Japanese Man Becomes First In The World To Get Masters Degree In Ninja Studies
People have been fascinated with ninjas for centuries. Their stealth, their power, their deadliness has attracted people all over the world to study their history.
But for loads of people, that study usually consists of a Wikipedia search or maybe a few blockbuster movies.
Well, one man has taken it further than most people in the world by becoming the first person ever to get a Masters degrees in ninja studies.
Genichi Mitsuhashi has diligently worked for the past two years at Japan's Mie University to get the honour.
"It has been a fulfilling two years because I lived in a mountainous farming village in Iga to study ninja and pursued my research in my own way," Mitsuhashi said.
The university is located in Iga, around 350 km (220 miles) southwest of Tokyo, which is largely considered the home of the ninja. Three years ago, Mie University established the International Ninja Research Center, which was the first in the world that was dedicated to the ninja studies.
As part of his studies, he had to learn basic martial arts, traditional fighting and survival skills as well as how to stealthily climb mountains. Um, sign us up please. In addition to those sick skills, Genichi had to learn about ninja history, their rules and ways of life when they weren't sabotaging or assassinating.
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He started his own small farm and is nearly completely self-sufficient from the vegetables that he grows, according to Asahi.
Yuji Yamada, a professor of Japanese history at the university in charge of the ninja center, told the Japan Times that he was surprised at the 45-year-old's hard work during his studies.
"Mitsuhashi is a real role model for graduate students who study ninja," Professor Yamada said. "We provide historical classes and courses on ninja skills. But I didn't expect him to engage to this extent.
"About three students enrol every year. I think there's demand. We get many inquiries from overseas but I have to say one thing: This is a course to learn about the ninja, not to become one."
Genichi wrote his master's thesis on how the ninja played a large role in managing mountain forests in the Iga region during the Edo Period (1603-1867).
He hopes to use his new knowledge on controlling and working with the land around him.
"I want to play a role in connecting local residents with tourists and other visitors. I hope I can help revitalise the region and its ninja-related sites by having minpaku users join local festivals and offering other measures," Mitsuhashi said.
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