Ninja, also called shinobi, were mysterious, secretive people who were hired for assassinations and espionage. They were ruthless camouflage masters, wearing green in the forest, white in the snow, and blackish-blue in the shadows. They are portrayed as the worst enemies of the Samurai. Daimyo Akechi was a known ninja-hater. Historically, however, ninja and samurai often collaborated (although the Iga clan was wiped out by Oda Nobunaga). Though the samurai resented the dishonorable and deceitful nature of the ninja, it remains true that the skills of the ninja were crucial in winning a war.
Ninja are thought to have been farmers who adapted their tools into weapons when the samurai took away all the weapons they had—for example, the nunchaku was, in reality, a farming tool. However, the origin of the ninja remains, like the assassins themselves, shrouded in shadow.
Ninja are renowned for their stealth, being able to emerge out of nowhere, strike, then disappear like ghosts.
They are also excellent tacticians and skilled fighters, each capable of using several different weapons as well as knowing a great deal about unarmed combat. Ninjutsu, the art of stealth, focused on the body's natural movements being applied in combat rather than introducing completely new movements.
Ninja have a diverse range of skills which is what makes them such feared opponents. Climbing, explosives, weaponry, poison, healing, mimicry, battle tactics and stealth are among their skills.
- Shuriken (ninja stars)
- Ninjatō (ninja sword), also known as a ninjaken or a shinobigatana
- Barbed chains
- Tantō (short blade)
- Yumi (bow)
- Manriki Gusari
- Ninja guns
Ninja who appear in the Young Samurai Series:
- Dragon Eye (Dokugan Ryu)
- Grandmaster Soke
- Date Akiko