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The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Just Passing Through
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While doing a bit of research, I came across a couple of scholars that believe the type of warfare used by the invading force cause the samurai to view their tactics differently.

I have a few questions here on this.

1st. Did ninja exist during this time period?

2nd. What ways do you think it would have effected strategy and technique?

Lets see, according to wikipedia the year for the invasion 1274 and 1281 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasions_of_Japan)

Posted on: 2009/6/27 22:40
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Permanent Village Fixture
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Kenny,

Why not do some research prior to posting your question.

#1 - Did ninja exist? Well have you checked the lineage of the ninjutsu/ninpo schools and cross referenced the dates?

#2 - What are your thoughts on this? Don't you think it would have changed their strategies and technologies?


I'm not trying to be a prick here but I think it would serve you well (in many area's of life) to find your own answers first... you're asking to be spoon fed info that you could easily look up... you should do some research yourself at least that way you know that we're not spoon feeding you shit!

You may want to look at a few topics such as who was building the Mongol fleet, the explosive projectiles they used, and a very famous Tsunami.

Hope that helps

Posted on: 2009/6/28 5:12
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Just Passing Through
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I honestly thought it would be a fun topic to discuss. I enjoy discussing history but I could ask the moderator to delete it if its a problem.

Posted on: 2009/6/28 12:49
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Village Old Timer
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Check out R.H.P. Mason's book, A History of Japan as a general reference.

See Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook's book,Secrets of the Samurai, describing the origins of Japanese martial systems in Japan including ninja. Also, Stephen Turnbull's book, Ninja: The True Story of Japan's Secret Warrior Cult.

Posted on: 2009/6/28 20:18
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Village Old Timer
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Quote:

Jon wrote:
I'm not trying to be a prick here but I think it would serve you well (in many area's of life) to find your own answers first... you're asking to be spoon fed info that you could easily look up... you should do some research yourself at least that way you know that we're not spoon feeding you shit!

You may want to look at a few topics such as who was building the Mongol fleet, the explosive projectiles they used, and a very famous Tsunami.

Hope that helps


While not trying to be a prick, you are coming across as one. Why not enlighten him as to some good sources that should be able to satisfy his curiosity? Instead of just bitching at him.

Posted on: 2009/6/28 21:28
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Just Passing Through
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Thank you for the suggestions on reading. My intent of the post was to get individual impressions. For example in some instances two people can read the same passage and come away with two different understandings.

Many times these two view points can contain pieces of knowledge that can't be found in a text book. That is why ask.

Posted on: 2009/6/29 4:15
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Village Old Timer
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Sid, I ignored Jon. And curiously, I offered sources and you ignored my contribution.

Pick through those books and have a look any of the half dozen or so Japanese history timelines you can find on the 'net at Columbia Uni or Japan culture websites. If you have access to a library, I recommend the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan (which had a searchable database on the Kodansha website, but has since closed).

The use of espionage and agents identified as ninja goes back to the Regent Nintoku in the 6th century, according to Ratti & Westbrook, and in the Heian Period (8th-12th c), ninja were in the employ of yamabushi in their battles with the ruling governments.

By the time the Mongols arrived, sure, Japanese warriors were well-versed in the Chinese classics such as Sun Tsu's Art of War, which has a lengthy section on espionage.

Posted on: 2009/6/29 8:32
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Permanent Village Fixture
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Liz offered some good suggestions... though Stephen Turnbull's book, "Ninja: The True Story of Japan's Secret Warrior Cult." is quite expensive... I would favour his newer book "Warriors of medieval Japan" I found this book very interesting and it includes the History of the Samurai, Ashigaru, Ninja, and Warrior Monks.

Quote:
Benkyoka wrote: Why not enlighten him as to some good sources that should be able to satisfy his curiosity?


Sid, I'm sorry you found me so offensive (I hope that Kenny did not)... I think I did 'enlighten' him on some good sources (which I have expanded upon below). I don't see the benefit provided by your post, you did not provide any help you simply called me a prick (maybe sending a PM in the future would be more appropriate?)!

