who specialized in espionage, sabotage, and assassination. They were trained in various martial arts, weapons, and tactics to infiltrate, deceive, and eliminate their targets. They have inspired countless movies, games, books, and comics that showcase their amazing feats and adventures. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about ninja assassins, from their origins and evolution to their weapons and skills, as well as some of the best examples of ninja assassin media.


History of Ninja Assassins




The term "ninja" is derived from the Japanese word "shinobi", which means "one who sneaks" or "one who endures". The origin of ninja assassins can be traced back to the feudal era of Japan, when the country was divided into warring states and clans. During this time, some samurai warriors and peasants developed skills in espionage, guerrilla warfare, and covert operations to serve their lords or protect their lands. These agents were known as shinobi or ninja, and they were hired by various warlords to spy on enemies, gather intelligence, sabotage supplies, or assassinate rivals.




ninja assassin


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According to some sources, the first recorded use of ninja assassins was in the Genpei War (1180-1185), when Minamoto no Yoshitsune employed shinobi to scout and raid enemy positions. The most famous ninja clans were based in the regions of Iga and Koka, where they formed independent confederations that resisted the central authority of the shogun. These clans had their own schools or traditions of ninjutsu, which was the art and strategy of being a ninja. Some of these schools were Togakure-ryu, Koga-ryu, Iga-ryu, Fuma-ryu, and Gyokushin-ryu.


Ninja assassins reached their peak during the Sengoku period (1467-1568), when Japan was engulfed in civil war and chaos. They were employed by various factions to perform secret missions and influence the course of events. Some of the most notable examples of ninja operations were the assassination of Oda Nobunaga by Akechi Mitsuhide's ninja in 1582, the infiltration of Osaka Castle by Hattori Hanzo's ninja in 1585, and the failed attempt to kill Toyotomi Hideyoshi by Fuma Kotaro's ninja in 1596. However, as Japan entered a period of peace and stability under the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868), the demand for ninja assassins declined and they gradually faded into obscurity.


Weapons of Ninja Assassins




Ninja assassins were known for using a variety of weapons that suited their stealthy and versatile style. Some of these weapons were common among samurai and other warriors, while others were unique to ninja or modified for their purposes. Here are some of the most common and unique weapons used by ninja assassins:


  • Katana: The katana was a long curved sword that was the primary weapon of samurai warriors. Ninja also used katana for close combat, but they often preferred shorter versions such as wakizashi or kodachi for easier concealment and maneuverability.



  • Shuriken: The shuriken were small metal projectiles that could be thrown at enemies from a distance. They came in various shapes and sizes, such as stars, spikes, darts, or coins. They could be used to distract, injure, or kill enemies, or to cut ropes or wires.



Kusarigama: The kus Skills of Ninja Assassins




Ninja assassins were not only proficient in using various weapons, but also in mastering a range of skills and techniques that enabled them to accomplish their missions. Some of these skills and techniques were:


  • Ninjutsu: This was the art and strategy of being a ninja, which encompassed physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Ninjutsu involved training in stealth, camouflage, infiltration, escape, deception, disguise, espionage, sabotage, survival, and more. Ninjutsu also included knowledge of geography, history, politics, psychology, medicine, and other fields that could aid the ninja in their tasks.



  • Taijutsu: This was the hand-to-hand combat skill of the ninja, which involved striking, kicking, grappling, throwing, and locking techniques. Taijutsu also incorporated the use of pressure points, nerve strikes, and vital points to disable or kill opponents. Taijutsu was based on natural body movements and adaptability to different situations.



  • Shinobi-iri: This was the skill of moving silently and stealthily, avoiding detection by sight, sound, smell, or touch. Shinobi-iri involved using various methods of walking, running, jumping, climbing, crawling, swimming, and hiding to traverse different terrains and obstacles. Shinobi-iri also involved knowing how to blend in with the environment and the crowd, as well as how to create diversions and distractions.



