Relatively recently, among the unusual holidays that have a national background, but have gained popularity in different countries, a new one has appeared, called the Ninja Day ( Day of the Ninja ).
It is celebrated annually on December 5, and was dedicated, according to one version, to the release in 2003 of the feature film « The Last Samurai ». The film contained a scene of the battle of the ninja detachment with samurai. At least that is how the version of the appearance of the holiday and the determination of its date in the Internet space is presented at present, thanks to which the holiday, in fact, gained popularity and distribution. At the origins of its appearance is the parody site « Ninja Burger ».
The national background of the holiday is associated with one of the cultural phenomena in the history of Japan. We are talking about « synobi-no-mono », better known as « ninjutsu ». The literal translation of the term sounds like « hiding, enduring ». People who studied this art were called synobi or ninja.
Essentially speaking, it should be understood that the ninja, whose image in the 1980s was idealized and found a certain halo of mystery, thanks to cinema, during its inception, development and prosperity, was a mercenary who served as a murderer, saboteur, scout, spy in medieval Japan. Accordingly, the meaning of the term « synobi » immediately becomes clear. The phenomenon that arose in 5-6 centuries came to its logical decline and actual disappearance in the 19th century.
The art of ninjutsu was taught in closed clans and began from an early age. The attitude to the ninja in the social environment was consistent with their functions. Samurai neglected the ninja. Despite this, many of them did not disdain to resort to the services of a particular clan of synobi for personal purposes during feudal civil strife.
It is no secret to anyone that training scouts and saboteurs – is a special activity that requires certain physical and psychological skills, as well as a long training period. This remains true for the preparation of the ninja. From childhood they were taught to move silently, swim, hold their breath for a long period, run, jump, and keep their balance. In addition, training was held in the field of martial arts. Future spies and hit men were taught the art of fighting, as well as the possession of various types of cold steel. Moreover, all this was done ( including the selection of weapons ) taking into account the specifics of future use ( bye in conditions of limited space, inside the house, in the dark, etc. ). In addition to the traditional, a specific weapon was used, convenient for use in synobi tactics. Do not abhor when performing ninja tasks and using various poisons. Surprise and secrecy, being the main keys to success, have always been put at the forefront when studying.
History has brought to our days information that the most influential and famous clans-schools of synobi were Iga and Koga, which got their name by the name of the area. Iga and Koga – mountainous areas. It was the mountainous as well as forest hard-to-reach and sparsely populated areas that were used by clans to equip their camps and schools.
The organization and holding of today's holiday implies the possibility of wearing ninja clothes on this day, presenting themselves as synobi. On social networks, history lovers of Japan hold photo contests. On the streets you can encounter flash mob members dressed in costumes of elusive night spies. Watching documentaries about the history of the ninjutsu with friends on December 5, as well as feature films about the ninja, also turn into popular phenomena in a number of countries in certain social groups.
Demonstration performances are held in schools in several prefectures in Japan, and souvenir paraphernalia is sold in stores, reminiscent of the once common phenomenon in the culture of Japan – « synobi-no-mono ». Mie Prefecture houses the world's most famous ninja museum, which has been operating since 1964 and annually hosts a large number of tourists and simply fans of the medieval history of the country of the rising sun. In Japan, Ninja Day in the prefectures of Shiga and Mie is celebrated annually on February 22. So it turns out that the holiday is celebrated in two forms: as world on December 5 and as national in two regions of Japan on February 22.