Japan Is Experiencing A Ninja Shortage

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“We want ninja,” says Genzo Tsurugi, a ninja performer of 12 years. [Image: Nippon Television]

The country that made ninja famous is currently experiencing a shortage of their stage variety. There are not enough ninja performers in Japan.

Nippon Television (via Livedoor) reports that local ninja shows don’t have enough performers to entertain the crowds. Of course, Japanese children have long been interested in ninja, but with foreign tourism higher than its ever been, ninja are experiencing a flurry of interest.

At Ninja Village Hizenyumekaidou in Saga Prefecture, for example, there are currently only three ninja on staff for the stage show. “We want ninja,” said one of the resident ninja.

According to Kunihiro Takeishi of the Japan Ninja Council, the ninja shortage is serious throughout the country.

Theme park Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura in Hokkaido even created a special YouTube video for a “massive recruitment of ninja performers,” complete with info for how to apply.

Since these are stunt performers, one of the biggest issues causing the ninja shortage isn’t a lack of training, but, according to the Nippon Television segment, the actors’ salary. It’s reportedly hard to make a living only doing ninja shows.

To meet all the needs the tourists expected to visit by 2020, when the Tokyo Olympics are held, the Japan Ninja Council is working to address the issue. Says Takeishi, “I think it might be difficult.”


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