  • Hensōjutsu: This was the skill of disguise and impersonation, which allowed the ninja to assume different identities and roles to infiltrate enemy territory or gather information. Hensōjutsu involved using various tools and materials to alter one's appearance, voice, mannerisms, and behavior. Hensōjutsu also involved studying the customs and habits of different social groups and professions to convincingly portray them.



  • Kaishaku: This was the skill of mercy killing or assisted suicide, which was performed by the ninja on their allies or themselves to prevent capture or torture by the enemy. Kaishaku involved using a sword or a knife to swiftly cut the throat or stab the heart of the victim. Kaishaku was considered an honorable act that demonstrated loyalty and courage.



Movies Featuring Ninja Assassins




Ninja assassins have been a popular subject of movies for decades, especially in the genres of action, thriller, and martial arts. Some of the best movies that feature ninja assassins and their action scenes are:


  • Ninja Assassin (2009): This is a neo-noir martial arts film directed by James McTeigue and produced by The Wachowskis. The film stars South Korean pop musician Rain as a disillusioned assassin looking for retribution against his former mentor, played by ninja film legend Sho Kosugi. The film showcases spectacular fight scenes with swords, shuriken, chains, and blood.



  • Enter the Ninja (1981): This is an action film directed by Menahem Golan and starring Franco Nero as a Westerner who becomes a ninja master after training in Japan. The film follows his adventures as he battles against a corrupt businessman and his army of hired ninjas in the Philippines. The film is considered one of the first to introduce ninjas to Western audiences.



  • Azumi (2003): This is a historical action film directed by Ryuhei Kitamura and based on a manga series by Yu Koyama. The film stars Aya Ueto as a young female assassin who is trained along with nine other orphans by a master samurai to kill warlords who threaten the peace of feudal Japan. The film features stunning choreography and cinematography with swords, spears, guns, and explosives.



  • Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (2005): This is a romantic action film directed by Ten Shimoyama and based on a novel by Futaro Yamada. The film stars Joe Odagiri and Yukie Nakama as star-crossed lovers who belong to rival ninja clans that are manipulated into fighting each other by the shogun's scheme. The film depicts various ninja abilities and techniques with CGI effects and wire work.



The Last Samurai (2003): This is an epic historical drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Tom Cruise as an American military advisor who joins a group of samurai rebels against the modernization of Japan in the late 19th Skills of Ninja Assassins




Ninja assassins were not only proficient in using various weapons, but also in mastering a range of skills and techniques that enabled them to accomplish their missions. Some of these skills and techniques were:


  • Ninjutsu: This was the art and strategy of being a ninja, which encompassed physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Ninjutsu involved training in stealth, camouflage, infiltration, escape, deception, disguise, espionage, sabotage, survival, and more. Ninjutsu also included knowledge of geography, history, politics, psychology, medicine, and other fields that could aid the ninja in their tasks.



  • Taijutsu: This was the hand-to-hand combat skill of the ninja, which involved striking, kicking, grappling, throwing, and locking techniques. Taijutsu also incorporated the use of pressure points, nerve strikes, and vital points to disable or kill opponents. Taijutsu was based on natural body movements and adaptability to different situations.



  • Shinobi-iri: This was the skill of moving silently and stealthily, avoiding detection by sight, sound, smell, or touch. Shinobi-iri involved using various methods of walking, running, jumping, climbing, crawling, swimming, and hiding to traverse different terrains and obstacles. Shinobi-iri also involved knowing how to blend in with the environment and the crowd, as well as how to create diversions and distractions.



Hensōjutsu: This was the skill of disguise and impersonation, which allowed the ninja to assume different identities and roles to infiltrate enemy territory or gather information. Hensōjutsu involved using various tools and materials to alter one's appearance, voice, mannerisms, and behavior. Hensōjutsu also involved studying the customs and habits of different social groups and professions to convincingly portray the


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