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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2011 11:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So it sounds like their isn't any proof that their was ninjas, just bushi who specialized in sneaking into castles and maybe assainastions?

Also are you sure it was the bushi who founded the ikki? I was under the impression these were more monastery and peasant organizations than bushi.

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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2011 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems to be that the Bushi participated in the Iga independence ikki. This wasn't the lower three (or four, if you acknowledge Burakumin) rebelling against the Bushi, but everyone in Iga rebelling against everyone else. The Bushi appear to have been part of the ikki.
"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,462

PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.arco-iris.com/George/hachiwara.htm
this guy suggests that the idea was concieved by masamune, some time after the mongol invasions

most references on forums etc about hachi/kabutowari are described as being designed for use on the open battlefield. against armoured opponents. and that the jutte later evolved from it though there are a scarce number of actual surviving examples that arnt edo period so thats a worry as well.

so admittedly i dont have much evidence since i cant actually FIND when it was first developed
the yoroi dohi on the other hand,. according to wiki is definately at least sengoku if not older,
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

what source does wiki cite for that?
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2011 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

im not sure off the top of my head. goto the wikipedia article for hachiwara and yoroi doshi and and you'll find out
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Kurt Scholz





Joined: 09 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2011 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:

btw ignore what kurt schoolz said about ninjas, since as a matter of fact many shinobi (a job) were of the samurai ranks (which is a class)
during the sengoku they were mainly concentrated in the famous iga and koka regions.
these operatives were NOT poor farmers. some low ranking expendable information 'probes' were recrited from the peasentry but thse were jst acting as contacts for the shinobi operative.


I read some books written by ninjutsu teachers about ninja history. Maybe they misrepresented something, but as far as I understood it, Buddhism in Japan was a new religion and its believers were for some time persecuted. They were however able to stand their ground against these attempts in an asymmetric war. That's how the ninja was born. Afterwards ninjas were integrated into the bloody Japanese politics because they had proven their usefulness. Nothing about super-duper-killers. But rather that ninjas were close to Buddhism and Chinese influence.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug, 2011 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
So it sounds like their isn't any proof that their was ninjas, just bushi who specialized in sneaking into castles and maybe assainastions?


But what if that was the historical definition of ninja? The super-assassin known to modern popular culture might never have existed at all, but that doesn't mean the term ninja could never have been used to refer to something altogether more sober.
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To Kurt: I doubt that, I have never heard anything about an asymmetric war following the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. There was a war for a time, but it ended like 300 years before the Heian ended (the heian being a very peaceful time other than anti-emishi campaigns).

To Lafayette: I don't think that counts. To me, ninja are supposed to live in clans, outside of normal society, etc, etc. If the just broke castles then I'm going to say that ninja (as far as people imagine them) did not exist. For example, if someone where to say that a branch Tuskegee airmen were also a top secret army air core intelligence branch that tried to assassinate Stalin, this top secret branch didn't exist.

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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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Reading list: 7 books

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PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm afraid your conception of ninja has been far too tainted by popular culture, then . . . .

(Note that even Turnbull's books--generally written for a more popular audience--spend a lot of ink on showing that the ninja were not usually clannish recluses, but rather highly-trained fighting men who masqueraded as grooms or gardeners or something like that, whether to infiltrate an enemy's stronghold or to protect their lord's.)
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that my point is that ninjas are just popular culture. I mean, were they even called ninja in period? I was under the impression that the black suit, weird weapons, and name ninja were all inventions from later on. To me this is a HUGE separation from castle-breakers, assassins, and spies that sound like they were historically.

Back to the sources though, what primary sources do we have that discuss ninja/shinobi in particular? I realize this may be impossible due to the language barrier. However even a list would be nice, since I feel that there is a lot of ninja's were, without any documentation for it. That's my main problem with the whole ninja concept, the only statements in affirmative for them seem to be inconclusive, and arguable.

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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Wed 17 Aug, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
I think that my point is that ninjas are just popular culture. I mean, were they even called ninja in period? I was under the impression that the black suit, weird weapons, and name ninja were all inventions from later on. To me this is a HUGE separation from castle-breakers, assassins, and spies that sound like they were historically.

Back to the sources though, what primary sources do we have that discuss ninja/shinobi in particular? I realize this may be impossible due to the language barrier. However even a list would be nice, since I feel that there is a lot of ninja's were, without any documentation for it. That's my main problem with the whole ninja concept, the only statements in affirmative for them seem to be inconclusive, and arguable.


my suggestion is to contact dean eichler. known also as scottbaioisdead http://www.youtube.com/user/scottbaioisdead
and anthony cummins, known on youtube as tsoas2008 http://www.youtube.com/user/TSOAS2008

those two have access to alot of the original manuscripts. and can read japanese. so ask them
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