Explore the history, culture and folklore of Japan, where ninja and samurai warriors exist.

Sarutobi Sasuke & the Original Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course

February 20, 2017 Valerie L. Taylor

Ninja Warrior and Sarutobi Sasuke. The first one's a popular obstacle course competition, while the latter is an insanely famous Japanese folklore character. What do they have in common? Ninja Warrior is Sasuke. What!? Known as SASUKE in Japan, the famous televised obstacle course was renamed Ninja Warrior in English-speaking countries. With its rising popularity, many…

Tengu Folklore Retold by an American (who visited Japan in 1870)

December 22, 2016 William Elliot Griffis

According to folklore, the ninja were the descendants of tengu - legendary beings with long noses and hawk-like heads. These beings lived in the mountains of Japan and possessed supernatural powers. More likely than not, Shugendo yamabushi (mountain monks) - rumoured to possess extraordinary martial art skills, meditative wisdom and medicinal knowledge - inspired the Japanese version of the tengu folklore. Yet,…

Bruce Lee Quiz – What do you know about his private letters?

November 5, 2016 Logen Lanka

How intimately do you know Bruce Lee? Try this 20-question Bruce Lee quiz to find out. This trivia quiz will reveal the correct answer immediately after you answer - together with some strange facts, old photos, videos and GIFs of Bruce Lee. Find out how you'd fare in this trivia quiz right now...   Remember to share your results! Quiz based…

Jiraiya Folklore retold by an American (who visited Japan in 1870)

September 16, 2016 William Elliot Griffis

Editor's note: This version of Jiraiya folklore was written by William Elliot Griffis. During Japan's modernisation, he was invited to Japan to reform the education system (nearly 150 years ago). Learn more about him at the end. Tale of The Gallant Jiraiya (by William Elliot Griffis) Ogata was the name of a castle-lord who lived in the Island…

The Tale of The Gallant Jiraiya (Original Folklore) – from Edo Period

September 2, 2016 Logen Lanka

Most people know Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru from the Naruto series. But did you know that these characters were originally from "Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari" a 200 year old folklore? Here are the origins, story, character profile and early movies of Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru. Origins of Jiraiya, Tsunade & Orochimaru Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (児雷也豪傑物語; "The Heroic Tales of Jiraiya"…

Musashi Clan Ninja Experience in Japan – Edo Period Onmitsu

August 28, 2016 Valerie L. Taylor

When you look for it, Japan seems rife with “ninja experience” programs and attractions that merely belabour what it truly meant to be a ninja during the country’s warring eras. Those who have researched ninja and ninpo know that ninja are not the mystical beings media and the entertainment industry has made them out to…

Finding Hattori Hanzo’s Grave in Tokyo – Iga Ninja Legend

July 9, 2016 Valerie L. Taylor

Most people will know this name when you ask them about real life ninja. A name immortalized by history books, video games and movies. No doubt, you have heard of Hattori Hanzo (服部半蔵), master of the Iga ninja clan, at least once. However, much like the ninja legends, the name Hattori Hanzo is an inscrutable cloud…

52 Japanese Martial Arts Related to the Historical Ninja

July 7, 2016 Logen Lanka

Do you know which martial art today is related to the historical ninja? Find out what are the 52 martial arts in this article! We begin by explaining the conditions and deductions to qualify martial arts into this list. Then we sort martial arts into groups: martial arts with verified lineages and modern derivatives. Use the table of…

Ninja Exhibition backed by University Research and Science – Tokyo

May 30, 2016 Logen Lanka

Want to discover and experience the truth about the ninja, backed by actual academic research and science? Head down to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo, Japan for the special exhibition: “The NINJA - who were they?”. What can you expect from Miraikan's Ninja Exhibit? For a limited time, between 2 July…

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