Posts Tagged ‘kamakura shogunate’


Iga castle in the Ninja city of IgaOne of the top historical sites in Japan is the Iga-Ueno Castle. Located in Iga, where many Ninjas lived and trained during the Edo Period, this castle was once owned by the powerful landlord and governing official (known as a Daimyo) Todo Takatora. Originally built as a “defense weapon” for the area, it was later converted to a governing office after 1602. These pictures posted here were all taken by Dr. Hirohisa Oda, author of the book “Real Ninja”.

Iga castle in the Ninja city of IgaIga castle in the Ninja city of IgaIga castle in the Ninja city of IgaIga castle in the Ninja city of IgaIga castle in the Ninja city of IgaIga castle in the Ninja city of Iga

Ninja Tools – Gun Powder and Kaginawa

(following excerpts taken from page 55 and 57 of “Real Ninja”)

A gunpowder-like material had already been developed by 1274, when Mongolia attacked Northern Kyushu during the Kamakura shogunate period; the gunpowder-like material had been incorporated into primitive bombs. The ninja used this powder for making signals, bombs, smoke, handguns, mortars, sounds, arson arrows, and mines. Ninja were characteristically spies—not fighters and were surreptitious, always surprising unsuspecting people. Almost all of the attack weapons were for ninja advantage—they were not designed to give their opponent a fair chance.

Kaginawa (hook and rope)
Kaginawa illustration by Hirohisa Oda

Kaginawa – The hook and rope is used for climbing up and down, tying up people, or for locking a sliding door. The strings of the Japanese harp, the “Koto” were often used to make the rope because they were so strong.

Real Ninja Book Cover

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"The student of ninjutsu should have an understanding of the history of the ninja, and that is just what one gets with "Real Ninja". I recommend this book for any serious student of ninjutsu." – M. Chesbro (Rainier, Washington)

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