Published on : Thursday, February 23, 2017
The ninja spies famous in Japan are making a very public comeback. Japan is tapping on its rich tradition in a tourism push before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Ninja Nippon Project was launched on Wednesday (Feb 22), a date that is known popularly in Japan as Ninja Day. This project will have new initiatives like a ninja academy, ninja museum and tours to areas steeped in ninja history.
These sites include Ueda in Nagano prefecture, Koka in Shiga prefecture, Ureshino in Saga prefecture, Odawara in Kanagawa prefecture and Iga in Mie prefecture. This project is under the Japan Ninja Council (JNC), and is led by 11 prefectural governors. It has the support of the Japan National Tourism Organization. To quote the council’s vice-charirman Hiroshi Mizohata, “The ninja embodied the traditional Japanese spirit, culture and sense of values such as peace, loyalty, technique, intelligence, diligence and endurance. This is known not only in Japan, but has spread all around the world through anime and films.”
A ninja museum in Tokyo is also in the pipeline. There will also be “circular tours” and “stay tours.” A ninja academy will also be launched under the watchful eye of Mr Jinichi Kawakami, who is widely known as Japan’s “last ninja” and the only heir to the Ninjutsu School of martial arts techniques used for espionage. The academy aims to raise “ninja ambassadors” who can spread ninja culture around the world.