The point I was trying to get across was that you should do your own research. People will often feed you mis-truths and the internet/library has a load of info out there for you to find quite easily, and just as quickly as I can.
---

As I was saying it is quite easy to cross reference a BJK lineage with the dates of the Mongol invasion... Togakure Ryu - Daisuke - circa 1161.
So for question #1 - yes, it appears that at least one Ninja ryu did exist during this time period (and as Liz pointed out much earlier as well).

Sorry... I meant typhoon not Tsunami... that being said check out the following site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasions_of_Japan
And consider the implications on the Japanese of this mysterious typhoon that destroyed their enemies... Kamikaze!

As for bombs this quote "Yuan army used small exploding bombs:
probably the first appearance of bombs and gunpowder in Japan." from the following site:
http://www.ualberta.ca/~chor/mongolin.htm

Once you're done that check out youtube and see if you can't find some interesting tv programs on the invasion.

Kenny, I'm sorry if you were offended but I think it's very important that you look at several sources and do your own research. Once that is done you'll have a base of knowledge with which we can discuss the topic.

Posted on: 2009/6/29 12:26
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Village Old Timer
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Jon, Turnbull's book, used and under CAN$20, is available on Amazon.ca -

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listin ... ed?ie=UTF8&condition=used

The Kodansha Encyclopedia, used, starts at $200, but some libraries with Asian history and culture sections have it. The single volume is great for weight training by the way.

I don't want to engage in a discussion per se. I offered those sources for the same reasons Jon did - much garbage is circulated on the 'Net. That being said, this forum is a good place to share information on where a curious person might find resources.

Jon provided some interesting information that fills out the picture of the technology available to the Mongols at that time.

Ratti and Westbrook attribute the successful repulsion of the Mongol invaders to the Japanese archers' superior skills. They intimidated the Mongols from the shore with their accuracy (one general shot his brother's helmet off his head and pinned it to a gate without injuring him) and distance, driving off ships with storms of arrows fired from the shore.

Posted on: 2009/6/29 14:12
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Re: The Mongol Invasion and the ninja
Kutaki Postmaster
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The main problem with these kinds of question are that the terms 'ninja', 'shinobi' etc were probably not widely in use if at all, during the era you were interested in, and I'm never entirely unsure that many of the people and roles we now classify as forerunners to ninja are loosely collated due to one or more aspects of their modus operandi.

Turnbull links all sorts of historical and mythical beings to the nina but I wonder if much of this was to pad out a book when he could not find much material on actual ninja themselves. I find his samurai works to be very helpful, especially the Sourcebook, but his first ninja book doesn't contain a lot about ninja and his second book Ninja AD 1460-1650 is downright insulting and he also appears to have dropped Hatsumi Soke like a bad habit, describing Togakure Ryu as a 'former' ryu as though it no longer exists, a complete turnaround from the first book in which he credits Soke as a valuable source of authentic material although surprisingly he doubts the authenticity of the Trojan Flamethrower Bovine, a weapon I practice diligently in my own spare time. :D

From the dates of the founding of the ryuha onwards, we can probably say yes these were early ninja, but definitely ninja and not mere scouts, spies, sharpshooters, bandits, pirates awaiting classification by western historians in the absence of primary sources on actual ninja. And remember that many ninja were also samurai, so when were they being a ninja and when were they being a samurai. When engaged in ninjutsu were they ninja, and then in the cold light of day on battlefield were they samura, and was it really as cut and dried as this anyway?

From what I gather about the first and second Mongol invasions, the Japanese were none too clever the first time around regarding the martial etiquette of the Mongols and the main difference the second time around was to employ archers firing vast volleys as an opening gambit. Is there room for ninjutsu as well? I'm sure there is, but finding evidence of it will be nigh impossible.

Posted on: 2009/6/29 20:50
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