In feudal Japan, the ninja was a feared and effective stealth warrior. Today, ninjas are only intimidating when portrayed in film, television and books. When ‘real’ ninjas appear in modern society they are underwhelming and embarrassing at best, dangerous in their ineptitude at worst.
1.) Hiding in plain sight Ninjas are well-known for their ability to blend into their surroundings. They can attack and then disappear, blending effortlessly into the environment. A 19-year-old Californian man didn’t do so well when it came to the whole disappearing thing. After he attacked a man with a machete while dressed in an all-black ninja outfit he ran and hid out in a movie theater. He was arrested in the theater and the machete was found under some nearby seats. The victim was not seriously injured. [ocweekly.com]
2.) Batman is not a ninja Ninjas were typically hired assassins whose skills went to the highest bidder. Morality and honor was left to the samurai. Two teenagers in Clifton, NJ had a more noble view of the ninja. They dressed up in full ninja garb, packed their car full of swords, nunchucks and a crossbow and went to scare off drug dealers in theirneighborhood. They didn’t quite make it though. A police officer pulled them over after seeing the two hooded figures drive past him and found their weapons cache. Next time fellas, you might want to pull your hoods on after you get out of your Hyundai. [tooshocking.com]
3.) Junior ninjas The motives of three Oregon teen ninjas were much closer to the motives of actual ninjas. They weren’t trying to stop criminals. They wanted to be criminals. The three used climbing spikes to scamper uptrees and across rooftops, burglarizing homes and cars. They were eventually thwarted, not by an imperial samurai, but by their parents. After a suspect fell from a tree running from police the parents of one of the teens told police that was the same day their son was complaining about an unexplained injury. [kptv.com]
4.) Home-skooled ninja Sometimes teenagers are on the receiving end of a ninja’s attack. One high school student received a nasty gash to his head from a lunatic in ninja garb. The boy and his friends were walking through the woods when the person jumped out brandishing a sword, said he was ‘protecting the woods’ and slashed the boy. He received twenty stitches but was all right. The ninja was later identified as a 16-year-old home-schooled student. They didn’t say whether or not it was a ninja home-school. [fox6now.com]
5.) Guido ninja Ninjas often came from poorer areas of the Japanese countryside, being skilled combatants that lacked the pedigree and wealth to become a samurai. That’s why it would make sense that if a New York City ninja appeared he would be from the often-overlooked borough of Staten Island. A very successful burglar identified by witnesses as a ‘ninja’ hit as many as 19 homes in affluent neighborhoods of Staten Island. He was never arrested but was reportedly stabbed by a home owner. The man said the burglar struck him with nunchucks before he stuck a steak knife in his chest. The ninja got away but learned a valuable lesson. Staten Island is a dangerous place, even for a ninja. [nydailynews.com]
6.) Masked murderers The majority of modern day ninjas are confused teens or disturbed adults, but at least one Florida man was as cutthroat and ruthless as his feudal counterparts. Unfortunately, for both him and his victims, he wasn’t nearly as intelligent or capable. A karate instructor assembled a team of men for a burglary and insisted they dress in black ninja-like clothing. When the break-in didn’t go as planned they shot and killed the couple living there. They were caught on tape, arrested and eventually convicted. [abcnews.com]
7.) Nice ninja It’s nice to know that not all modern day ninjas are lunatics and bad guys. Some of them might just help you out. While traveling in Sydney, a 27-year-old German student was jumped late one night in a dark alley by three men. They knocked him to the ground and kicked him while he was down. That’s when a gang of ninjas set upon the muggers. The assailants hadn’t realized they were right outside Ninja Senshi Ru, a ninja warrior school. The muggers ran off and were later arrested. The student suffered only minor injuries making this a ninja ‘win’ instead of a ninja ‘fail.’ [cbsnews.com]
8.) He just needs a friend Some ninjas aren’t quite as helpful as the Australian warriors but they’re not harmful either. They’re just sort of silly. This is the case when it comes to a 25-year-old English man who calls himself the ‘Neighborhood Ninja of Tunbridge Wells.’ He felt his community’s neighborhood watch was slacking so he started a ‘Ninja Watch.’ This entails helping old ladies across the street and putting stickers outside ATMs that read ‘Ninja Watch’ in bold letters. [metro.co.uk]
9.) Bodyguard of the world Another British man has a similar idea. He describes himself as a ‘bodyguard to the world’ and claims to be so quiet he can sneak up on and touch a fox, which he regularly did until recently being bit by one of them. He told a reporter, ‘My wife doesn’t really appreciate me creeping in and materialising beside her when she hasn’t heard the door unlock or the stairs creak or anyone in the room.’ That should be a lesson to all married ninjas. Use your teleportation abilities on your enemies, not your spouse. [dailymail.co.uk]
10.) Ninja City Pittsburgh would seem an unlikely location for the current day ninja Mecca but if you’re looking to see ninjas in action Steel City is the place to be. A local news station has warned of a ‘ninja crime spree.’ Most recently a man dressed as a ninja broke into 11 cars using a katana blade. When another man confronted him the ninja slashed his hand and ran away, tripping over a railing and hitting his head on an air conditioner as he went. Other events included a man recently charged with child endangerment after leaving his 4-year-old home alone while he went out to play ninja. In 2007, two female ninjas robbed a gas station with a sword and a dagger and from 1989 to 1990 there were 3 separate ninja-related attacks. [boingboing.net]
Awesome ninja photo by supernova3688.