If you've ever wanted to be a ninja then you now can. Two towns in Japan are giving tourists the opportunity to carry out ninja training.
People visiting the town of Nabari or Iga in Mie prefecture can undertake a ninja tour where they can train as the deadly assassins once did. From climbing over 20ft walls to throwing deadly darts known as shuriken to crossing a river using a length of rope, people are given the chance to test out all their ninja skills. Those who make it through the ninja training are given a graduation certificate.
Once you've mastered the ninja arts you can watch demonstrations carried out by performers, including how to strangle an unsuspecting victim. Some of the other attractions include visiting an ancient shrine and Ueno Castle in Iga.
Nabari and Iga are the historical homes of the ninja and the towns' heritage is now helping them to boost the local economy. The ninja were mercenaries in feudal Japan and most prominent in the 15th Century. They were covert assassins specialised in sabotage and infiltration but rarely open combat.
Unlike the samurai, ninjas were required to operate using stealth and did not share the same strict honour and combat codes that involved fighting openly. Ninjas were not always solitary assassins, there were times when they would work in groups to complete a mission, particularly scaling walls by forming human pyramids.
Due to the mysterious nature of the ninja it was actually more honourable to a samurai. The remoteness of the towns made them the perfect place for ninjas to develop their skills without others discovering their secrets.
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