In 1588 the powerful Toyotomi Hideyoshi set upon Japanese society the “sword hunt” edict, which mandated the requisitioning of swords and armor from the common people. Hideyoshi, using religious allusions to impel them to do their part in bringing a long peace to Japan, announced that the metal from the confiscated swords would be contributed to the creation of a monolithic statue of Buddha, thus implying the commoner could absolve a bit of negative karma by following the order (Mason & Caiger 1997 p179). This campaign to disarm the population proved successful, and from then on a clear distinction between nobility and the peasantry was evinced. Samurai could carry the sword, while farmers and the lowly could not.

It was a time of great transition. The blood feuds of the Sengoku Jidaii were fading into history, foreigners were being expelled from the country in preservation of culture, and the ways of the shinobi were in senescent decline (like Fall leaves descending into the dim obscurity of a forgotten season).

With the artificial peace of the Edo period well under way, Kiumura Okunosuke Yasutaka, sensei of the Koka Ryu traditions, imparted his predictions of the fate of his ninjutsu to Chikamatsu Shigenori. The conversation entailing these predictions was recorded in the Koka Shinobi no Den Miraiki (1719 AD).

In this document, Kimura portends that the younger generations lineally tied to the Koka would be lulled, by the peace of Edo, into the comforts of an easier life, hence those cultivating skill in ninjutsu would continue to decline in number. Peace was making people soft and complacent while the utility of ninjutsu was being forgotten in the absence of war.

Kimura doesn’t stop there however. He references the vetting process involved in imparting the most secret traditions of Koka ninjutsu to the aspiring student, stating how those running the schools in his time possessed only a partial knowledge of deep ninjutsu. He explains how ninjutsu is ‘indispensable’ to the efforts of warfare, and thereby implies the sanctity of the art and why it must be preserved.

This sensei of the Koka ninja and Chikamatsu Shigenori responded to the peace of Edo by preserving the myriad secrets of the shinobi for future generations. Peace does not last forever, and for this reason those dark implements of war are best left in the attic than relegated to the burn pile.

 

Notes

Mason, H.P. & Caiger, J. G. (1997). A History of Japan. p179

 

Advertisements

At the Livermore fire station in California, a lightbulb still burns brightly after 100 years of service. This light bulb is a remnant from an industrial era when engineers invented products with the characteristics of durability and long life-expectancy in mind.

Contemporary light bulbs can hardly be expected to last 5 years, let alone 100. So what happened?

The documentary entitled ‘The Light Bulb Conspiracy’ provides one answer: planned obsolescence. This film recounts the history of how manufacturers came to value fragile, low-quality products while suppressing the inventiveness of select engineers who attempted to provide the world with astoundingly enduring things. According to the film, the practice of planned obsolescence is aimed at artificially creating demand for products. It is a terribly wasteful activity, and 3rd world nations like Ghana, which have become dumping grounds for ‘obsolete’ junk of the 1st world, are suffering because of it.

On a finite planet, the practice of planned obsolescence is imprudent, selfish, destructive to the environment, and insulting to consumers who (I am sure) would rather purchase a product that will last.

I say replace planned obsolescence with planned endurance.

 

Fukiya, aka the blowgun, is considered to have been a weapon used by the shinobi (according to the Togakure Ryu). A good shot to the carotid arteries with a poison tipped dart would have been the death knell for the oblivious sentinel. While I do not have knowledge of the poisons shinobi would have used for their darts and arrows, it is well established that many plant based compounds have been historically used as poisons for hunting and warfare (for example take curare, an acetylcholine antagonist which paralyzes the respiratory system, inducing suffocation). In the vid. below, I exhibit some angles of my own ‘fukiya’ practice:

In 2015, a U.S. citizen named John T. Booker was issued an indictment following his arrest for planning to terrorize a military installation with an IED (in aid to the objectives of ISIS). In 2016, he plead guilty “to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to destroy government property by fire or explosion.”

