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とがくれ Family Jin, Tenchijin, Kamakiri, Kinjo, nobody4422, Shinzui, Utsuse



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  #1  
Old 07-06-2006, 04:48 PM
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Default The Historical Ninja's physical image

Something I have been thinking about a lot lately after trying a google image search for historical Ninja clothing.

I posted this here in the Togakure Ryu forum because I know there's a lot of smart people in here that know the historical Ninja did not look like the Hollywood Ninja or the Anime Ninja

I am finding it really hard to find any kind of pictures of CORRECT ninja clothing.

Do you think maybe the reason it is so hard is because what they wore was merely camouflage made from what they had available to them at the time. I think this is the most logical answer.

Also the whole Hollywood Ninja icon is a huge obstacle when searching for the truth about the Ninja. I can laugh at the Ninja parody's like the next guy but it gets a bit tiresome when you google Ninja and get 5/10 pictures of myspace kids wearing black T-SHIRTS on their noses.

In the book by Dr M. Hatsumi "Ninjutsu History and Tradition" there are some examples of Ninja garb, but the photos are black and white

So my request/challenge goes out to all you Ninja Historians
post links here of what you deem to be historically correct Ninja clothing
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Last edited by Kinjo; 07-07-2006 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

I'm not in Tokagure, but I kno a bit about this.



Ninjas often disguised themselves as Fuke Zen monks, and used the Shakuhachi Flute as a weapon.

Also, The black suit costume came from the Noh Theater. They didn't really have a common kind of clothing.
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Last edited by Senshi; 07-06-2006 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

Ninjas wore the same clothing as anyone else. Invisibility refers to the ability to blend into where you are, and not look out of place and noticable. Many ninja posed as a person with a real proffesion, name and even a wife. That one episode of Samurai Champloo depicts them pretty well.

On covert missions however, which I think you're refering to, they never wore black. Nothing in nature is black, and black at night looks like a hole. The colour of the ninja were Maroon, Grey, Brown, and Navy, depending on where they would be. They wore outfits that shrouded their figure, so their sillouette would not look like a person. The picture in Hatsumi's book is good, imagine it in one of those colours and there you have it.
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Old 07-08-2006, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

wikipedia can be your friend...
Ninja suit

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that the ninjas dressed in all black suits. Since ninja are cunning, silent assassins, this lack of evidence is not surprising. The classic black ninja outfit (shinobi shokuzu) is said to have come from the Noh theater. Prop handlers would dress in black and move props around. The audience would obviously see the prop handlers but would pretend they were invisible. Another idea supporting the absence of a ninja outfit and any specific weaponry is that, if caught or seen, they would have been identified as enemies. This would only result in capture, torture, and probably a very slow and painful execution. Thus, these spies and assassins were far more likely to be disguised as samurai, priests, or peasants or when situation dictates, dark green, blue or dark red outfit which offers better camouflage to its surroundings.

Disguises were selected on the basis of their unobtrusiveness in a given environment. Some ninjas were said to have disguised themselves as Fuke monks and used the traditional flute of the zen sect, the Shakuhachi, as a powerful blunt weapon. Many government agents and ninja disguised themselves as komusō, since one could travel about in complete anonymity and gather information. There were even short pieces that were supposed to be played by one komusō greeting another. These suizen melodies tended to be very difficult to outsiders of the sect. If the second komusō did not respond, the first would know that the other was probably a spy. One known tool used by ninja is irogome (literally, "colored rice"). Irogome was uncooked rice seeds colored in five or six different colors: red, black, white, yellow, blue, and sometimes brown. They would be placed on the ground or handed to a ninja from a ninja. Each combination carried certain meanings like "all clear" or "an enemy check point is ahead"


so ya, pretty much what they said above ^^;
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Old 07-08-2006, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

That's Very good... good job guys.
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Old 09-09-2006, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

Was jsut browsing through.

Prehaps one of the easiest and most useful disguises used by Ninja when travelling was that of a country samurai of an obscure clan far away. It allowed them to travel with weapons, as well as interact with the samurai class, ninja being not overly concerned with peasants with thier work. Appearing as travelling samurai from the country backwoods also gave them access to houses and castles, a prospect difficult in a peasent or even priestly disguise, and essential for information gathering.
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Old 10-11-2006, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

hm..good analysis i'm suprised no one responed yet.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

Here's a note on fishnets, since Ninja are often depicted wearing them.

The Dutch and surrounding cultures began wearing fishnets rather soon after trade restrictions from Japan were lifted.
Also, anyone who has worn them will know that ironically, they are quite warm for having so little mass. I'd imagine most fishermen and such working-class people would wear them, too.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

The traditional Hollywood ninja is depicted wearing only jika-tabi (boot socks) however I believe that these would be too thin to wear alone in a combat environment so it is more likely that actual ninja wore something like a jika-tabi waraji combination so as to improve protection but keep a considerable measure of stealth.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: The Historical Ninja's physical image

Well Gheari, jika-tabi don't have to be socks... And even if you just have socks, they could still be reinforced with tougher materials.

As already mentioned in this thread... If there was a real outfit or uniform for ninja, they could have easily been identified as one and well, that's exactly the opposite of what should be archieved with it... Ninjutsu relies on looking as ordinary as possible, as weak as possible, maybe even as idiotic as possible. You have to be creative and clear-thinking, as ninjutsu is not teaching you what to do in a certain situation but rather training your body and mind to just act right in each situation, you have to get a feel for these things. The principle is: Biggest possible effect with least possible power. To get on the topic: Ninjutsu is formless. So are ninja, so if ninja found out about very handy clothes they surely would've wanted them to be spread all around the population. The most important thing is that you always keep your disguise as a ninja.

I don't think books by Dr. Hatsumi can teach you that much about the clothes of "real" ninja, but I think he is one of, if not the most reliable source(s) for finding out about strategies ninja used. It should be quite easy to actually get to see some ninja survival tactics as this year's topic is togakure ryu. But I feel like I got off-topic again
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