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Ninjas 'sneak' into Abe's office to ask for tourism promotion

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Surprised "Super Mario" didn't make a showing!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Obviously Abe has a sense of humor.

Just not a very good one.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

"(n)inja culture"? Assassinating people in the dead of night to promote tourism?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

although sneaked is proper British English, "snuck" has become an acceptable alternative

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

And doesn't that hand gesture represent a certain "comic" action?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And doesn't that hand gesture represent a certain "comic" action?

Haha now I can't unsee it!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy. Japan has more than enough accurate and traditional culture to promote tourism. Besides it was my understanding ninjas were more spies than anything else. And their main dress was normal clothes in order to blend into the population. I know this is coming off as sour... but there are places in Japan that still make soy sauce with 750 year old methods... Why try to promote some made up cartoon version of a piece of Japanese culture.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

@ jeff - LOL, a comic action that my grandkids used to do when they were smaller..."surprise!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Funny story! Great to see PM Abe's sense of humor! Foreign tourists love the unique Samurai and also Ninja culture in Japan, many tourist groups now enjoy historical recreations of them. If this promotion boosts tourism even more, it's a win-win.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy.

I've always felt the same way. I think it's fine for kids or families but adults who are into ninja-tourism!? I've been to Iga and the surrounding area numerous times and always find plenty of other things to do. But I suppose they have to stand out from the pack somehow, and this region is a bit distant from Ise, Mie's main draw. Plus, they're right in the shadow of Nara and Kyoto, which obviously skim off the overwhelming majority of tourists.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

stepoutsidetheboxToday 07:29 am JST

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy. Japan has more than enough accurate and traditional culture to promote tourism. Besides it was my understanding ninjas were more spies than anything else. And their main dress was normal clothes in order to blend into the population. I know this is coming off as sour... but there are places in Japan that still make soy sauce with 750 year old methods... Why try to promote some made up cartoon version of a piece of Japanese culture.

It's cheesy beyond words. It's also what happens when your tourist industry is dictated by octogenarian nationalists who think they know what "foreigners" ought to get.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy. Japan has more than enough accurate and traditional culture to promote tourism. Besides it was my understanding ninjas were more spies than anything else. And their main dress was normal clothes in order to blend into the population. I know this is coming off as sour... but there are places in Japan that still make soy sauce with 750 year old methods... Why try to promote some made up cartoon version of a piece of Japanese culture.

Because people like it. I do - they're fun. And they are Japanese. It's not like they don't also promote these other things. What's wrong with doing both?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I guess the economy, North Korea and China "threats", etc... are not such big problems if lawmakers have time to do cosplay.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

asked Abe to help arrange for having ninjas demonstrate shuriken throwing stars during the opening or closing ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Only if these ninja are employed by Yasushi Akimoto or Johnny's.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy.

I agree. What these people are promoting is not ninja culture but cosplay. If they were interested in promoting real ninja culture they could design trips to historically significant ninja sites and hold seminars regarding the historical truth of the ninja and who they really were.

Here is a list of some of the really important historical sites connected to the ninja in Mie

https://www.iganinja.jp/en/place/index.html

I've always felt the same way. I think it's fine for kids or families but adults who are into ninja-tourism!? I've been to Iga and the surrounding area numerous times and always find plenty of other things to do.

I feel exactly the same way as I try to go to Iga at least once a year. The ninja festival is great family fun, but hardly appropriate for a group of adult tourists..

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Some of you take things way too seriously.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Pantomime, as the ring master of pantomime it's fitting his office is the background for this circus.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Even though you're all wearing such bright colors, you were still able to slip through the tight security (of the office),"

Ugh, cringe worthy. I've been to Iga I think, it was okay. Indeed more fun for kids but I liked the ninja star throwing. Missed everything of course

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy. Japan has more than enough accurate and traditional culture to promote tourism. Besides it was my understanding ninjas were more spies than anything else. And their main dress was normal clothes in order to blend into the population. I know this is coming off as sour... but there are places in Japan that still make soy sauce with 750 year old methods... Why try to promote some made up cartoon version of a piece of Japanese culture.

That's a valid and an interesting point. My counterpoint is that lots of other countries have hammed-up versions of their own cultures. In the UK, that might be Robin Hood or knights in armour or pirates. Lots of Japanese people visit the Lake District, but more for Peter Rabbit than for the scenery. There are several historic sites around the UK than get more visitors for being locations in movies than for their historic interest. Alnwick Castle for Harry Potter, for example.

It annoys me a bit that the Japanese tourist people buy into Nihonjinron and assume that Japanese culture is absolutely fascinating to absolutely everyone. Lots of people come to Japan to ski now, and most of them spend very little time in contact with official Japanese culture. Since there are lots of mountains, Japan has very good hiking and road cycling too. You can have a great cycling holiday in Japan without any particular effort to visit official cultural sites. Anyone going to the effort of shipping a bike to Japan would be wise to ride it, not to park it and spend half the day looking at pottery.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Abe told female lawmakers...

I think there are only two women lawmakers.

if they were real ninja, we can have a snap election and the return of Aso.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This are the funniest looking Ninjas I have ever seen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It does look like this group of ninjas mastered the art of Kancho.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Some of you take things way too seriously.