Booker, a 20-yr-old at the time, exhibited behaviors that comport with a 7-stage terror attack planning cycle delineated by DHS which consists of the following:

  1. Target Selection
  2. Initial Surveillance
  3. Final Target Selection
  4. Pre-attack Surveillance
  5. Planning
  6. Rehearsal
  7. Execution

Thankfully, Booker was apprehended and questioned by the FBI before he could execute his attack. Here is a link to the story: http://cjonline.com/news-local/2016-02-03/john-booker-jr-pleads-guilty-terrorism-charges-stemming-2015-fort-riley-bomb

For my readers, I wish to use this case as a lesson for promoting community awareness of ‘deviant conduct’. I want to inform responsible citizens of what to be on the lookout for respecting suspicious behavior indicative of terrorist activities. I am no expert in this field, but a little knowledge goes a long way.

In my book Ninjutsu: Tactics, Principles, and Philosophy, I alluded to the relation between surveillance techniques of the shinobi and those of the criminal bent (including terrorists). In my whole-hearted opinion, the distinction between terrorists and shinobi lay in the correctness of mind outlined by Fujibayashi in the Bansenshukai (i.e. loyalty, sense of justice, etc.). Shinobi may have engaged in deviant activities for the sake of their lord and country, but they were not (so far as I can tell) mindless criminals. Yes, shinobi more or less used elements of the above 7-stage planning process as well. But they, operating in the medieval period, used the process for warfare functions deemed necessary to the survival of lord and state – not the execution of innocents (though history may prove otherwise). So what is my point?

Studying ninjutsu, you can learn at least thing or two about terrorists and how they may operate. Will you be as informed as a modern intelligence operative? No. But the principles of ninjutsu allow one to perceive the basic elements of terroristic/criminal conduct. For example, take the surveillance functions of a shinobi.

Surveillance by a shinobi of a given area was done with his five senses. Once he had infiltrated the enemy’s domain, a map of strike points, tactically advantageous terrain, and troop characteristics was drawn up or memorized and subsequently relayed back to his commander. This intelligence would aid the attack.

Like it or not, terrorists survey their targeted territories for the same reason. They gather intelligence, plot, and gather more intelligence to facilitate precise planning for an egregious assault on innocents. Hence, by knowing the principles and functions of surveillance, one can more readily be aroused to the unfolding of suspicious and unordinary conduct (i.e. some shady guy snapping photos of critical infrastructure or delivery personnel who keep showing up at the wrong address but are nevertheless interested in looking around the area, etc.). The unusual conduct may very well be nothing of concern, but an aware public increases the likelihood that someone will see something of import. Be a watchman for your community. If you see something, say something.

Here is a brief list of things to watch for:

-photography in inappropriate areas

-purchase of chemical oxidizers, fertilizers, or other equipment that could be used to construct an IED (powders, metallic containers, fuses) local hardware stores sell potassium perchlorate, KNO3, and sundry other  items that seem innocuous but may be used for wrong purposes.

-radical speech and ideals (i.e. calling for the overthrow of government, hate speech directed at certain population groups, religious fanaticism, etc.)

-attempts to purchase or clone access cards or keys to restricted facilities

-deteriorating relationships with loved ones and/or association with known radical groups

-questioning security personnel on the number and location of cameras in an area

This is not at all an exhaustive list. For more info, you can visit the DHS website: https://www.dhs.gov/preventing-terrorism

Take care, stay aware, and seek to be informed. No, terrorism is not something you should panic about, but don’t kid yourself into believing it is non-existent.

Sgt. Rory Miller calls it ‘the Monkey Dance’. Two guys square off with one another, shouting character invectives with puffed chests and angry faces. They don’t have to fight, but their pride pulls them into a knuckle-tango that is socially mandated to prove who is the “better man”. Walking away from the situation is an option, but too impalatable for the ego.

