The Truth About Ninjas
(Not for kids!)

The legend of the black-suited, death dealing ninja is a popular one and is based on some actual fact. Over time, however, the idea of a ninja has passed from the real world into the realm of fairy tales. This article is an attempt to set the record straight.

The ninja in popular culture is a figure of manly strength known for his skills in assassination and espionage. In truth, the word "ninja" is a combination of the japanese words "nisamu" and "janasuma" which, when translated, means "man who is deadly and prefers the company of other men." These clans of ninjas were actually groups of homosexuas who survived by making themselves into costumed macho men so they would be left in peace.

Before the establishment of the ninja order, there were only samurai warriors. These warriors were the protectors of Japan's ruling class and very masculine. When it was discovered that some of the samurai were gay, these gay warriors were shamed, expelled from the order and forced to go underground. Using their superior sense of style and "late night" lifestyle, the ninjas were formed. In fact, in modern Japan, gay men are often said to be following the way of the ninja.

The black jumpsuit is a modern invention. Traditionally, the ninja would dress to camouflage himself in whatever color was difficult to detect in the dark and was stylish by the standards of the day. Some suits were black, but no ninja would allow himself a closet full of only one color uniform. Teams of talented ninjas would design these uniforms and ninjas would choose them during shows featuring younger ninjas walking down a catwalk.

While the uniform of a ninja showed his sense of style, his weapons were meant to represent the sexual proclivities of the warrior. The long swords or "jinjaken" were meant to represent an engorged male phallus. The "shurikens" or throwing stars were actually meant to represent a stylized anus. How the ninja displayed these weapons would indicate whether he was a top or bottom.

Another interesting fact about ninjas is that they refused to work on the weekends and instead spent that time shopping at antique stores, going to bars and trying to find a good, reasonably priced sushi restaurant that didn't have too much attitude.

Even today, straight men who have questions about their sexuality find themselves attracted to ninjas and ninja movies. Thankfully, we now live in a world where ninjas can openly live the lifestyle of their choice, although it is still illegal for them to marry.


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Copyright 2008 David Wahl