*Photo by Antoine Hunt
*Photo by Antoine Hunt

We were privileged to meet the “Japan’s last ninja”, Jinichi Kawakami. His talk really outlined the principles of the ninja spirit and how the red circle represents universal harmony.

“Ninja is just another part of this grand plan to live in harmony and peace with one another,” he told us through his translator. “I believe it is possible through this ninja spirit.”

Many of us were hoping to see a little more of the physical demonstrations — we just got a few darts thrown at a door and the ninja disappearing and transforming into what looked like a rock. Kawakami said it was important to understand that the ancient art of ninjitsu was developed to create harmony to protect their families in local regions and as a whole guard the nation of Japan.

The martial arts element was only part of the equation. Asked why he was the last ninja he said that in a the ninja has no place in a world with such advanced military technology such as espionage, nuclear weapons and infiltration.