Insane Career Paths: The Way of the Ninja

A lot of people have come to the realization that their diploma really won’t help them get a high paying job. The thing is that even people that studied Medieval Arms and Warfare have a chance of being academics, or historical consultants for film and screen. Nevertheless, there are those few jobs that require absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. Of course, at the top of that list would be jobs that are obsolete, like lamplighters, horse carriage valets, top hat models and frock dusters (not to be confused with crop dusters, that makes them furious). Some professions, however, are so far off the beaten path, that specialization in such a set of skills will relegate you to the back of the unemployment line. Here is one such insane career path, the way of the ninja.

See Also: 4 Jobs for the Criminally Insane

What is it

First off forget the high jumping, black clad, super-humans we are used to from film and fiction. Secondly completely forget the term ninja, the name that is found in most historical texts is shinobi. So that’s what we will be calling it from now on. The role of the shinobi was much more like a modern spy and a lot less…well, ninja-ish. There were both male and female shinobi (also known as Kunoichi), and their primary wartime job was to infiltrate the enemy, gather intelligence and to a lesser degree sabotage and assassinate.

An important thing to remember when talking about shinobi is the fact that they were peasants, farmers and laborers. They had limited resources compared to their enemies that were often heavily armored samurais. The only way to fight them was to use guerilla warfare or what are called hit-and-run tactics, in which the offender just damages their enemy’s assets to create chaos and psychologically effect their opponent. This is where the legend of the shinobi being invisible and turning into smoke or flying came from. Because they couldn’t engage in open warfare, they chose to stay incognito or seem invisible. They used deception and trickery much more often than they used their blades. The shinobi would attempt to penetrate the area of their target, hit it and disappear. They did so by dressing as farmers, peasants or servants…which is what they were before they became shinobi. There are even cases when shinobi dressed in drag and tricked their targets into thinking they were female. But instead of getting some, they got a sword to the back.

One folkloric tale describes a youth named Yamato Takeru that dressed as a charming maiden and assassinated two chiefs of a warring tribe at a drinking party while they were both trying to well…do I really have to spell it out…he was dressed as a maiden. They were both trying to spread their wasabi on him…even though that doesn’t make any sense I think it illustrates the point. One he dispatched straight away, but the other chief (which was the first one’s brother) tried to run away. However, Takeru stabbed him in the butt…I swear the legend says that the other chief was killed by a butt stab. The funniest thing is that as the butt-stabbed brother died he gave Yamato Takeru his nickname,  the Brave of the Takeru because that’s what most people do when you stab them in the butt before they die. So this cross dressing deception is the reason Takeru is considered to be the first shinobi…oh, did I forget to mention that?


What it takes

Much like any specialization, being a ninja demands years of toil and dedication. The art of ninjitsu originated in the Igo and Koga clans due to the area being secluded by the surrounding mountains. Historians also speculate that it is part of the reason that ninjitsu is so secretive. Training in ninjitsu demands high levels of discipline, impeccable body control and long hours of physical exertion. You must be well versed in the literature of the discipline, the tactics of shinobi warfare, the art of deception and blending in. These are just a few of the demands required to master the art and become a true shinobi.

Job Prospects

Well, considering that we do not live in feudal Japan and aren’t being threatened by roving groups of bandits (we’ll not yet at least), your job prospects as a highly trained ninja are not great. Let’s take a bit of a mental catalogue of your skills. So you’ve got deception down, you can hide in plain sight, you’re good with a blade and highly disciplined, right? Hey…where did you go…come on, that was funny the first or second time you did it, but I’m giving you career advice here. Really clever disguising yourself as my potted Yuka, speaking of which, what did you do with my potted Yuka you incognito freak!

Anyway, job prospects for shinobi. Due to your knife skills you would be a shoe-in at any restaurant if you can cut veggies into matchsticks and Juliette carrots. Also, your training in the art of deception should help you create a name for yourself in the art of illusion…If you don’t know what that is, it’s magic, like Criss Angel Mindfreak magic. I mean I would pay money to watch a ninja repeatedly disappear and reappear…um let’s see what else can you do with this very specific set of skills. Ah, I know how about being a military contractor? You’re well versed in military techniques and strategies, so why not. All you have to do is become proficient with firearms, and you’ll be on your way to the Middle East in no time.

The Truth

So I’m going to drop a truth bomb on you. Ninjitsu is a martial art that has an amazing history filled with popular, humble and many times nameless heroes. Although, I did make a little bit of fun of it, it was for comedic effect, and I tried to not make it malicious. As with most ancient martial arts, it is based on philosophy, self-discipline and a rich mythology that is truly noteworthy. Also, the last thing I need in my life right now is a horde of black cloaked dudes and dudettes following me around trying to butt stab me. If that was a lost reference, you might want to have another look over the article.

Have you trained in the art of ninjitsu? Come on…you can speak your mind in the comments section, it’s completely anonymous. This disappearing thing is really getting old…OH COME ON I CAN HERE YOU SNICKERING UNDER THE SINK!!! Just leave your comment below smarty pants.