Fancy yourself as the next ninja warrior? Well now there’s officially a school you can attend to hone your ninja studies.
Mie University is the first university to offer the unique course, and is located in Iga, Japan, one of the regions in the country where ninja training first rose to prominence.
However, while you’d expect to be trained in the correct way to use nunchucks and generally craft your combat ability, the course mainly focuses on the history of ninjas, rather than practicing the fighting style.
Yuji Yamada, a professor of Japanese history at the university in charge of the ninja centre, explained the course to the Japan Times:
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.
After the course was established three years ago, Yamada says it has around three applicants every year.
To get on the course, you need to take an exam in Japanese history as well as a reading test on historical ninja documents.
Mie University produced its first every ninja studies graduate this summer; 45-year-old Genichi Mitsuhashi. While you do not have to physically train as a ninja, Mitsuhashi embraced his studies wholeheartedly and starting living a ninja way of life.
Speaking to Japan Times, he explained, ‘I read that ninjas worked as farmers in the morning and trained in martial arts in the afternoon.’ As a consequence, he decided to grow vegetables and take up martial arts alongside his academic studies.
Mitsuhashi added that with this combination, he thought he could learn about ‘the real ninja’.