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Japan’s first salaried foreign ninja

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Japan’s first salaried foreign ninja

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A region of Japan looking to use ninja warriors to boost tourism has made an American the first foreign national to draw a salary for joining the country’s traditional group of assassins

Aichi Prefecture (near Nagoya to the south west of Tokyo) had been seeking 6 full-time ninja. Ninja were skilled in espionage and guerrilla warfare; they were hired mercenaries during the turmoil that marked the Sengoku (Waring States) Period between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Job postings said candidates of any nationality were welcome. Of the 235 applicants, 85% were non-Japanese. 29-year-old Chris O’Neill so impressed the selection panel with acrobatic flips during his auditions that officials created an extra place for him.

The ninja squad will receive one-year contracts and a monthly salary of ¥180,000 (US$1,750) plus bonuses. O’Neill will work alongside six Japanese colleagues comprising five men and one woman. Their duties include performing acrobatic flips, demonstrating their trademark shuriken throwing stars and posing for photographs with tourists.

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