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.

Big finish:

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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Great story! Thanks. Sorry to hear about you being fired though… Haven’t you heard?

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.

What’s changed? Personally my three year old shows more signs of maturity than I do.

high_desert_wanderer on April 26, 2006 at 4:09 PM

Unless I’m mistaken, isn’t MM the mother of a boy? Well, then, she’ll understand in just a few short years… heck, mine’s 4 and I understand perfectly why you felt compelled to post….

rightallthetime on April 26, 2006 at 4:11 PM

I’m just teasing about Michelle. She’s a great boss.

Allahpundit on April 26, 2006 at 4:12 PM

My 18 month old son made a right angled figure out of Legos held it by one side, pointed it at his mother and (without prompting of any kind) said. “Look,Mom, we are mens, we have guns!

ricksamerican on April 26, 2006 at 4:26 PM

between you and Jay Tea stealing my schtick, ya’ll are stealing food outta my kid’s mouths!

(if I had kids…)

MacStansbury on April 26, 2006 at 5:09 PM

Just from a historical standpoint, that is so cool! Great story Allah, I’m sure MM won’t mind an occasional thread on a lighter topic.

geekrunner on April 26, 2006 at 5:14 PM

Even girls think this is cool. MM wont mind!

labwrs on April 26, 2006 at 5:39 PM

What this blog needs is more ninja action!

I think you ought to try to convince Michelle to do an all ninja edition of Vent… dressed like a ninja, attacked by ninjas… something…

jwookie on April 26, 2006 at 5:53 PM

He does look a bit like a teenage mutant turtle.

(Sorry. I wanted to try out my new posting privileges.)

CAD Daddy on April 26, 2006 at 5:54 PM

Were you a ninja when you were little too? I’m married to a former ninja who will love this story.

violet on April 26, 2006 at 6:00 PM

Allah, enjoyed the diversion. Maybe we could hire some of those 100,000 worldwide followers to protect our borders. Let’s see if they could “dodge the sword.” I wouldn’t mind seeing my tax dollars at work this way.

C4Miles on April 26, 2006 at 6:18 PM




Gun pr0n

and, yes, ninjas.

Better yet: robot monkey ninjas with guns!

mypetjawa on April 26, 2006 at 6:39 PM

Oh! I forgot this:

One of the most bizarre ninja sites, ever.

violet on April 26, 2006 at 7:05 PM

I wish I had a job where I could blog about ninjas.

Oh, wait, I do blog about ninjas:

If that doesn’t answer any question you have about ninjas, then your questions are stupid!

frankj on April 26, 2006 at 7:23 PM




(I’ll never grow up…)

Lonevoice on April 26, 2006 at 7:26 PM

Yeah! My four year old chews his graham crackers into the shapes of swords and guns all the time. MM will certainly be cool. Nice find!

Nathan Bradfield on April 26, 2006 at 8:57 PM




Gun pr0n

and, yes, ninjas.

Better yet: robot monkey ninjas with guns!

I thought it was John of Argghhh! for a moment, you were my second guess.

high_desert_wanderer on April 26, 2006 at 9:28 PM

As a practitionor of the sacred arts. It is my firm hope and wish that master hatsumi finds a worthy portegie to pass his legacy onto. While I never have studied ninjitsu (i am akikodi) I wish for ninjitsuist to have a worthy sucessor to carry on the traditions of ninjitsu so that its legacy will not be tainted by the steriotypes of hollywoood and the like.

chow on April 26, 2006 at 9:52 PM

The world would be a better place if there were more ninja stories than “scamnesty” stories…just my two cents

dmaestaz on April 27, 2006 at 1:27 AM

I’m still trying to confirm- bur rumor has it according to dad that our Grandmother Studied Ninjitsu…

Solid_Snake on April 27, 2006 at 7:51 AM

Interesting but sad…another era may come to pass with the death of this man. Another true form of war that pitted warrior against warrior fades to nothing but memories. With the advent of modern smart bombs, “freedom fighters” who target civilians with indiscriminate bombings, and other such “modern warfare” the charm, mystery, and maschimo of the human male will further fade. Give me a sword and a shield, thats the stuff that legends are made of…

AIRBORNE leads the way…

hoosier_federalist on April 27, 2006 at 9:05 AM

Yep, I’ve got three sons myself. Ninja’s abound! I’m constantly stepping on them and such. My oldest took Karate for about a year and will definately return to it when our schedule slows down a bit. Yeah, Michelle in Ninja attire would so rock! Maybe she could do a swordsmanship demonstration where she slices a grape off of Zarqawi’s head. It would be too bad if she missed….

“The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.” –Abraham Lincoln

y2church on April 27, 2006 at 10:20 AM

Oddly, Nija didn;t start out wearing black and killing people. The art was taught to farmers and focused on of all things- running away. Not to say Ninja don;t kick it, but if they could find a way to distract, they would sneak away. Most of the time these ninjas were too busy working or farming to be killing people with num-chucks. Eventually the Ninja did pimp out their skill for assaination purposes etc. But they started as farmers.

So remember that next time you’re in Iowa and get caught behind a tractor on the highway.

2wylde on April 27, 2006 at 11:04 AM

So was he in “You Only Live Twice”?

Iblis on April 27, 2006 at 6:50 PM

That’s awesome, seriously. Why doesn’t he officially train others so he doesn’t die being the “last ninja”?

Tom Shakely on April 28, 2006 at 2:18 AM