The last ninja
posted at 4:03 pm on April 26, 2006 by Allahpundit
I’ll probably be reprimanded by the Big M for straying off the political path here, but sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do.
And when a story about ninjas hits the newswires, what a man has to do is link. I mean, please — the headline alone.
And then there’s this:
Keeping your focus is just one of the lessons thumped out on the mats of the Bujinkan Dojo, a cramped school outside Tokyo that is a pilgrimage site for 100,000 worldwide followers. They revere Hatsumi as the last living master of ninjutsu — the mysterious Japanese art of war practiced by black-masked assassins of yesteryear….
Hatsumi is the only living student of the last “fighting ninja,” Toshitsugu Takamatsu, the so-called 33rd Grand Master who was a bodyguard to officials in Japanese-occupied Manchuria before World War II and fought — and won — 12 fights to the death. Legend says that during one battle, Takamatsu snatched an eyeball from a would-be Chinese bandit.
But wait. It gets better:
Traditional weaponry such as swords and throwing stars feature prominently is [sic] Hatsumi’s lessons, as do handclaws for climbing walls, blow darts and chili pepper dust to throw in an opponent’s eyes.
If you had asked an eleven-year-old Allahpundit what the coolest news story in history was, he’d be pointing you right here, my friends.
Hatsumi takes a break to pen traditional brush paintings for students who hustle to his side with paper. Then things get serious again with the meting out of “ninja tests.”
Going for his fifth-level ranking is Phil White of England, who kneels on the floor with his eyes closed. Behind him stands Hatsumi, clutching a padded wooden sword that he plans to bring down on White’s head.
If White — with his eyes still closed — manages to dodge the sword, he passes; if not, he takes home some bumps.
Twice the staff cracks on White’s head before he slumps out of the way on his third try — enough to satisfy the master.
“I’m still shaking,” White says afterward….
So am I. And with that, assuming I haven’t already been fired for posting this, I’m off to find a photo.
UPDATE: Actually, there is a political angle. Quote: “[Hatsumi] has held training seminars for the FBI, CIA, the Mossad and for police in Britain, France and Germany.” Your tax dollars at work!
UPDATE: He was the “ninja advisor” … on a James Bond movie. And look:
I’m. In. Heaven.
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