Kanji for "ninja"
|Country of origin||Japan|
Ninjutsu (忍術) sometimes used interchangeably with the term ninpō (忍法) is the martial art, strategy, and tactics of unconventional warfare and guerrilla warfare practiced by the shinobi (commonly known outside of Japan as ninja).
While there are several styles of "modern ninjutsu," the historicity and lineage of these styles is disputed.
The origin of ninjutsu is unknown, and still under research. While ninjutsu is often believed to be developed by groups of people mainly from the Iga Province and Kōka Province, Shiga of Japan; the earliest known record referencing ninjutsu in these areas dated from the 1500s, 200 years later than the earliest known Japanese historical record mentioning ninjutsu. There is some speculation that ninjutsu have some Chinese influence. Throughout history the shinobi (ninja) have been seen as assassins, scouts and spies. They are mainly noted for their use of stealth and deception.
- A female is ninja is sometimes referred to as a Kunoichi.
- Contrary to popular belief, the shinobi (ninja) and the samurai were not mutually exclusive classes; many ninja (an example being Hattori Hanzo), were also samurai.