 A fight ensues. One pummels the other to the ground where he continues to bounce the head of his enemy off the asphalt with clean strokes. Bystanders, who initially seemed quite okay with the prospect of a real fight, now intervene as if some unspoken rule has been violated. The fight is done. The opponent is bloodied and unconscious as the victor stands up, satisfied with the belief that he has “proven himself”. He goes on with his day, leaving his battered opponent to concerned onlookers who feel the need to call an ambulance.

The video of this “victory” goes up on YouTube. It circulates locally and at the end of the day, the two participants are identified. The police show up at the residence of the victor. He looks oblivious as cuffs are slapped around his wrists and an officer charges him with manslaughter. Hours before, his opponent had passed away from coup/counter-coup brain injuries which lead to a life compromising encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). In addition to state charges, the surviving family members are intent on exhausting every legal resource available to them in pursuit of exacting retribution for the death of their loved one. This “victor” is about to spend some serious time in an 8 x 8 cell, all because his ego needed stroked.

Sound surreal? It isn’t.

Fact is, real situations like the above fiction abound.

Take for instance the plight of a 15-yr-old in Marysville, Washington now facing charges after he entered a mutual fight and continued to kick his opponent (16) in the head after knocking him to the ground. The 16-yr-old died from brain injuries and the 15-yr-old was subsequently arrested.

Here is another mutual fighting case from the same state, also ending in death. A 25-yr-old and 55-yr-old exchanged inflammatory words before one pulled a pistol.

Among other variables, these fights and their related deaths tend to manifest out of poor self-control, and the allure of bragging rights. Take my word for it, there is nothing “badass” about participating in a street fight if you could have just walked away.

If this notion is too cliché for you, maybe the following list of ‘fight gains’ will communicate the point better.

What You Stand to Gain from a Mutual Street Fight

1.      You could end up with a lawsuit. Seriously injuring your opponent is tantamount to throwing yourself into jail (depending on your statutes). In some states, the individual who provoked the fight (verbally or otherwise) ends up facing the hammer of the judicial system. By choosing to fight, you waive your innocence in view of the law.

2.      You could gain a friend or two, depending on the nature of the fight. Hardly worth your time though.

3.      You could be infected with blood-borne pathogens like HIV (the purveyor of AIDS), Hepatitis variants, tetanus, and others. Nothing like bloodying your knuckles for a life-time of suffering at the hands of communicable disease, right?

4.      You may tarnish your reputation. Believe it or not, there are those who will see you as a buffoon for daring to engage in a completely avoidable fight. I know I would.

5.      You risk incurring severe physical injuries. Suppose you are the one who ends up getting kicked in the head? Do you have a job? What will you do when that gimped leg prevents you from working?

6.      You exhibit your ignorance of use-of-force ethics. Violence should be used as a means to keep the peace. Whether civilian or not, your use-of-force says a lot about your character, values, and knowledge respecting civil society.

7.      You could gain some valuable experience. But, once again, risk applies.

If you are going to engage in a mutual fight, know the risks. Personally, I think you would be insensitive to reason if you chose to fight someone for the hell of it.

For my ninjutsu subscribers out there, note that shinobi and samurai alike would purposively avoid places that invited trouble unless their positions or objectives required their presence in such areas.

Ending conflict before it metamorphoses into a blatant conflagration is superior to dousing a flame with gasoline that is ultimately quelled with water.

Don’t be a victim of your own ego.

The 1968 assertion of the Kerner Commission which portends the eventual bifurcation of the American populace into two unequal societies (white and black), can be supported with socio-economic data.

To begin, let it be noted that economic inequalities for all racial groups are readily observed. For example, according to the updated 2005 study by G. William Domhoff, titled “Wealth, Income, and Power”, the richest 1% of the U.S. population owned 29.1% of the nation’s wealth in 1972, and this figure increased to 34.6% in 2007. This same study exhibited that only 15% of the nation’s wealth is (as of 2007) distributed to the bottom 80% of the population. These figures connote the existence of a dual society consisting of the exceedingly wealthy and the destitute. What might the ethnic and racial composition of this 1% reflect? Who might the bottom 80% represent? I found these questions interesting, but as of yet, the data answering them are not forthcoming.

