Modern movies give a taste or a shadow of what modern espionage is about, i.e.
Believe it or not, Secrets of the Ninja
Apart from explaining a bit about the Japanese espionage methods, Secrets of the Ninja corrects a few Western misconceptions about Japanese ninjas. For example, it says that:
“Ninjutsu is not a form of hand-to-hand combat. Ninjutsu is the art of infiltration and espionage.”
On the issue of the black suit worn by ninjas as portrayed in Western movies, the book says:
“The “ninja suit” was not worn by medieval
shinobi. While they sometimes did wear black, masks were common at the time and many people would have worn black with a hood to conceal the face. The ninja would not have worn this garb during the Warring States period of Japan’s history, but rather would have worn light armor on night raids and normal samurai garb or military wear on missions of stealth.”
A unique trait of Secrets of the Ninja is that it interprets the ancient manual and transforms it into a story form, albeit in a graphic novel format. In the book, you follow Nagata-
Secrets of the Ninja's artwork
At the end of the book is a more detailed description of some ninja tools mentioned in the story. It is a nice touch and will please medieval weapons enthusiasts.
Secret of the Ninja is a wonderful manual for beginners who desire to have a peep into the red world of ancient Japanese spies. Heartily recommended.
Secret of the Ninja is written by Sean Michale Wilson and illustrated by Akiko Shimojima. It is published by Blue Snake Books (July 7, 2015).
Many thanks to Servant: Blue Snake Books for review copy. All images are © to their respective owners.