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Japan Is Experiencing A Ninja Shortage

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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 it’s 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 on 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 of 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.”

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.