But more pertinent to the question of socioeconomic disparities between white non-Hispanic and black and/or Hispanic populations is a 2010 piece issued by the Population Reference Bureau titled “Large Wealth Gap Among U.S. Racial and Ethnic Groups” which evinces the net wealth of white American families to be valued at $113,822, whereas the net wealth of black and Hispanic families are $8650 and $13375 respectively. These values reflect a huge inequality of private wealth between white and non-white populations. Also, racial minorities receive significantly less inheritance, insurance coverage, and high-paying job opportunities than whites.[1]

As impoverishment is positively correlated with criminal and/or deviant conduct, the logic leads one to believe that Hispanic and Black populations are on average more subject to being immersed in a social environment not conducive to the generation of wealth and prosperity than that of their white peers. The above notions have contributed to the development of the “underclass” concept which in itself, implies a “supra-class” tentatively consisting of rich, white people.

That these data of socioeconomic inequalities exists cannot be refuted, however debates perpetuate around the causal mechanism accounting for them. Is it racism? Is it poor civil administration? It is my opinion that no single criminological theory can explain the observed data. Rather, I think an eclectic approach to answering the question is needed in that a complex problem requires the expertise of many diverse fields of inquiry.

A surface argument in support of the Kerner Commission’s prediction goes like this:

Socioeconomic standing not only determines prosperity probability, but also one’s measure of political influence on policy decisions which may benefit or detriment a given population (minority or not). This idea is substantiated by a study published in the Journal of Perspectives on Politics (2014) titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens”, this study was conducted with the objective of understanding the distribution of power in politics between average citizens (commoners), interest groups, economic elites, and mass citizen groups while simultaneously testing which political theory held true in American politics out of the following:

  1. Majoritarian Electoral Democracy
  2. Economic-elite Domination
  3. Majoritarian Pluralism
  4. Biased Pluralism

The study team’s methods for achieving the stated aims consisted of a statistical analysis of 1,779 surveys of the years 1981-2002 which solicited a for/against response of the citizen to a proposed U.S. policy. The data obtained were then broken down into an income distribution model that reflected the relative wealth of the respondents in all 1,779 surveys, ranging from the very poor to the highly affluent. So what were the results?

Though the affluent top 10% of the income distribution model made only $146,000 a year, it was uncovered that a significant correlation exists between U.S. policy decisions and the top 10% income earners. Therefore the authors of the study suggest that the imprecision of their affluent category representing true economic elites likely underestimates the impact of elite preferences on U.S. policy.

In conclusion of the study, the authors state that statistically the average citizen has negligible to no impact on U.S. policy decisions in comparison to the preferences of economic elites and/or corporate interest groups who enjoy a major influence on U.S. policy:

“Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination…”[2]

So now that it may be argued that economic-elites influence (and even manufacture) policies more than their poorer counterparts (including racial minorities), we can induce the supposition that racial minorities have even less political recourse to correcting their social institutions and therefore are impeded from creating a community more conducive to wealth equality and non-criminal conduct.

Overall, it appears to me that real prevention of the Kerner Commission’s predicted society can only be effected by addressing the political representation problem exhibited in the Princeton study. Our legal system is corrupted by money and the allure of power, and I contend this fact to be at least one of the root causes of the socioeconomic disparity existing between racial groups.

 

 

[1] Walker, S. et al. (2012). The Color of Justice. p104-107

[2] Gilens, M.; Page, B. (2014). Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Journal of Perspectives on Politics. p.564-569

“Better watch yourself, you’re about to get fucked up!” This 30-something who had checked me with his bike from behind now peddled in a circle around me.

I didn’t know why this was happening.
I had been walking to work, nonchalantly listening to my Ipod when BAM! I was being accosted by a seemingly deranged man who was now issuing threats of violence. Adrenaline surged. I felt shaky and mildly focused with a bit of anxiety, anger, and fear shadowing the current of the situation. I didn’t know if this guy was on drugs or had confused me with some other hated individual, either way, I knew I had better ready up for an altercation.

