Genichi Mitsuhashi, 45, spent two years studying the history, traditions, and fighting techniques of ninja – the mysterious feudal secret agent of Japan – at the country’s Mie University.
“Ribs are where Ninja used to live. The climate of this region creates ninja nature,” he said.
Mitsuhashi grows his own rice and vegetables in Iga, where he manages a local inn. He also taught martial arts and ninjutsu – ninja art – in his own dojo.
Apart from history, students also learn traditional fighting and survival skills, including basic martial arts and how to cross mountainous terrain while remaining undetected.
Ninja study professor Yuji Yamada said that Mitsuhashi was a “dedicated student.”
“He really (devoted) his life to ninja,” he added.
Mitsuhashi, who wants to pursue a doctorate in ninja studies, said the course had taught her about the present, as well as the past.
“Independent living for your own survival and prosperity is important for modern Japan,” he said. “The world for each of us is not global, but local. The era of globalism is over.”