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The Secret Traditions of the Shinobi: Hattori Hanzo's Shinobi Hiden and Other Ninja Scrolls Paperback – November 27, 2012


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The Secret Traditions of the Shinobi: Hattori Hanzo's Shinobi Hiden and Other Ninja Scrolls + True Path of the Ninja: The Definitive Translation of the Shoninki (An Authentic Ninja Training Manual) + The Book of Ninja: The Bansenshukai - Japan's Premier Ninja Manual
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ANTONY JOHN CUMMINS holds an undergraduate degree in Ancient History & Archaeology and a master’s degree in Neolithic Archaeology. In addition to working as a ninjutsu consultant for documentarians and authors, he has copresented television programs dedicated to the ninja. He lives in Manchester, England.
 
YOSHIE MINAMI earned a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the International Christian University and has worked as a consultant for television documentaries about the ninja. As a translator, she has published True English (2009) and The True Path of the Ninja (2011). She lives in Saitama, Japan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Snake Books (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583944354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583944356
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Antony Cummins is an author-historian who concentrates on medieval Japanese warfare and is the founder of the Historical Ninjutsu Research Team, a team dedicated to the translation and publication of historical shinobi manuals into the English language. His goal is to bring together the greatest amount of reference material on the ninja and to help form a correct image of the truth behind Japanese samurai warfare. In his works you will discover the lost ways of the ninja, ancient stories of samurai heroes and secrets that have been hidden away for centuries.

Customer Reviews

This is a good book because of the extra editorials.
J. V. White
Throughout the book, there are plenty of notes and descriptions to help the reader understand the translations better.
Alain B. Burrese
For those interested in this dangerous, highly skilled world of the ninja, this may be the must-get, must-read book.
Owl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By eddie swofford on July 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very historical and put the reader inside the time frame.... Not a boriing read and full of interesting material not found in current historical texts...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alain B. Burrese TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed "The Secret Traditions Of The Shinobi: Hattori Hanzo's Shinobi Hiden And Other Ninja Scrolls" edited and translated by Antony Cummins and Yoshie Minami for the historical significance of reading older texts on the arts. You won't learn how to "be a ninja" by reading this book, especially when many lessons from that period were stated to be transmitted orally. However, this book does enlighten the reader as to what kinds of skills were being studied and practiced, and points the modern student of martial arts toward elements to include in one's training.

There are several older texts included in this volume, including: the Shinobi Hiden attributed to Hattori Hanzo; the Koka Ryu Ninjutsu Densho from the Edo period; the three shinobi scrolls of the Gunpo Jiyoshu promoted by Tokugawa Ieyasu; and one hundred medieval poems about the shinobi dating to somewhere between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries. Also included are seventy black-and-white drawings from the scrolls.

Throughout the book, there are plenty of notes and descriptions to help the reader understand the translations better. These definitely helped me gain a deeper understanding of the texts, as well as the significance of the texts as related to the history of ninjutsu. I'm sure anyone wanting to learn more about the skills studied by the ancient ninja, as well as those with an interest in this period of Japanese history will enjoy this book.

I think the last section of the book, the Yoshimori Hyakushu, or the 100 poems or waka (also known as tanka) is my favorite section of the book. The poems themselves are very short, but there is also a paragraph of explanation after each of them.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Owl on April 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
What was the most important lesson for Shinobi? Essentials to carry on every mission? Attitude? Techniques for entry?

From the "The Secret Traditions of the Shinobi," encompassing the Shinobi Hiden (Volumes I, II, and III), the Koka Ryu Ninjutsu Densho, the Three Shinobi Scrolls of the Gunpo Jiyoshu, the Related Text from Gunpo Jiyoshu and the Yoshimori Hyakushu, the answer is clear.

The jobs of the Shinobi were two-fold. First the ninjas were to infiltrate the enemy's defenses, swiftly getting detailed, accurate information back to their Lord. Second they were to detect enemy efforts to infiltrate their own defenses, swiftly alerting their fellow-defenders without revealing to the enemy ninja that they had been detected.

We learn from this remarkable direct translation of original materials that the essentials for every mission were writing equipment,food, water, and a means of making fire to which would be added armament as needed such as caltrops, grenades, torches and incendiary devices for wet and dry conditions (recipes included). Anticipating the information value of captives, the scrolls illustrate the construction and use of gags and restraints, as well as proper techniques for binding to prevent escape. We are told, over and over, that the attitude of the Shinobi must be absolute unswerving loyalty to his Lord, putting loyalty before any fear of death. None-the-less, the value to the Lord of a highly trained Shinobi was such that loyalty could mean taking great care not to be killed, thus what we might consider today a proper respect for one's own skin and survival.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book. I just don't like paperback books it's a shame it doesn't come in hardback. However the content is what matters so don't judge this book by its baperback cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pwill on May 15, 2014
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Despite how anybody may feel about Antony(watch youtube to make up your mind) there are very few people doing mass research into the history of ninjutsu. It is a good book for history
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick O. Hardy on September 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book! Please understand that this book is not "How To Become A Ninja" in 10 easy lessons. It is a guide to what these spy/scouts/fighters did to make themselves Legendary. Like anything else, you have to have hands on training from someone that knows what they are doing. The really important stuff, as said through out this book, lets you know that some of every lesson will be transferred orally. This was an intelligent safe guard in case these scrolls or writings fell into the wrong hands. With that aside, if you are looking for an inside view of the Shinobi Warrior (Ninja), this book & Cummins other translations are definitely the way to go, IMO!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cide976 on July 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first of Antony and Yoshie's books that I have read and it is a marvelous work. There is a plethora of historically accurate information combined with philosophies that can be applied to everyday life in the same vein as Sun Tzu's Art of War. What I found particularly enjoyable is the final section of the book which contains a number of poems and translations of their meanings/applications. These poems (whether intentionally or not) do a fantastic job of summarizing the previous content of the book and also contribute a bit of the mysticism that has always surrounded Ninjutsu. This is a great read for practitioners, historians or even just those with a passing interest in ninjas. I look forward to reading Antony and Yoshie's next book: Iga and Koka Ninja Skills: The Secret Shinobi Scrolls of Chikamatsu Shigenori.
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The Secret Traditions of the Shinobi: Hattori Hanzo's Shinobi Hiden and Other Ninja Scrolls
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