I betrayed my confusion to him and replied, “For what reason?” He continued to circle menacingly and croaked back, “Any reason!”

What happened next? He just rode away.
Weird.

I finished walking to work and notified the police of what had just occurred. I was fine. No injuries, other than those inflicted on my Ipod which had been spurned to the ground when the guy checked me with his bike. The police didn’t apprehend the guy, but it was of no real consequence to me. I was fine and just thankful it wasn’t worse (i.e. what if the guy had a weapon?). This was a wake-up call to the reality that random, unexpected violence can happen anywhere at any time.

Though undoubtedly this was a strange happening, in my book it could not be counted as a street altercation. Still, I wondered whether there were lessons in violence to be salvaged from it. There were:

What I did Wrong
1. Situational awareness error. I was not at all paying attention to my environment. My Ipod was blaring metal. Had it been off or playing at lower volume I may have picked up on the threat before he got close enough to ram me with his bike. Keeping my head on a steady swivel was also an easy and more valuable fix. Visual orientation to what is going on is more important than sound, especially in a gun-fight (so I’m told). I noted the need to be more aware of what is going on around me as well as awareness of what I am doing. Shinobi Fact: Master anything and all that you can. This instruction descends to us down through the centuries from Natori Masazumi. A shinobi would study himself and how his own mind worked in order to understand others, recognize the limitations of oneself, and the gaps intrinsic to one’s psychology.

2. Disturbed inner state. I was overwhelmed with the ambush. My emotions were all over the place. I was angry, anxious, fearful, and compassionate at the same time. This was a really awkward position to be in. I did not have the intense focus necessary to deal with the threat swiftly, nor did I have the tools at the time to resolve the situation with minimal violence. I had briefly thought about rushing the guy to knock him off his bike, but my mind hesitated with numerous ‘what ifs’. Ultimately I proceeded to keep walking and use verbal de-escalation. Looking back, I don’t recall if this was a conscious decision or not. I just asked a question (not yelling but with relative calm). I noted a development of mental focus for situations like this was a worthy investment of my time. I took up meditation and visualization practices. Fear and anxiety are natural in ambush encounters and even mutual altercations, but one should learn to not allow emotions to overwhelm oneself because it will distort thinking and action. Shinobi Fact: Masazumi exalts a serene, calm mind as a benefactor to your reasoning and strategy.

3. Used the same route to work. I walked the same path to work each day of the week. This was a big mistake. For all I know, this man had been accustomed to seeing me on my route and might have even planned an assault. If not, it would have still served me to change up my routine (which I did) and make my presence in the area unpredictable. Had I taken a different route, the situation might not have transpired. Shinobi Fact: A shinobi would travel as many paths in his area as he could to gain meaningful intelligence of the area.

Note that none of the above mistakes have anything to do with the actual act of inflicting violence on another. The mistakes I made were all mental in nature.

This event aided my self-development by elucidating flaws in my defense disposition. Notable changes in lifestyle I have made which specifically relate to this even include:

1. I scan my surroundings
2. I know an ambush can occur anywhere
3. I carry weapons in case the scaling up of force becomes necessary
4. I know how easily a potential assailant can conceal a weapon and deploy it
5. I am unpredictable in my routines
6. I strive to control my emotions
7. I recognize violence is not always the appropriate solution against violence
8. I train to be more ready for the physiological effects of adrenaline
9. I keep learning about violence

I am thankful to my assailant for giving me these lessons.

What I have observed in modern ‘ninjutsu’ dojos typically constitutes a colorful reanimation of Japanese history (albeit quite dilute in many instances). This claim is not informed by an academic acumen steeped in the real history of Japan, but more a reason which perceives all history and historical imitations as dubious on some level.

