August 24, 2011 in Clover
Ninja were mercenaries hired by feudal lords in ancient times to act as spies, raiders and arsonists. Their primary roles were those of espionage and sabotage, although occasionally they were also hired as assassins.
Before an impending battle, ninja could infiltrate an enemy’s castle, sometimes under disguise, to gather information on enemy terrain and building plans, as well as to obtain passwords and other details which would aid in the planning of attacks.
The threat posed by the ninja was so feared that a variety of countermeasures were specifically devised to be used against them. For example, weapons were concealed in lavatories or under removable floorboards, while traps and trip wires attached to alarm bells were constructed as security measures. Supposedly, to help in detecting ninja, the floors in buildings of interest were also specially designed to squeak loudly when walked over.
The skills of the ninja, known as ninjutsu, centered around espionage and survival skills. The ninja tradition was passed down through family ties, with training starting from childhood. Apart from physical and martial arts training, the ninja also had to be equipped with knowledge about poisons, explosives and sometimes even medicine. They also had to study about various professions in order to take their guise for the purposes of infiltration and escape.
The ninja’s covert and secretive methods of combat were in stark contrast to the samurai’s strict rules about honour and dueling openly, but their mysterious nature only served to capture the imaginations of many, even to the present day.