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Japanese University Awards First Ninja Studies Degree

Japan produced its first ninja studies graduate after Genichi Mitsuhashi spent two years honing his martial arts skills and absorbing the finest traditions of agents of feudal martial arts.

The 45-year-old completed the master's course. at Mie University in central Japan, the region considered the home of the ninja.

In addition to researching historical documents, Mitsuhashi said he took the practicality of being a ninja seriously.

"I read that the ninjas worked as farmers in the morning and trained in martial arts in the afternoon," he said.

So Mitsuhashi grew vegetables and worked on his martial arts techniques, in addition to the copious ninja study in the classroom.

"With this combination, I thought I could learn about the real ninja," he said.

Better known as black-clad assassins famous for secrecy and stealth, ninjas also had "comprehensive survival skills." added.

Genichi Mitsuhashi cuts wood in Iga, Mie Prefecture, on June 21. Mitsuhashi has become the first student to graduate from a Japanese university with a master's degree in ninja studies. The | GENICHI MITSUHASHI / AFP-JIJI

Mitsuhashi, who also learned kung fu and a Japanese martial art known as Shorinji Kempo, teaches ninja in his own dojo and runs a local inn while pursuing his PhD

Mie The University established the world's first research center dedicated to the ninja in 2017 and opened a postgraduate course a year later.

It is located in Iga, 350 km (220 miles) southwest of Tokyo, a city covered in mountains. once home to many ninjas.

Yuji Yamada, professor of Japanese history at the university in charge of the ninja center, was amazed at Mitsuhashi's devotion to the task.

“We provide historical classes and courses on ninja skills. But I did not expect him to get involved in this move "like a real living ninja, Yamada said.

To enroll, students must take a Japanese history exam and a ninja historical document reading test."

“About three students enroll each year. I think there is demand, "said the professor.

" We receive many inquiries from abroad, but I have to say one thing: this is a course to learn about the ninja, not to become one. "

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