I'm seriously looking forward to witnessing all this nonsense at the Olympics--laughs/cringes-o-plenty.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I like it and cringe at the same time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I've been to Iga and the surrounding area numerous times and always find plenty of other things to do.

Go to Iga just to do other things? It is an extremely boring city that is no different than any other city in Japan. I have been to the Ninja area which was ok for a one time visit but I only stop in Iga for a toilet break on the way to Nagoya or elsewhere in Mie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought they visited Abe to appeal that Japan needs to have a good intelligence agency to survive in the uncertain ages. It is a weak point of Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sorry, but I find this recent ninja stuff a bit cheesy.

But the fans exist, they walk among us! They are the types who buy the sword-shaped umbrellas and stick them over their shoulder in their backpacks. In general I do think the fandom and even pop-culture fandom is aging, being replaced with sheer Instagram-ability.

Iga is fun though, took kids there and after the "trick house" yashiki demonstraion, little guy insisted on clinging to my hand through through all the rest of the facility, constantly worried ninjas could pop out of anywhere to get him! Out of the ceiling? Up from the floor? No place was safe haha! He brightened up at the shuriken show though, and wanted to make origami shuriken on the ride home. Fun memory.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've been to Iga and the surrounding area numerous times and always find plenty of other things to do.

> Go to Iga just to do other things? It is an extremely boring city that is no different than any other city in Japan. I have been to the Ninja area which was ok for a one time visit but I only stop in Iga for a toilet break on the way to Nagoya or elsewhere in Mie.

Did I say I go to Iga "just to do other things"? Did I not mention "and the surrounding area"? It's a charming area. I have good friends who live nearby in Nabari. And most of the people I hang out with would much prefer that area to Nagoya. To each his own--which, of course, is not what the internet is about.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well the Japanese love cartoony stuff like that, and people know to expect cartoony stuff from Japan.

This doesn't really add to the culture or tradition of a country, but I guess they have to pretend in order to sell it

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have been to the Ninja area which was ok for a one time visit

Which ninja area are you talking about? There are several.

Did I say I go to Iga "just to do other things"? Did I not mention "and the surrounding area"? It's a charming area.

Absolutely.

I have good friends who live nearby in Nabari.

Actually, Nabari is a part of Iga province. They were separated in the 1950s. But historically, Nabari and Iga are one and the same, and I use the name Iga when refering to Nabari.

And most of the people I hang out with would much prefer that area to Nagoya.

Absolutely. I went once to Nagoya and hated it. Some of the coldest and unfriendly people I ever met. At least that was my experience. I love Iga and go there once a year if not twice. And the Mie people..especially Iga people, are SO friendly and warm.

To each his own--which, of course, is not what the internet is about.

Of course. One of my best friends in Japan just LOVES Kyoto. She's been there over 10 times. I've been there a few times and hated every moment of it. My least favorite place in Japan. What can I say? I hate touristy places and big cities. Maybe because I lived in them most of my life. If I was going to live in Japan permanently, Iga is exactly where I would buy a home. Love Iga

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Revenge of the Ninja , starring Sho Kosugi is probably one of the greatest films of all time. Who else’s single goal in life as a kid was to become Ninja? ;) It’s a worthy theme to promote Japan, even though they representatives don’t look too Nina like! Agree, better than Mario.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Did they teach him how to disappear???

Now that would be a very good lesson!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Even though you're all wearing such bright colors, you were still able to slip through the tight security (of the office)," Abe told female lawmakers who were clad in pink and purple ninja outfits, provoking laughter.

Hilaaaarious. He's here all week, folks!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has very good hiking and road cycling too. You can have a great cycling holiday in Japan without any particular effort to visit official cultural sites. Anyone going to the effort of shipping a bike to Japan would be wise to ride it, not to park it and spend half the day looking at pottery.

Yes indeed! Japan is great for both cycling and pottery, which suits, as I like both. I love the bikes with the eco/assist gizmo - very useful for those of us not quite able for all the uphill jaunts as we used to be!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Olympics opening ceremony will be absolutely hilarious. It has everything Mario, Ninjas who hopefully can been seen. School girls miming while not being paid. It's so funny, what's next? I would suggest a line up of CEOs receiving gold medals for not being arrested followed by a precession of politicians who should be arrested. In tights.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's cheesy beyond words. It's also what happens when your tourist industry is dictated by octogenarian nationalists who think they know what "foreigners" ought to get.

yep, nearly every aspect of japanese society is dictated by octogenerian nationalists... and everyone goes along with all the nonsense..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Even though you're all wearing such bright colours, you were still able to slip through the tight security (of the office)," I hope the security were joking, if not Abe you need to look at your security measures a bit more.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To bad the Shinobi black magic could not take away the 10% GST tax coming next year..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is a detailed history of the Ninja in Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey for all those who think its cheesy and stupid (raises hands), its working! Japan is having record tourism and the ninja thing is actually working too.

”The work of nationalists...”

Cmon Alfie, have some substance behind your bashing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They really need to tighten up security...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brian Wheway

LOL dude! Your the only person on earth who took Abe’s lame joke literally.

Im dying here...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Ninja employed covert techniques called ninjutsu and were involved in such missions as espionage, sabotage and assassination, ..."

Obviously, Abe enjoys it.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

Goes to show that anyone can be a ninja if you dress up as one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nice to know about level of Japan security of its PM

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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