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Ninja Morality of Kogarashi Monjiro

This time of year is often spent helping, giving or thinking of others.  There are many people who misinterpret the life of a ninja as one of a solitary, dark and shadowy existence.  A lone wolf sneaking in and out of other's lives to accomplish some mission.

Sensei suggests to us that this is not a healthy view.  He says that it is an ideal to have others depend on you.  People think they are too busy to help others, but if you decide to ignore everyone else, trusting only yourself, you will soon become one of the busiest of all men.  He continues,
To give a helping hand to poor people and to want to save them is the humanity of Japanese, and of a warrior's heart.
Hatsumi mentions the character Kogarashi Monjiro from the novel and 1970's TV series set in the Edo period, originally written by Saho Sasazawa. Acted by famous samurai actor Atsuo Nokamura.  Monjiro lived the wandering life of a gambler.  He had a nihilistic attitude and sought to eliminate and avoid involvement with others as much as possible.



The main character is said to have been born in a poor farming family in a village called Mikazuki (half-moon), Nittagori Country in Gunma Prefecture. When Monjiro turned 10, his family left their native soil and was separated. Why the lonesome Monjiro started to live as a homeless wanderer is unknown.
Monjiro’s typical posture includes a wooden toothpick between his teeth, and his nickname “Kogarashi” (the sound of a cold wind wailing) comes from the sound he makes when he breathes with the toothpick. He is a guy who knows no love for people, but cannot overlook evil deeds.
Soke says,
"It doesn't concern me," is a famous Monjiro quote that best represents today's irresponsible times.  In reality, Monjiro never left without helping somebody.  While he says, "It doesn't concern me," he still becomes involved and fights the villain.  This is what is so very charming about the Monjiro character.  He gives justice to people's morality. 
Hatsumi Sensei continues with this advice,
You might be living in a nihilistic manner with a callous attitude but I would prefer you have the Japanese spirit deep in your heart.  Compassionate people make others feel gracious and trustworthy
So please get into this wonderful ninja holiday spirit!  But I don't suggest wearing your red, fur lined ninja/Santa Claus suit out in public...

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