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There Is Only One Ninja Left In Japan As 'They No Longer Properly Exist'

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There Is Only One Ninja Left In Japan As 'They No Longer Properly Exist'

Bad news for any martial arts fans, a man has claimed to be the last ninja left in Japan as they 'no longer properly exist'.

Jinichi Kawakami is the 21st head of the Ban clan, a dynasty of secret spies that can trace its history back over 500 years, the Daily Mail has reported.

Kawakami began practicing the ninja-art Ninjitsu - a martial art and ancient oriental philosophy that advocates surprise is the best strategy of attack - at just six years old.

Trained under the Buddhist master Masazo Ishida, he is able to climb walls, jump from great heights, disappear in a cloud of smoke and can cut a victim's throat from 20 paces with a two-inch death star.

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As part of his gruelling martial arts apprenticeship Kawakami was required to stare into the flame of a candle to improve his concentration and listen to a pin being dropped in the next room to improve his hearing.

"The training was all tough and painful. It wasn't fun but I didn't think much why I was doing it. Training was made to be part of my life,' he said.

"I think I'm called (the last ninja) as there is probably no other person who learned all the skills that were directly handed down from ninja masters over the last five centuries.

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Back in 2012, Kawakami decided he would not appoint anyone to follow in his footsteps as the next ninja grandmaster.

He told the BBC: "In the age of civil wars or during the Edo period, ninjas' abilities to spy and kill, or mix medicine may have been useful. But we now have guns, the internet and much better medicines, so the art of ninjutsu has no place in the modern age."

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Although an engineer by trade, Kawakami now works for a Japan's Mie University. Next month it will open the world's first research centre devoted to ninja next month.

The practice is believed to have started as early as the 12th century and they were mainly used for espionage, sabotage, assassination and guerrilla warfare. But because their methods were covert, the profession was eventually deemed dishonourable.

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They became much more popular between the 15th to 17th centuries and were essentially used as hitmen.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube

Topics: Ninja, Japan

James Dawson

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