Remember practicing your ninja moves in the garage until your mom would tell you, "You can't really be a ninja when you grow up?"
She was wrong.
Japan has an active job posting for ninjas. Obviously, this is not a job opening you see every week, so if you happen to possess ninja skills, you may want to dust off your nunchucks, sharpen up your throwing stars and apply. Because not only will you actually get paid to be a ninja, you will be able to include the title of ninja on every resume you ever submit for the rest of your life, and this time, it won't even be a lie.
Japan's Aichi region is seeking to hire six full-time ninjas -- because who can trust a part-time ninja, honestly? According to the job ad, applicants are required to be in peak physical condition and possess acrobatic skills. Once hired, ninjas will be paid 180,000 yen per month. (That sounds like a lot, but it comes out to about $1,600 in U.S. dollars, which isn't much...until you remember that you are being paid to be a ninja.)
As an actual, no-kidding, real-life ninja, your primary duties are not, as you may suspect, fighting off bad guys or being a bad guy yourself. Even though ninjas are known as "experts in the art of assassination, espionage, sabotage and other forms of irregular warfare," and were mercenaries in Japan during the 15th century, the six chosen ninjas will have duties that are a lot less bloody. In fact, the main purpose of the six ninjas will be to promote tourism in Japan's Aichi region. So, your ninja duties will be less kicking people in their faces and more like performing for tourists, and demonstrating the use of the trademark shuriken weapons -- don't forget your ninja stars -- as well as posing for photos. Yes, photos. Even though ninjas are highly secretive, this position calls for a little less secrecy than other, more normal ninja positions. Satoshi Adachi, from the Aichi prefecture's tourism promotion unit, said that the ideal candidate for this position should "enjoy being under the spotlight, even though he or she is a secretive ninja."
As an added bonus, Japanese language skills are not even essential; after all, who ever heard of a very talkative ninja? However, Adachi says that successful applicants (and all ninjas, deep down, are successful) should have a passion for Japanese history. The lucky six who make it through the application process will perform in various locations throughout the Aichi prefecture, including Nagoya Castle.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is attempting to boost tourism in Japan, particularly in the aftermath of the tsunami that occurred in the northwest region of the country five years ago. Japan is also hoping to attract more visitors as it gears up in preparation of the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo.
Ninjas were a very real historical part of Japan, but, like many things, popular folklore relies more on myth and legend than actual truth. In fact, ninjas were used to doing the jobs that other soldiers and Japanese fighters viewed as being dishonorable, or beneath them. They have been nothing more than a "historical curiosity" for most Japanese, but have always interested foreigners and, perhaps trying to capitalize on the success of a neighboring prefecture's Ninja museum, Aichi is seemingly seeking to cash in on its history.
Anyone over 18 and under 30 can apply to be an Aichi ninja, and applications are open until March 22 -- so you better hurry. You know the guy in the video below has totally applied already. And, as an added bonus -- who doesn't look amazing in black?
Good luck, or gannbatte kudasai if you prefer!
[Image via Shutterstock]