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15th Nov 2018

Japanese city of Iga facing ‘ninja shortage’

Kyle Picknell

Even with salaries as high as £66,500, a city in Japan is struggling for ninjas

The Japanese city of Iga, which claims to be the birthplace of ninjitsu, the tactic of unconventional guerrilla warfare and espionage, is suffering from a ninja shortage.

Yes, that is right, despite it being probably the coolest job in the entire world, and despite salaries reportedly in the $23,000 to $85,000 (roughly £18,000 to £66,500), there are simply not enough ninjas.

The city is heavily reliant on tourism, as the population of Iga grows by 30,000 (an increase of 30%) every year as visitors flock for the annual ninja festival.

Whereas major cities in Japan are experiencing a tourism boom, rural cities such as Iga are being left behind.

The mayor of Iga, Sakae Okamoto, is promoting the city’s ninja heritage with the aim of drawing more tourists and has received funding from the central Japanese government to relocate Iga’s city hall, build a SECOND ninja museum, and, erm, pay for more ninjas.

Well, ninja-performers, as real ninjas no longer exist, according to Sugako Nakagawa, curator of the original ninja museum in the city.

“Ninja is not an inheritable class. Without severe training, nobody could become a ninja. That’s why they have silently disappeared in history,” she told Reuters.

So, if you fancy dressing up as a ninja and pretending to be a ninja for a fairly hefty salary get involved.

If you don’t, then, I hate to say it, you have something wrong with you.

Or, simply put, you are no longer six years old. Whatever. I’m sacking off the writing to live in Japan become a fucking ninja and nobody is going to stop me.