Genichi Mitsuhashi, a 45-year old Japanese man is the world’s first person to receive a master’s degree in ninja studies. The said degree is a two-year program that involves learning basic martial arts and mountain climbing, among many others.
For two years, Mitsuhashi had to study the history, tradition, and fighting techniques of ninjas at Mie University in Japan. The ninja master’s degree started in 2018 at the said university. It is the world’s first program solely dedicated to ninja studies.
Ninjas were covert agents and mercenary during feudal Japan. They have high-level martial art skills and were experts in the assassination, sabotage, espionage, and guerilla warfare. Mitsuhashi said that aside from ninja’s fighting skills, they were also independent farmers.
To better understand how ninjas lived, Mitsuhashi even moved to the mountains of the province of Iga, 346km away from Tokyo. While in Iga, he planted rice and vegetable while running an inn. At the same time, he also taught the martial arts of the ninjas — ninjutsu.
Interested students must take a Japanese history exam and a reading test on historical ninja documents as a requirement. According to Ninja studies professor Yuji Yamada, three students enroll every year. He said that he finds that there is demand in the course and they get a lot of inquiries from international students.