Mie University, located in Iga, Japan, has established itself as the world’s first research center focused on Ninja Studies in 2017. Then, it launched a graduate course in 2018.
Iga, which is located in central Japan, is known as a city surrounded by mountains that used to be home to many ancient ninjas.
If you want to take up Ninja Studies, you need to enroll in the course, take an exam on Japanese history, and a reading test on historical ninja documents. It is said that about three students enroll annually.
Yuji Yamada, a professor of Japanese history at the university who also takes part in the ninja research center said, “We get many inquiries from overseas but I have to say one thing: This is a course to learn about the ninja, not to become one.”
Mie University has given its first ninja studies degree to a 45-year-old graduate named Genichi Mitsuhashi. He has spent two years honing his martial arts skills and learning traditions of the feudal martial arts to complete the master’s course.
He said in an interview with Japan Times, “I read that ninjas worked as farmers in the morning and trained in martial arts in the afternoon. With this combination, I thought I could learn about the real ninja.”
Mitsuhashi now teaches ninja skills at his own dojo and runs a local inn while pursuing his Ph.D.
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