Samurai and Ninja: The Real Story Behind the Japanese Warrior Myth that Shatters the Bushido Mystique

Tuttle Publishing
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The myths of the noble Samurai and the sinister Ninja are filled with romantic fantasy and fallacy.

Samurai and Ninja expert Antony Cummins shatters the myths and exposes the true nature of these very real—and very lethal—medieval Japanese warriors. The Samurai and Ninja were, in fact, brutal killing machines trained in torture and soaked in machismo. Many were skilled horsemen and sword-fighting specialists, while others were masters of deception and sabotage. Some fought for loyalty, others for personal gain. What these warriors all shared in common was their unflinching personal bravery, skill and brutality.

In Samurai and Ninja, Cummins separates myth from reality and shows why the Japanese were the greatest warriors of all time:
  • He describes the Samurai and the Ninja as they really were in earlier times when battles raged across Japan—not in later times when war became obsolete and Japanese warriors became philosophers, scholars and courtiers.
  • He describes the social context of the day and the feudal world into which the warriors were trained to fight and die for their lords.
  • He exposes the essentially brutal nature of warfare in medieval Japan.
This book is illuminated by many rare Japanese manuscripts and texts which are translated into English for the very first time.
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About the author

Antony Cummins is a world-renowned Ninja historian. His background as an archaeologist gives him unique insight into the mysterious world of the historical Ninja and Samurai. Cummins' works include translations of the most authentic Ninja documents available to modern researchers and readers. He is the author of several books on Ninja and Japanese warfare, including: True Path of the Ninja, The Book of Ninja, Iga and Koka Ninja Skills, The Secret Traditions of the Shinobi, In Search of the Ninja, Samurai War Stories and The Book of Samurai.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Tuttle Publishing
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Published on
Aug 9, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781462915064
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / Japan
History / Military / Strategy
Philosophy / Eastern
Sports & Recreation / Martial Arts & Self-Defense
Sports & Recreation / Training
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The ninja is a well-known phenomenon in Japanese military culture, a fighter who is widely regarded as the world’s greatest exponent of secret warfare. He infiltrates castles, gathers vital intelligence and wields a deadly knife in the dark. His easily recognizable image is that of a secret agent or assassin who dresses all in black, possesses almost magical martial powers, and is capable of extraordinary feats of daring. He sells his skills on a mercenary basis and when in action his unique abilities include confusing his enemies by making mystical hand gestures or by sending sharp iron stars spinning towards them.

That is the popular view, but it is much exaggerated, as this exciting new book explains. Ninja: Unmasking the Myth is a revealing, fascinating and authoritative study of Japan’s famous secret warriors. Unlike all previous books on the subject the author, who is an expert in the subject, does not take the ninja for granted. Instead he examines the entire phenomenon in a critical manner, ranging from accounts of undercover operations during the age of Japan’s civil wars to the modern emergence of the superman ninja as a comic book character. The popular ninja image is shown to be the result of several influences that were combined to create the world’s greatest secret warrior.

Many well-known features of the ninja tradition such as the black clothes and the iron stars are shown to be complete inventions. One important feature of the book is the use of original Japanese sources, many of which have never been translated before. As well as unknown accounts of castle attacks, assassinations and espionage they include the last great ninja manual, which reveals the spiritual and religious ideals that were believed to lie behind the ninja’s arts. The book concludes with a detailed investigation of the ninja in popular culture up to the present day including movies, cartoons and theme parks.
True Path of the Ninja is the first authoritative translation in English of the Shoninki—the famous 17th-century ninjutsu manual.

Authors Antony Cummins and Yoshie Minami worked closely with Dr. Nakashima Atsumi, author of the most comprehensive modern Japanese version of the Shoninki, thus making this English translation the closest to the original scrolls. The information and insights found in this translation are invaluable for understanding the skills, techniques and mentality of the historical shinobi. Whether it involved tips for surviving in the wild, advice on intelligence-gathering techniques, or methods for creating chaos in the enemy camp, this ninja book unveils secrets long lost. Along with its practical applications, this book is an important guide to the mental discipline that ninjas must have to ensure success in accomplishing their mission.

True Path of the Ninja covers the following topics:What a ninja is and what equipment he needs The skills of infiltration and information gatheringHow to disrupt and distract the enemyHow to be mentally prepared to carry out ninja missionsIn addition to the translation of the Shoninki, this book also includes the first written record of the oral tradition "Defense Against a Ninja" taught by Otake Risuke, the revered sensei of the legendary Katori Shinto Ryu school of swordsmanship. Sensei reveals for the first time these ancient and traditional teachings on how the samurai can protect himself from the cunning wiles of a ninja.

About this new edition:
This second edition contains a new introduction by the translator and has been thoroughly updated to reflect developments that shed new light on the original Japanese text.
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