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忍者

THE HISTORY

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Ninja
忍者

Ninja (shinobi in Japanese) was a term for a covert agent in feudal Japan; they were  masters of stealth, disguise, espionage, deception and surprise attacks. Their methods of waging unconventional warfare were deemed dishonorable by the Samurai (perversely it was the samurai and their Daimyo that hired the services of the Ninja).

Whereas the Samurai followed the virtues of Bushido, Ninja cultivate the spirit of Ninniku; a compassionate heart, one that doesn't harbor grudges when humiliated or denounced.

"Through these martial arts, a ninja hears what is silent, sees what is invisible and endures what is excruciating" - Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura 

Kunoichi (Female Ninja)
くノ一

Female ninja were called Kunoichi. In Japanese Kunoichi means nine plus one.

One role was to infiltrate the enemy residence and become maids. As maids they were able to gather intelligence and secrets with ease.

 
Samurai

The samurai were members of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan. Rising to power in the 11th Century, they were revered for their skills as warriors. These elite warriors were in service to their daimyo.

In 1588 only full samurai were permitted to wear two swords and so this become an important status symbol. The longer curved katana and the shorter wakizashi, worn together were called Daisho. 

Samurai roughly translates to "those who serve"

Bushi is another more general word for warrior from which Bushido is derived. 

 
Samurai

The samurai were members of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan. Rising to power in the 11th Century, they were revered for their skills as warriors.

In 1588 only full samurai were permitted to wear two swords and so this became an important status symbol. The longer curved katana and the shorter wakizashi, worn together were called Daisho. 

Samurai roughly translates to "those who serve" 

These elite warriors were in service to their daimyo.

Bushi is another more general word for warrior from which Bushido is derived. 

Weapons of the ninja

Shuriken

手裏剣

Ninjatō

忍者刀

Tanto

短刀

Shuko

手鉤

Nekode

猫手

Kusarigama

鎖鎌

Samurai Women
女武芸者

Maintaining the household was the main duty of women of the samurai class. The wife was to manage all household affairs, care for the children and defend the home if need be. 

Many women of the samurai class were trained in tantojutsu and wielding the naginata which they could use to protect their household, their family and their honor. 

Some women did actively engage in battles alongside male samurai. These female warriors (Onna-bugeisha) fought mostly in times of need. A couple famous onna-bugeisha are: 

Tomoe Gozen

Nakano Takeko

Weapons of the Samurai

Katana

Wakizashi

脇差

Daishō

大小

Tanto

短刀

Nodachi

野太刀

Yari

Naginata

薙刀

Yumi

Tessen

鉄扇

Tanegashima 

種子島