Ninja student earns top marks for writing essay in invisible ink

Eimi Haga used an ancient technique to make her work stand out

Moya Lothian-McLean
Thursday 10 October 2019 16:22
Comments

A Japanese student has been awarded top marks for handing in a blank piece of paper after her professor realised she’d written her entire essay in invisible ink.

Eimi Haga, a first-year student of ninja history at Mie University, applied the ninja technique of “aburidashi” to an assignment.

It involves crushing soaked soya beans to create an invisible ink that can only be viewed when it held near heat.

The 19-year-old had read about the technique when she was younger and decided to use it to make her essay - written about a visit to the Ninja Museum of Igaryu - stand out.

"When the professor said in class that he would give a high mark for creativity, I decided that I would make my essay stand out from others," Haga told the BBC.

"I gave a thought for a while, and hit upon the idea of aburidashi."

"It is something I learned through a book when I was little," she continued. "I just hoped that no-one would come up with the same idea."

To ensure her professor didn’t miss the secret text, Haga included a note instructing him to “heat the paper”.

He duly did and when the text appeared, immediately gave Haga’s essay full marks - despite admitting that he still hasn’t read it to the end.

"I had seen such reports written in code, but never seen one done in aburidashi," Yuji Yamada said.

"I didn't hesitate to give the report full marks - even though I didn't read it to the very end because I thought I should leave some part of the paper unheated, in case the media would somehow find this and take a picture."

Although ninjas are a popular -if misrepresented - stereotypes in Western depictions of Japan, the real ninjas were espionage agents who practice ninjutsu, a type of guerilla warfare.

The tradition dates back to the feudal period but the arts practiced by ninjas have all but died out in modern Japan.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in