Wanted: Six ninjas who can do handsprings
The word ‘ninja’ immediately probably brings Japan to mind. In feudal Japan, a ninja was a covert agent or mercenary. The functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination, and guerrilla warfare.
Proud of Japan’s rich and colorful history, officials in a local government office in Japan are keen to hire six full-time ninjas who are capable of acrobatics and are more than happy to pose for photographs with tourists in a bid to promote the ninja heritage of the region.
Would you like your photo taken with a real ninja?
Being a ninja was once a job carried out in the secret dead of night, with success of the assignment highly dependent on secrecy and anonymity, as well as a mastery of martial arts and assassination skills – the two activities that ninjas are best known for.
Today, being a modern ninja is a little different and not so dangerous. Also being a ninja today does not involve covert operations like in the past. At least, that’s how it seems according to the job advertisement posted by a regional government office that is currently seeking six full-time ninjas.
The search for the six professional ninjas has been organized by local government officials in Aichi Prefecture, Central Japan. It hopes to boost tourism by tapping into its ninja heritage. And let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want to get a photo taken with a ninja?
According to an advertisement posted online, the ideal applicant must possess an array of skills – from an ability to dance and perform backward handsprings to a mastery of hurling star-shaped ninja weapons known as shuriken.
Do you have what it takes?
With rather demanding criteria, becoming a ninja isn’t easy. While the ideal candidate will be over 18 and speak Japanese, non-Japanese who are interested in history and tourism and capable of a bit of acrobatics will also be considered, according to Satoshi Adachi, who works in the prefectural government’s tourism promotion unit. It is all about the skill set, work ethic, and appearance that will ensure you a spot as a ninja.
In recent years, there has been a steady increase among officials in Japan who want to actively promote the nation’s ninja heritage. To do that, numerous ninja events, museums, and performances take place across the country. So if you are into ninja heritage, Japan is definitely the place to be.
Last October, in an effort to bolster international tourism in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the first new nationwide organization devoted to all things ninja was created in Japan.