Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trip to the land of Ninjas(忍者) Iga-Ueno

In February went to Ueno-city in Mie-prefecture Famous for the Iga-style Ninja clan. In the past It was a real ninja village with a ninja school and is the birthplace of the Iga-style ninjutsu.

The culture of Ninjutsu is said to have existed around 4000 BC. They said that ancient Indian culture exported its brand of spirituality into continental China, and from there it was introduced to Japan through the Korean peninsula in the 6th century, and then it was developed into a military discipline known as Ninjutsu (the "Nin{忍}" means endurance,patience )
Iga Ueno is also famous for the Ueno castle, and a museum on Ueno's Tenjin Matsuri a festival were Oni=(demons) walk the streets!.

Here is a map of the famous places in Ueno . Including The Ninja museum, Ueno castle, and the Tenjin festival hall.

In the Ninja Museum you will find all sorts of tools and weapons used by the Ninja all are authentic. These are some lock picking tools. They really rushed my through the museum couldn't make any decent captures, couldn't even read the descriptions. Sorry

Grappling hooks and ladders to jump high walls. I wonder what the grappling hooks nowadays look like. Maybe like in the movies.

Shikoro= double edged saws used to cut through hedges,open bolted doors and poke holes in fences. the small ones ere hidden and used to break jails.

If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can read the description. They were also used as weapons. They were a bit different than what I imagined ...naruto...

Portable stationary set. The main tools needed to perform the jutsu Chouji Giga, sumigasumi no jutsu and other ink jutsus

Rare Ninja clothe Inside seen for the first time O_O. As expected lots of inside pockets. All the white parts are pockets and the arm guards also have long narrow pockets for kunai's. But some of the pockets had metal plates inserted for protection like around the heart area and back.

A boy ninja suited up. It can slightly be seen on the previous photo but the mask used to hide your face is not actually a mask it is a long cloth of about 2 meter's in length and 20 cm in width. When needed it is used to wrap wounds and carry the wounded

The Shuriken. Lots of types of shurikens. But They said that the shapes doesn't really have any meanings. In the back is the throwing needle it was also junction-ed with poison for status attacks. Every shuriken does 250 damage .I like the normal 4 pointed ones which do you prefer?

More weapons Ninja swords, daggers and Ninja cat claws. Used to scratch your enemy and to climb on roofs.

Some authentic ninja armor I think. and Ninja pole weapons. I thinks they're the ones that split in to pieces and bend

Don't know why there is a gun there but the middle red things are dynamites. and the big thing is a cannon. Couldn't read in depth so can't explain well. I never heard of ninjas using cannons

More weapons. The top left ones are "Makibishi" used by running away ninjas throw on the ground and run.
The top right ones are "Fundo tsubute" throwing waits. used for putting nails and throwing.
The bottom right one is a flute for shooting poison darts. (poison dart shooters are really popular eh?)


Some posters of Ninja movies. I like the female ninja.

Here comes the Hand seals. A different style of what I expected though. The slashes are just a warm up. After going through other parts of the museum learned that the air writing is a technique that they thought of to remember messages and stuff. Ninjas also gathered information so it was important for them to remember all the info. sometimes they even write on themselves with sharp objects.

Explanation of the Ninja sword. Ninja swords are straight unlike Samurai swords which are curved. It is meant for stabbing and not slashing. Also the sheath's end is pointed

There is a long rope attached to it, The "Tsuba" Hand guard is big and square. Ninja swords has many uses example below.

In radar mode the sword was used like a radar in the middle of the dark night. Kinda like a touch sensor with a big radius.

The show was also funny at times. The kid won a free ticket to throw shurikens for taking the sword out of his bottom.

The throwing needles you see well in ninja movies but it's more like a surgeons knife(forgot the word). They said that if it hit the head it can pierce straight through the skull. In action below

He is left handed.

Shurikens in spinning action. I like the last throw. I also wanted to see the windmill shuriken but it wasn't shown.

The Ninja sickles used for close combat and can be thrown for a ranged attack. This Ninja was majored in sickles I believe. Throwing action below

The sickles had a wristband not to drop it in battles like the Wii remote. It also allowed the user to flicker it like a nunchuk. Preview below

Thick ropes were also used as a weapon by Ninjas. They were easy to take along and could be used for many other things. The ends are split for a whip like action.


Can also be used to leash captured enemy ninja pets.

This place was also honored by the sumos. The middle one is Akebono Taro I think.
What do you think Ninja Vs Sumo...naah. Kinda like Ganryu Vs Raven.

Ninjas also had bento boxes (Japanese lunch boxes). They had curves inward from the inside so that it would fit around the hip area and take less space.

Ancient ninja scroll for the Kawarimi no Jutsu. But this part wasn't the actual instructions

I saw these a lot in movies with ninjas. A sickle with a long chain attached tipped with either a metal weight or a claw. This one has a hand guard.

At the Ninja souveneir store you can buy Ninja suits, strangely there wasn't any manly ones. There were also rubber shurikens (which I bought), scrolls rubber kunai, T-shirts etc.

At Lunch had the Tsukimi soba=Moon view soba It's named like this because of the egg in the middle resembling a moon. Tsukimi is also a term for viewing the moon and there is also a festival in Autumn called Tsukimi. restored 20% of my energy

From here on It's about the Ueno catsle. This is a man powered cart were the priceses and rich people used. It can only fit about one person the red one maybe two.
Unfortunately The castle was being fixed and the outside was covered with construction nets.

Samurai Kabuto=(helmet). Unicorn Kabuto. Kabutos have many types of shapes and designs on them. Originally it didn't have any big designs like horns, faces, and symbols. 1985 i s when these kabutos became popular they were called kawari kabuto.

Kabuto with with flame like design. They had these extravagant designs for a number of reasons . One is that a strong or famous leader would wear it to make his presence in the battlefield visible. It would make the enemy soldiers fearful.

A picture of the Castle made by sticking stamps together. Yes they're stamps.

The Kinshachi symbol which is also on top of Nagoya Castle but is gold colored. The Kinshachi is a dolphin with a tiger head, but to me looks more like a dragon head. It was a talisman for preventing fires. At the time because of WWII a number of castles got burnt down by air raids. Nagoya castle was burnt down in 1945 May 14 but got reconstructed.

Parents picking up their children from the Ninja academy here.

Senior students who just got back from training in the mountains, and shopping.

Ninja dog trainer training three new dogs soon to be Ninja hounds, maybe they'll even talk. This place is also well packed with vending machines.

Natural walkway refreshing.

Inside the Danjin museum were Oni=(demon,ogre) are displayed. Oni's like these march through the streets in Oni-gyoretsu=(Demon Procession) parade. some carrying huge bells on their back. I was rushed sorry.

Should have chosen black. In the end we tried suiting up, but this Ninja suit and the previous are different this is merely for show. This is the family that showed me this place Thank you all.

The Crimson Ninja will one day steal your tamashii=(spirit) and keep it in a bottle. And destroy your trap cards.

Some snacks while heading back to HQ. The left one is wrapped in fried egg(I had that one) Sausages on sticks here are called "Frank" for some reason. Do they call it Frank in Germany?.
Police car up close. they had a car stopped and was inspecting. The officer was looking straight at me didn't notice when capturing it.
It says on the car Aichi-ken kei meaning Aichi prefecture police. Police is keisatsu, in the picture it only has the kei kanji So I guessed it means police.

I also recommend this channel on Ninjas on youtube Jump

Save and exit


  1. On behalf of everyone who will never be able to go here, or if so would not understand the language... thank you!