Books Reviews

Ninja Book Review

By Angela Youngman Oct 29, 2012, 22:00 GMT

Ninja  Book Review

The Ninjas today are the stuff of myth and legend in comics, film and electronic games. But once they were real, the medieval equivalent of the SAS: spies, saboteurs, assassins. In their secrecy, undercover skills and determination to survive, they were the opposite of the overt, self-destructive samurai. Could they fly? Make themselves invisible? Of course not.It was just that their skills gave them a magical aura. As a result, ...more

Everyone has their own image of a Ninja. Electronic games, films and TV have created a vast range of Ninja style characters. But who were the Ninjas? Intrigued, John Man set out to investigate and found they were the medieval equivalent of the SAS - spies, saboteurs, assassins as well as being supreme soldiers.

Their skills were such that they could hide and never be found - witness the tale of the Ninja warriors who lived in secrecy for years on an island after the Second World War gripped by their own version of reality. This book traces the history of the Ninjas and includes interviews with the last of the Ninjas. Onoda lived alone on an island for 30 years and even when photographs and appeals from his family were dropped from planes for him to find - he still remained unconvinced. It makes intriguing reading.

Archeologists are now excavating some of the many Ninja forts in a bid to find out more about the historical background.  Was James Bond a Western style ninja - the ultimate survivor despite being a secret agent and constantly faced with threats to his life?  Informative, and certainly gives food for thought.

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