They discover in Japan old ninja oath that reveals his secret life

Japan Tourism Boom (AP Photo / Junji Kurokawa)
Atsushi Kobayashi a staff member of Bujinkan Training Hall watches foreign tourists train during a class which allows tourists the opportunity to experience life as a Ninja in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. Foreign visitors have always flocked to old tourist spots in Japan like Kyoto, the Sapporo Snow Festival, hot-springs baths and Mount Fuji. These days, they're also checking out new offbeat ways to experience Japan like ninja classes, geek gadget stores and "manga" animation museums. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)

A 300-year-old ninja document was discovered in Japan by researchers. The historical piece is an oath in which the signatory commits to never reveal his special abilities to steal, spy and sabotage.

Written in italic handwriting, the oath consists of six promises and a thank you to his superiors for teaching him ninjutsu techniques , that is, a type of martial art that specializes in strategies and tactics of espionage and guerrilla warfare.

Among the promises is the strict adherence to a code of silence that distinguishes ninjas. For example, to never exhibit their skills in public or teach their knowledge, not even to their children. He also agrees never to use these techniques to obtain a personal benefit.

In case of violating the conditions of his oath, the signatory would resign himself to the punishment imposed by ” big and small gods in more than 60 provinces of Japan .”

Professor Yoshiki Takao, from the International Ninja Research Center at the University of Mie, said the ninja was not very different from what a thief did-like sneaking into houses-except for his strict adherence to a moral code:

The ninjas were ‘public servants’ in current terms, providing security services and gathering information.

One of the most interesting points, according to specialists like Takao, is that the oath throws new information on the truthfulness of the Bansenshukai , a Japanese text that allegedly compiled the ninja knowledge of the Iga and Koga clans.

In the oath, Inosuke Kizu promises not to reveal more than three chapters of Bansenshukai to his samurai employers.

Although the teachings of this “ninja encyclopedia” is already public information, there are still many knowledge and techniques of the ninja that remain a mystery because they were taught orally.

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