Commonly referred to as ninja magic, kuji-in was thought to be the source of a ninja’s powers of spiritual and mental strength. Kuji-in translate to mean Nine Syllable Seals, and are nine different seals performed by ninja in the form of hand signs.
While there are 81 seals in total, 9 make up the core.
These seals represent nine different levels of powers. They are:
- Rin – Mental and physical strength
- Hyo/Pyo – Channeling of energy
- To – Harmony
- Sha – Healing
- Kai – Sensing danger
- Jin – Reading thoughts
- Retsu – Mastering space and time
- Zai -Controling the elements of nature
- Zen – Enlightenment
These Kuji-in hand signs are techniques used by ninja to focus the mind, will and energy towards a specific intention. When activated, the ninja may gain momentary mystical powers that aid in the ninja’s survival.
Kuji-in seals are used, also to develop a ninja’s intuitive abilities. For example, the Kai seal activates the ninja’s sense of danger and the Hyo seal could help the ninja in stealth by directing energy around him.
Though unlikely that Kuji-in works in mystical ways, the symbolism and handsigns will no doubt help the ninja gain confidence against a greater enemy. One should know that old ninja tradition was marked by strong esoteric Buddhist beliefs. From these beliefs, came the Kuji-in.
Note also that Kuji-in was not exclusive to ninjutsu. The seals featured here are often used for meditation, enlightenment, strength and agility training, and training in martial arts.