There were no photographs, videos, audio recordings back then which could provide we of the modern world an exact representation of what life was like during the period of the ninja. We may recover their tools, clothing, and other artifacts, but are invariably left with scant instruction on how they may have been used (how could they possibly record every stratagem, tool, and its respective use?). We may read their texts, but no translation of an Eastern text can ever reflect the exact consciousness of the writer and language is a limited conduit to reality. We may yield to experts on history and glean some insight as to the nature of ninjutsu, but they did not ‘live’ during those times and are therefore ensnared in the same game of inferring history rather than deducing history.

Can we have correct knowledge on ninjutsu? Yes, to some degree. We can make reasonable assertions, informed by texts and other historical references, that a ninja was, did, such and such. But we must remain skeptical. This said, I will divulge to you that respecting ninjutsu, I am a pragmatist. I do not wish to adopt anything from ‘correct knowledge’ of ninjutsu that I cannot apply to my world. I live in the 21st century, with internet, thugs that tote hand-cannons and rapine about with combustion-engines, and an exceedingly different legal framework which dictates what I can or cannot do in effecting violence against an assailant. I cannot hack people down with a sword, run a clandestine intelligence network (though that would be interesting), or carry IED’s on my person to be used in the service of my province. I am not Japanese, nor do I live in Japan. What then, if anything can I derive from ninjutsu that is useful?

Answer: Principles

Principles give rise to specifics. From principles, real techniques may be devised for specific circumstances, regardless of time and locality. Principles offer the user flexibility to create his/her own responses to the basic and surreal threats of human existence that the shinobi was bound to encounter (i.e. death at the hands of another, flagrant war, covert operations to deceive the public as well as the enemy, etc.). For example, with the knowledge that shinobi were adept at exploiting structural and human flaws in order to bypass security, we may advance our own security awareness of contemporary flaws of the human sentinel and physical security.  Take for instance RFID card readers. There are now devices that are capable of ‘cloning’ an employee ID badge in order to trick the RFID reader, permitting unauthorized access to secure areas. A shinobi living today would not hesitate to learn of things such as this, for it was his job to know how to infiltrate.

Now, I do not claim to practice or teach real ninjutsu (in my text, in person, nor on my website). I claim a right to be informed by the nature of ninjutsu, insomuch that its principles are made evident. Here are a few things I am relatively certain about when it comes to ninjutsu:

  1. Ninjutsu was cerebral. It was not so much about how well you wielded a weapon, but rather, it was more about how well you could think on your feet.
  2. Referencing the Bansenshukai, the essence of ninjutsu may be found in ‘Seishin’, or the correctness of mind advised by Fujibayashi himself to be the only thing that distinguishes a ninja from a criminal.
  3. The above noted correctness of mind evinces the existence within the shinobi of an indomitable will. The will to persevere through ghastly trials, while adhering to this correctness of mind, is an attribute of the shinobi to be considered worthy of admiration.

In my life I do not wear a gi and move about in a dojo as if I am a retainer of some 15th century knowledge. I recognize my disparate relation to the historical past and therefore only emulate, adopt, and use those precepts and principles of ninjutsu that are still applicable to this world. Does this make me a ninja? That depends on who you ask.

What if Fujibayashi, Shigenori, or Natori Masazumi were alive today? How might they judge the character of an individual and deem it reflective of a shinobi? Perhaps this is the question of significance.

Undoubtedly the shinobi would do the following:

Hierarchy: Learn who holds power over what. He would likely scrutinize big business, the national government, and civil administration down to the local level. Why? Because a shinobi allied himself with the lord (or power magnate) who may have best served his ideals, community, and family as opposed to those that would pollute and denigrate all. Mind you Confucianism was big during the medieval period in China as well as Japan. Collectivist mindsets, such as what “benefits the masses” drove the shinobi in his affairs. He was loyal to those who promised order in the land, and he may even be thought of as one who cherished justice.

