Diet to train resilience, help hide and eliminate body odor of Ninja

The facts about the Ninja are as mysterious as their whereabouts. These mysterious assassins are also known by another name as Shinobi, they have lived and operated a life full of mysteries and it seems that everything about them is hidden by history.

Although little is known about them and many variations exist, experts on Ninja have one thing in common: Ninja are secret guerrilla warriors, believed to have lived in Mie province – the area mountainous areas of Japan between 1487 and 1603.

During the dark years of history, Japan was immersed in military conflicts, the Shinobi were considered deadly assassins using secret techniques and extreme hunting skills.

However, even Stephen Turnbull – an expert in Japanese religious history who has published extensively on Ninja culture and history finds it very difficult to prove that point of view, but he has always believed that Ninja really exist in the cultural history of Japan.

In fact, all traditions or folk tales are born on the basis of actual stories and Stephen Turnbull credits all the links drawn from development tradition and history to find the secret. Hidden about the Shinobi.

Diet to train resilience, help hide and eliminate body odor of Ninja
Iga Prefecture, where the Ninja are said to have originated, is the perfect hilly region to hide and practice guerrilla skills.

Decades later, when the Ninjas were said to have returned, historians began to write extensively about them, who they were, what they did, and how they ate.

Many storytellers describe how the Ninja ate, how they avoided smelly foods (to better spy on their enemies), strict diets that helped them maintain agility, or even They even use food to send secret messages.

Just like that, a vivid picture of the Ninja and their diet gradually appeared.

Diet to train resilience, help hide and eliminate body odor of Ninja
A 19th-century woodblock shows a Ninja as we usually think of them today.

Modern depictions of Ninja often suggest that they wore pajamas, running around in the dark. However, there are many others who believe that they are actually from farmers, half agricultural, half Samurai, they eat simply like rural people.

Many Ninjas are believed to have descended from lower social classes, Turnbull wrote in an earlier book. Their mode of operation and secret techniques were in stark contrast to the ideals of the noble Samurai, who always acted in the shadows, able to hide for days, infiltrate enemy territory or act as spies. or assassin.

According to researcher Makato Hisamatsu, from Mie University’s Ninja Research Center, if Ninja ate like farmers, they might only eat two meals a day, their food is mainly millet, rice bran, miso, vegetables and wild plants.

It is also possible that their daily diets include grasshoppers, snakes and frogs, he told Japanese magazine Aera.

This was a more balanced diet than it is today, although insects, reptiles and amphibians rarely feature in today’s Ninja-inspired healthy eating practices.

But texts dating from the late 17th and 18th centuries show some differences between their diets compared to those of mere farmers. They are said to have avoided foods that are particularly pungent , because those foods will cause body odor and make them more likely to be detected by enemies when hidden, Hisamatsu adds.

Garlic, leeks and other onions are not on the menu, and even red meat was not eaten by most people living in medieval Japan who were Buddhist or Shinto. , so most people are vegetarian.

In fact, there is a scientific basis for this, recent research shows that there is a change in body odor in vegetarian men, while those who eat garlic, A lot of spicy vegetables will have a stronger body odor than the average person.

Diet to train resilience, help hide and eliminate body odor of Ninja
Ninja will have a very simple diet but still have to be full of nutrition. (Illustration).

Hisamatsu added, Ninjas pay close attention to their waist because it is a key condition for them to stay agile. According to some records, in the Shinobi world there is an implicit rule for all Ninja – they should not weigh more than 60kg, the standard weight of a bag of rice.

In practice, this means that the Ninja will have a very simple but still nutritious diet so that they are light enough to be able to hide easily.

Bansenshukai a Japanese book containing a collection of knowledge from the Ninja clans of the Iga and Koga regions, it is considered one of the most famous ancient texts on Ninja, although it dates from 1676, very long after the golden age of the Ninja.

That book is a treasure trove of material drawn from Chinese military philosophy, and it is almost like a book containing the knowledge of Ninjutsu, and the training process of the legendary Ninja.

In addition, this book also shows how to make “hunger pills” – anti-hunger foods used on long trips or when food becomes scarce.

Hunger pills is a food that combines Japanese yams, cinnamon, glutinous rice and lotus calyx, or it is also a powder from pine bark, ginseng and white rice, then molded into balls and steamed them.

Hunger pills will keep them from starving to death, even if these Shinobi don’t eat anything else for a few days.

Modern calculations show that each hunger pill has about 300 calories, which is not enough for a meal, but perhaps they also meet enough nutrition for the Ninja to stay active.

The Iga-ryu Ninja Museum also describes another food that keeps the Ninja from becoming dehydrated, they are made with crushed umeboshi powder, mushrooms, rye and crystallized sugar, which is a food that combines these ingredients. Foods rich in electrolytes are often used to treat hangovers.

These food pellets are also important for long-distance scouts. Whether the Ninja really ate the way the texts describe or not is still a mystery.

As early as the 1670s, people had rumored that Ninja was like a deadly gas, they were lighter than air, had the ability to penetrate impenetrable areas, and their stealth skills were so superior that they couldn’t. detect them even by sniffing.