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This article is about the Japanese espionage martial arts and techniques known as Nijutsu. Nijutsu is frequently depicted fancifully in fiction; for these depictions, see the article on Ninjas.

Ninjutsu (忍術, also called Shinobi-jutsu or Ninpo) is a collection of techniques originally practiced for espionage purposes. It includes methods of spying, confusing, and gathering information. The character nin/shinobi means "steal in" or "endurance".

Even though it was influenced by Chinese spying techniques, Ninjutsu is most definitely of Japanese origin. It probably came into being sometime around A.D 600, while Empress Suiko was in power; Michinoue-no-Mikoto is believed to be the pioneer.

See also: Martial arts

Table of contents
1 A Sample Ninjutsu Juhakkei
2 Official Ninjutsu Schools
3 Other Schools
4 Other Reading

A Sample Ninjutsu Juhakkei

  1. Seishin Teki Kyoko (Spiritual Refinement)
  2. Taijutsu (Unarmed Combat)
  3. Ninja Ken (Ninja Sword)
  4. Bojutsu (Stick and Staff Fighting)
  5. Shurikenjutsu (Throwing Blades)
  6. Yari-Jutsu (Spear Fighting)
  7. Naginatajutsu (Halberd Fighting)
  8. Kusari-Gama (Chain and Sickle Weapon)
  9. Kayaku-Jutsu (Fire and Explosives)
  10. Henso-Jutsu (Disguise and Impersonation)
  11. Shinobi-Iri (Stealth and Entering Methods)
  12. Bajutsu (Horsemanship)
  13. Sui-Ren (Water training)
  14. Bo-Ryaku (Strategy)
  15. Cho-Ho (Espionage)
  16. Inton-Jutsu (Escape and Concealment)
  17. Ten-Mon (Meteorology)
  18. Chi-Mon (Geography)

Official Ninjutsu Schools

Actual Ninjutsu is rarely taught these days, since it can hardly be used for more than murder and espionage, which are, in most countries, illegal. The X-kan: Bujinkan, Genbukan, and Jinenkan each contain at least one complete Ninjutsu ryuha, but they also contain other koryu bujutsu that they tend to focus on. The only ryuha that is taught at all is Togakure Ryu. Other extant kobudo, such as the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu, contain aspects of Ninjutsu in their curriculum; but they are not Ninjutsu ryuha per se.

Other Schools

Other schools, which may or may not directly relate to the genuine japanese ninja traditions, have different paths. For example, the Temple of the Full Autumn Moon, which teaches Saito Ninjitsu (and defines Ninjitsu as something very similar but different from Ninjutsu), follows the Wu Shan Fa or "Five Mountain Path of the True Warrior Spirit." It can be found here. It should also be noted, historians do not believe any Ninjutsu ryuha outside the X-kan to be extant, but it is up to the individual to decide.

Other Reading

Essence of Ninjutsu by Masaaki Hatsumi
Ninjutsu: History and Tradition by Masaaki Hatsumi
Ninpo: Wisdom for Life by Masaaki Hatsumi