The story of the shinobi no mono (Japanese for “hiding person”) – commonly known as the ninja – begins in the 14th century, in a time when Japan was in a near-constant state of civil war. Using their Ninjutsu skills, or shinobi no jutsu (“the arts of the shinobi”), they worked within the samurai force as the “eyes and ears” of the army, specializing in infiltration, espionage, counterintelligence, and many other activities the traditional honor-bound samurai could not. Drawing primarily from the 17th-century ninja manual (the Bansenshūkai), as well as other prominent texts, this book provides an in-depth look at the shinobi, so that modern readers can understand their ways and history.
“While ‘standard’ samurai found lying and cheating repugnant, the shinobi were not bound by such scruples.”
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