In the age of civil wars or during the Edo period, ninjas' abilities to spy and kill, or mix medicine may have been useful. But we now have guns, the Internet and much better medicines, so the art of ninjutsu has no place in the modern age.

Jinichi Kawakami, Japan’s last ninja grandmaster (BBC)

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    Maria

    Yes indeed, this was an interesting feature on the BBC. Kawakami is letting the art of ninjutsu die out, in that he is not selecting a successor after him. No doubt leaving the door wide open for lots of people to creep in past him and take over, as they claim to be the new true grandmaster.

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    Seiryuu_Dan

    While true, we have what people call black ops, special forces, agents and assassin, etc. Ninja and ninjutsu are one of the most mysterious, mystical and exciting subject in japanese culture and is really popular around the world. Not just the manga and anime works about them, either.

    It's sad if it really is going to die out. Maybe instead, Kawakami-sensei should write several copies of ninjutsu manuscripts, techniques and a know-how guide and scatter it across Japan. Whoever finds it and learns the shinobi ways is it's successor, that way, He won't need to choose a successor, but it will choose itself.

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    gaijinfo

    Once again Japan think's it's cornered the market in some kind of ubiquitous human behavior. So long as there are leaders who intend to deceive men in order to gain power and wealth, there will always be methods of deception, assassination, and spycraft.

    Any advanced government or organization has got their own "ninjas." they are always evolving, and always improving their skills.

    The traditional Japanese ninja had it's time and place, but they were really just like any group. A certain set of skills based on a certain set of knowledge and experience.

    The world evolves, while Japan tries to mythologize it's past.

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    Aliasis

    It certainly has a place in Japanese culture. I'd hate to see it "die".

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    JeffLee

    Not much call these days for jousting knights on horseback, either. I often ponder the possible reasons why.

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    avigator

    I think it is still alive. I see a japanese policeman come to the fence near my house to check on a small box. Maybe a camera checking what we do?

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    Frungy

    I'm not a fan of ninjitsu, but if you actually looked into what the ninja REALLY did (as opposed to all the hype about ninja stars and black clothing), you'll find out that they really specialised in poisoning, blackmail, espionage and no small amount of sabotage. These skills are pretty much timeless.

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