When we talk about ninjas, we immediately think about those speedy and swift moving guys wearing all-black outfit complete with swords and throwing stars.
But did you know that those ninjas are not even close to what the real ninjas look like?
The ninjas we know today are just a product of Hollywood movies and films.
Those ninjas wearing all-black outfit with face mask are for entertainment purposes only.
According to the book written by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt (Ninja Attack!: True Tales of Assassins, Samurai, and Outlaws):
“A 15th century ninja would laugh out loud at the sight of a dude in black pajamas running around a modern city,” says Alt.
“The whole point of a ninja was to blend in.”
And because their main goal is to blend in, ninjas of those times are often dressed as farmers so they could blend in with common people while collecting information and scouting enemies.
Matt Alt also said:
“Imagine that the year is 1600. Two of your enemies are fighting a battle, so you send a couple of guys dressed as farmers to the area to watch the battle and report back to about what’s happening. That’s ninja work.”
And since many ninjas are dressed as farmers, their main weapon of choice during those times was the “kusari-gama”, a sickle with a chain attached. This kind of weapon can be easily dissembled to become some kind of farmer’s tools that helps them blend in with the common people. Yes, throwing stars do exist at those times but it wasn’t really clear if ninjas used them to slash or to kill enemies. There’s no historical record of throwing stars being used by ninjas to complete their mission during those years.
Hollywood films and movies also portray ninjas with amazing swords. The truth is, real ninja doesn’t or rarely use those kinds of swords.
During those years, swords are samurai birthright so ninjas can’t have it. The blades that ninjas use were made in local villages so it doesn’t come close to those designs of swords used by samurais.
Also, not all ninjas carry weapons to kill as they had different missions and duties to fulfill.
And contrary to movies and films where ninjas only use knives, swords and martial arts skills, ninjas do love using modern and cutting edge weapons of their day.
They experiment a lot with explosives, diversion techniques and even flintlock rifles. They love using weapons and tactics that would give them the edge over their enemies. In his book, Matt Alt said:
“Believe me, a 16th century ninja would have been overjoyed with a pair of night-vision goggles or a modern assault rifle or a stealth drone. They just didn’t exist back then, so the ninja had to make do with what they had.”
Back to the black ninja outfits that we know today, they were just mere products of fiction and fantasy.
Now we know that real ninjas never wore black, they blend in just like what CIA and other spies does in the modern day.