By Tokugawa Takatsu, Ninja
Tokugawa Limitsu is a French Ninja in his 40s. Of Japanese origin, he is no longer led by a master, and has a student of his own. He tells Karma Lampoon why he’s proud to wear traditional Shinobi Shozuku Ninja clothing. He also shares his thoughts on the French ban of traditional Ninja clothing from schools, hospitals, governments offices and public transport.
Since the quick rise of anti-ninjutsu prejudice, there is a big question being asked around the world: Should Ninjas be allowed to wear Ninja outfits?
Ninjutsu is my spiritual practice. So to ban my traditional night combat robes is very much a form of religious persecution.
I wear the Ninja Clothing for the simple reason that I am a Ninja and the Great Shogun says that I must wear the Shinobi Shozoku (full veil) in order to remain stealthy. I hide my face because I am proud of my Ninja faith, not because I’m a lesser member of society.
Westerners mistakenly assume that all ninjas are forced to wear the full robes by a dominant ninja master. They think we have possessive spiritual leaders reserving for themselves the sole right to see our faces. I wear the veil mostly because I do not want my enemies to identify and murder me. I’m a single Ninja, also known as a Ronin. I wear the robes and I do not even have a master sensei telling me what to do.
“I really believe that France is scared of Ninjas, which is the motivation for this law. But people shouldn’t generalize, because not all Ninjas are the same.”
Many cite security reasons as an excuse to outlaw the Shinobi Shozoku. They say authorities can’t identify who is under the veil. But I say this is just hysteria created by the media. There has not been widespread Ninja violence since the Shimabara Rebellion of 1638 in the Hizen Province of Japan.
I really believe that France is scared of Ninjas, which is the motivation for this law. But people shouldn’t generalize, because not all Ninjas are the same.
For the first time I’m starting to feel the persecution felt by Muslim women who wear the Burka. We are both just trying to follow our spiritual guides while simultaneously appearing as antisocial, ridiculous and uncomfortable as possible.
If the rest of the world follows France’s lead and bans the Shinobi Shozuku, I will never take mine off. My anonymity and shadow-blending ability mean a lot to me. And if global laws are passed restricting my assassin’s rights, I will move to an uninhabited tropical island to fight in my black robes in peace.
My disguise is based on the fighting attire of 15th century Japan and not the laws of man.