Martial Skills: Familiarize himself with modern combat, weaponry, and tactics. He would likely immerse himself in the new “teppo” characterized by machine guns, and long distance snipers. The shinobi may even delve into the art of intelligence as accorded by three letter agencies like the CIA, FBI, and NSA. But even those acting as basic information agents (also shinobi) would not hesitate to familiarize themselves with the internet and other document repositories that might yield valuable secrets. The battles during the Sengoku period were often fought with warriors bearing the significant weight of their armor, thus certain hand-to-hand techniques were necessarily conformed to this context. The shinobi in the 21st century would likely develop or practice a hand-to-hand system centered on modern attire and realities (i.e. he may study MMA, PPCT ‘Pressure Point Control Tactics’, or some other system of physical defense).

Law: Retain an understanding of codes and statutes. The shinobi are recorded to have participated in the apprehension of criminals (see the Bansenshukai). He acted as a bounty hunter and de facto law enforcement officer who was familiar with tactics for dealing with criminals holed up in a structure and even various methods for restraining (binding) the wanted (see the Bansenshukai). A shinobi, then, may have had at least a rudimentary understanding of the law.

Cultural Surveillance: Observe and emulate the culture. Reference after reference we can read how the shinobi was advised to study the province he would be operating in. Not only would he be compelled to learn the local dialect and colloquialisms, but his manners, subjects of conversation, and attire would match (or differ depending on the circumstances) those dwelling in the area. He knew how to remain anonymous by blending in.

Territorial Surveillance: Know the advantages and disadvantages afforded to operations by a given territory. A shinobi functioned in wartime (and peacetime) as a scout. He would typically know the ins and outs of any area he was operating in (see Shinobi Michi Fumiyo no Koto).

General Surveillance: Learn conventional tailing, and video surveillance methods. Some of the most intriguing motifs respecting the ninja include black clad figures who silently stalk their targets. The historical references are clear, a shinobi of the past knew how to tail someone on foot without arousing suspicion, be the setting in broad daylight or at night. A shinobi in the 21st century then, would feel compelled to learn how to use a vehicle for tailing his targets and video assisted surveillance for record keeping.

There is so much more but my fingers are getting tired.

I may add to this in the future, especially if some of you found it worthwhile.

All said, I will leave you with this. There is one particular principle of ninjutsu that is  most important for the shinobi of the past as well as those dwelling in the 21st century:

Never give up. Persevere through the fire. No matter what your trials in life are, teach yourself to hold on and be patient through the storm.

Ichigun Ichimi!

Aluminum is among the most abundant elements of this planet. It is also highly toxic to the human nervous system. Thankfully free-form aluminum, that is, aluminum not chemically bound to other elements, is relatively rare in our biosphere. At least, it used to be.

If you frequent my domain you may have come across the controversial subject of geoengineering. I tend to present radio broadcasts of prominent activist Dane Wigington, whose following has been spearheading the climate modification cover-up. Before I continue be advised that you can visit GeoengineeringWatch.org for detailed studies, documents, and biologist field-reports which substantiate the reality of toxic skies and nano-scaled aerosolized, metallic particulates saturating the earth we depend on.

See Geoengineering Whistle-blowers here

Independent labs across California and in other parts of the U.S. have confirmed that the presence of aluminum and other heavy metals in soil and water has been increasing. The curiosity of this elevation is ‘where did it come from’?

Geoengineering has been implicated on many levels, but regardless of the source, you must know that these toxic metals (barium, strontium, aluminum) are now in the air we breathe as well as the food we eat and the water we drink.

It has been established that aluminum is not readily absorbed by the gut, but a different picture is painted respecting parenteral and inhaled aluminum. The picture is this: neuronal cell death and microgliosis – features associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. To paraphrase a Dr. Russel Blaylock who has authored a 2012 study entitled “Aluminum Induced Immunoexcitotoxicity in Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders”, studies have shown that chronic exposure of mixed cell cultures of astrocytes and neurons to aluminum results in significant microglial apoptosis (programmed cellular death) and “neuronal loss”. In other words, aluminum kills brain cells. In fact, aluminum has been ‘officially’ implicated in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The evidence for health detriment via aluminum exposure connected to these geoengineering programs is out there, but no one seems to be listening.