Shinobi vs. Ninja

By Jaxson

  • Ninja

    A ninja (忍者) (hiragana: にんじゃ) or shinobi (忍び) (hiragana: しのび) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of a ninja included espionage, deception, and surprise attacks. Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed dishonorable and beneath the honor of the samurai. Though shinobi proper, as specially trained spies and mercenaries, appeared in the 15th century during the Sengoku period (15th–17th centuries), antecedents may have existed as early as the 12th century.In the unrest of the Sengoku period, mercenaries and spies for hire became active in Iga Province and the adjacent area around the village of Kōga, and it is from the area’s clans that much of the knowledge of the ninja is drawn. Following the unification of Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th century, the ninja faded into obscurity. A number of shinobi manuals, often based on Chinese military philosophy, were written in the 17th and 18th centuries, most notably the Bansenshukai (1676).By the time of the Meiji Restoration (1868), shinobi had become a topic of popular imagination and mystery in Japan. Ninjas figured prominently in legend and folklore, where they were associated with legendary abilities such as invisibility, walking on water and control over the natural elements. As a consequence, their perception in popular culture is based more on such legend and folklore than on the spies of the Sengoku period.

  • Shinobi (noun)

    A male ninja.

  • Ninja (noun)

    A person trained in ninjutsu, especially one used for espionage, assassination, and other tasks requiring stealth during Japan’s shogunate period.

  • Ninja (noun)

    A person considered similarly skillful to the historical ninja, especially in covert or stealthy operation.

  • Ninja (noun)

    A person considered to look like the historical ninja in some way, including amateur private miners.

  • Ninja (noun)

    syn of manas a friendly term of address.

    “What up, my ninja!””

  • Ninja (adjective)

    Of or ninjas in their various senses.

  • Ninja (verb)

    To ninja, particularly with regard to a combination of speed, power, and stealth.

  • Ninja (verb)

    syn of preempt: to supersede and invalidate a response by posting immediately before it.

    “When I hit post, I saw that Blue Emu had ninja’d me, so I just deleted my reply.”

  • Ninja (verb)

    To claim an item through abuse of game mechanics.

    “That damn warrior ninja’d an epic-quality wand even though he can’t even use it!”

  • Ninja (noun)

    a person skilled in the Japanese art of ninjutsu.

  • Ninja (noun)

    a person who excels in a particular skill or activity

    “the courses vary—you don’t have to be a computer ninja to apply”

Oxford Dictionary

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