Aspiring ninjas bombard Japanese city after confusion over tourist promotional poster

More than 115 hopefuls from 23 countries enquire about the potential job

Wednesday 25 July 2018 14:59
Children dressed as ninjas pose for a souvenir picture during a ninja festival in Iga
Children dressed as ninjas pose for a souvenir picture during a ninja festival in Iga

Aspiring ninjas have bombard a Japanese city with job applications after a tourist promotion was mistaken for a “ninjas wanted” advertisement.

Iga, a small city in central Japan approximately 280 miles from Tokyo, has long dubbed itself the home of one style of the black-clad, throwing-star-wielding covert agents. It regularly stages shows and offering "ninja experiences" for tourists.

A programme aired last week on National Public Radio in the United States claiming the city was facing a shortage of ninja performers.

It even quoted potential salaries, giving the impression it might be hiring.

As a result. the city received volleys of telephone and email queries from 115 hopeful ninjas from 23 countries.

"That's wrong, all wrong. There was no discussion about that, and we didn't mention money,” Motoyoshi Shimai, an official of Iga's tourism strategy division, said.

“Most were questions about whether we were really hiring, but there were a few that begged us to employ them and tried to promote themselves”

City officials were surprised but not annoyed by the fuss, Mr Shirai said.

"We were made to viscerally feel how high interest is in ninjas all around the world," he added.

Iga ultimately issued a statement in several languages making it clear that it was not hiring and warning against fake news, but said plenty of other ninja fun was on offer.

It said the city was "the Iga-style ninja birthplace," adding: "We can feel breath of ninja at every turn of downtown."

Agencies contributed to this report

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