kateoplis:

“Japan’s era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but the country does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas. Experts in the dark arts of espionage and silent assassination, ninjas passed skills from father to son - but today’s say they will be the last. […]

Kawakami is the 21st head of the Ban family, one of 53 that made up the Koka ninja clan. He started learning ninjutsu (ninja techniques) when he was six, from his master, Masazo Ishida.

“I thought we were just playing and didn’t think I was learning ninjutsu,” he says.

“I even wondered if he was training me to be a thief because he taught me how to walk quietly and how to break into a house.”

Other skills that he mastered include making explosives and mixing medicines.

“I can still mix some herbs to create poison which doesn’t necessarily kill but can make one believe that they have a contagious disease,” he says.

Kawakami inherited the clan’s ancient scrolls when he was 18.”

Read on: Japan’s Ninjas Heading for Extinction | BBC