December 5th

International Ninja Day -

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We celebrate an intriguing holiday on December 5th, a day recognized globally as International Ninja Day. This unique and interesting celebration is all about honoring the intriguing universe of these secretive Japanese fighters, known as ninjas. On this day, enthusiasts from all corners of the globe delve into the exciting world of ninjas by engaging in various activities such as wearing ninja costumes, viewing ninja-themed films or even trying out a few martial arts techniques.

Whether your admiration lies with the historic warriors of stealth or with their modern-day portrayals, International Ninja Day provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating culture and influence of ninjas.

History of International Ninja Day

Ninjas, also known as shinobi, originated from the tumultuous Sengoku period in Japan’s history, around the 15th century. These covert agents, often from the lower classes, were hired for espionage, sabotage, guerrilla warfare, and assassinations. Ninjas were known for their ability to keep their identities concealed as they could blend into society, making them efficient spies. They would often pose as gardeners, farmers, or monks.

The fundamental ninja training started at a young age in Iga and Koga provinces, involving knowledge of survival, stealth, camouflage, meteorology, medicine, and explosives. It was also crucial for them to be proficient in many types of warfare and weaponry, including martial arts, poison, and disguise.

The ninjas’ supreme command of these skills made them a valuable asset during the feudal era. They played significant roles during the battles of Tensho Iga (1581) and Sekigahara (1600). However, in the Edo period (1603-1867), with the unification of Japan, the need for ninjas dwindled. The peaceful era led to the decline of these covert agents, causing them to disperse. Many ninjas turned into advisors and teachers, disseminating their knowledge across the land, while others integrated themselves back into society in more traditional roles.

Even today, the legacy of ninjas is part of popular culture, especially in movies, manga, and video games, perpetuating their image as mythical warriors and spies. The last authentic ninja, Jinichi Kawakami, stated that he would not appoint any successors, suggesting the traditional ninja lineage has ended.

International Ninja Day Timeline

Sengoku Period

The turbulent Sengoku period in Japan sees a heavy demand for ninja skills in intelligence and warfare activities.

Ninja Manuals

Shōninki, the legendary ninja manual on the skills, tactics, magic, and values of the ninja, was written in the 15th century.

Decline of Ninja

The need for ninja warfare skills declined in the early Edo period due to the establishment of shogunate power.

Romanticization of Ninja

The 19th century saw the romanticization of the ninja in folktales and legends, further mystifying their traditions and skills.

Pop Culture Influence

Ninja are popular figures in modern day films, video games, and comic books internationally, continuing to capture imaginations with their legendary figures.

Ideas to Celebrate International Ninja Day

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Homemade Ninja Costume Party

Invite friends and family over for a fun-filled party where everyone should come dressed in homemade ninja costumes. You could have contests for the most creative or realistic costumes, and perhaps some friendly costume-making competitions before the party.

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Ninja Movie Marathon

Gather a collection of classic ninja movies or animes, like 'Ninja Scroll', 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' or 'Naruto', and dive into the world of these mysterious warriors. You can prepare popcorn and favorite snacks, and enjoy the night with friends.

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Ninja Themed Game Night

Family game nights can be more fun with a Ninja theme. Play all sorts of ninja-themed video games or tabletop games. Try games like 'Fruit Ninja', 'Ninja Gaiden', or the 'LEGO Ninjago' series.

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Ninja Fitness Challenge

Host a Ninja fitness challenge at your local park. Create a mini obstacle course and time each participant as they try to complete the course. It would not only promote physical fitness but also pays homage to the agility and physical prowess of ninjas.

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Ninja Book Reading

Share a day reading books about ninjas. Either fiction or historical books would work. Some examples could be 'Ninja: A History' by John Man or 'The Way of the Ninja' by Masaaki Hatsumi.

8 Interesting Facts About Ninjas


The Shinobi Shozoku

Contrary to popular belief, ninjas did not always wear the all-black outfit depicted in movies. The traditional attire called Shinobi Shozoku, often matched the daily attire of the common folk to blend in. The all-black costume was born on the kabuki stage to symbolize invisibility.


Stealthy Swimmers

Ninjas were excellent swimmers. They trained to swim long distances, hold their breath for extended periods, and even learnt techniques to walk on water.


Farm Implements as Weapons

Many of the weapons used by ninjas, such as the kama and sickle, were farm implements. This was because they were easier to acquire and raised less suspicion.


Ninjas and Espionage

Ninjas were primarily spies, not assassins. Their main roles often involved reconnaissance, sabotage, and guerilla warfare instead of direct combat.


Female Ninjas

There were female ninjas known as kunoichi. They would often work as maids, dancers, or concubines in order to get close to their targets.


Invisibility Tricks

Ninjas used distraction techniques to appear invisible. They would use smoke bombs, firecrackers or even set fires to escape their enemies.


Living in the Shadows

Ninjas often resided and operated under darkness. This was believed to be because it made it easier for them to carry out their missions undetected.


Unique Weapon: Shuriken

The Shuriken is a famous ninja weapon, often referred to as a throwing star. They were usually thrown to distract or momentarily impair the enemy, rather than to kill.

International Ninja Day FAQs

Next International Ninja Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 December 5th Tuesday
2024 December 5th Thursday
2025 December 5th Friday
2026 December 5th Saturday
2027 December 5th Sunday
What is the pattern? Every December 5th

International Ninja Day Word Search

  • Shinobi
  • Shuriken
  • Japan
  • Stealth
  • Espionage
  • Ninjutsu