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Podcast #290: Everything You Know About Ninjas Is Wrong | The Art of Manliness

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When you hear the word “ninja” what do you imagine?

Hooded and masked men in black garb, stealthily running across tiled roofs? Ninja stars? Renegade warriors engaging in a special hand-to-hand combat system against their sworn enemy, the samurai?

If that’s what you think of when you think of ninjas, I’m afraid my guest today on the podcast is here to tell us it’s all completely wrong.

His name is Antony Cummins. He has spent his career researching and translating feudal Japanese texts on samurai and ninjas. Today we’re talking about True Path of the Ninja. It’s a translation of a 17th century text called the Shoninki, a field manual for would-be ninjas.

Today on the show, Antony uncovers the biggest myths we have in the West about ninjas — like the fact that there isn’t really a ninjutsu fighting system, nor were samurai the ninjas’ sworn enemy — and then gives the real history of these ancient warriors. Antony then shares what lessons actual ninjas can teach us folks living in the modern West about psychology and interacting with others in business and life.

The bad news is that we’re going to ruin your childhood conceptions about ninjas in this podcast, but the good news is that the real story of ninjas is even more fascinating.

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