A great bit of fun and learning today at the Samurai & Ninja Museum in Kyoto. If you’re traveling with kids, this is actually a good idea to have fun and get educated at the same time. We got to try on Samurai costumes and trained with a life-like katanas. , and even got the chance to use Shuriken, (not real ones of course, with so many enthusiastic budding child Ninjas in the room). Also, blow guns were ace fun to play with in our ninja training.

There was a Samurai Master who performed show for us. Personally, our favorite part was the history of Japan’s Feudal system which was narrated to us by a lovely lady who made the tales even more interesting with her crowd interaction and enthusiasm. The boys were actively listening.

Some of the interesting points to note from the day were:

  • To be a Samurai or a Ninja, you need to be born into it, and that was you. If you didn’t like fighting, were left-handed, or weak. You were not going to enjoy your time on earth
  • There were also female Ninjas called Kunoichi, again born into it.
  • Who would win if a Samurai and Ninja had a fight? Samurai are warriors and Ninjas are assassins. It depends on how the fight is arranged, if the Samurai ran into a Ninja on a battlefield the Ninja would be done for (or he’d flee), but if the Ninja was allowed to use his sneaky tactics in the right setting the Samurai would lose.
  • Were there other warriors in Japan? Yes there were, Warrior Monks (great name for a band if you are looking for one) they mostly fought by pole.

 

And this, literally was, the last Samurai to have lived after the feudal system was brought down. I have no idea why tiny Tom Thumb Cruise was chosen to play the part of a Japanese beefcake.

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