ninja \NIN-juh\ noun
: a person trained in ancient Japanese martial arts and employed especially for espionage and assassinations
Ninjas are thought to be able to run faster than ordinary men, scale impossible walls, and endure the severest of pain.
Did you know?
Ninjas may seem mysterious, but the origin of their name is not. The word “ninja” derives from the Japanese characters “nin” and “ja.” “Nin” initially meant “persevere,” but over time it developed the extended meanings “conceal” and “move stealthily.” In Japanese, “ja” means “person.” Ninjas originated in the mountains of Japan over 800 years ago as practitioners of ninjutsu, a martial art sometimes called “the art of stealth” or “the art of invisibility.” They often served as military spies and were trained in disguise, concealment, geography, meteorology, medicine, and also other martial arts. Popular legends still associate them with espionage and assassinations, but modern ninjas are most likely to study ninjutsu to improve their physical fitness and self-defense skills.
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