The Influence of Shinobi on Fuedal Japanese History

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How influential was the Ninja on Japanese Feudal History? From the late twelfth century up to the eighteenth century, the country of Japan was in a warring state with few decades separated by peace. At this point in history for more than six hundred years, many power struggles took place as feudal warlords, Daimyo and Shogun fought for and defended their positions in power through military strength. It was within this time that medieval Japanese warriors became highly demanded and were needed for protection and to attack other militant leaders of the period. The medieval warriors of Japan ranged from Samurai to Ronin to militant Buddhist Priests yet none of these warriors were as feared and as highly regarded as ninjas were. Thus in a period of ceaseless power struggles the ninja of Feudal Japan flourished. The importance that ninjas played on the shaping of Feudal Japanese history is immense, as the ninja’s physical and mental feats and abilities, origin and history will be discussed in relation to this importance. The modern depiction of the ninja is often a mixture between truth and myth. As elusive as the ninja were in their movements and activities, they have become equally as elusive in the pages of history. There are very few legible historical papers which document the Shinobi’s (Ninja) accomplishments. Thus much of the knowledge gathered about ninja was presented in the form of oral accounts of the ninja’s history. With the majority of knowledge stemming from these oral accounts, there has been the tendency to distort the truth of the ninja’s abilities. This is where many of the Shinobi’s numerous myths originate. These myths include the ninja’s ability to fly, walk on water, live underwater like a fish, turn invisible at any given moment, sink into the ground, walk through tangible objects such as stone walls, disappear in a puff of smoke and transform
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