The truth of Ninja -Ninja Encyclopedia-

Ninja's ever-changing Costume

How ninjas dressed

Generally, the most famous type of ninja's outfit was like the one below, black cloth completely over their body, a black hood and black mask on his head, and wearing chainmail underneath. As explained several times, such an appearance is something that has been molded throughout the history of fictional entertainment like Kodan (uk) or comics. If so, what type of costume did a ninja wear usually? Ninjas were spies and masters of disguise. Above all, his true identity as a ninja could never be known. a ninja would change his outfit according to the the circumstances around him. In other words, he could be anyone and anything that he wanted to be, like a merchant, a priest, a samurai (), an acrobat and even a stone and a wall! So, the usual types of ninja garments were as follows:

The orthodox uniform of a ninja

Ninja Costume

A ninja outfit


Chain hemp garment

A chain hemp garment

Although the image of ninja clothing that general people hold is one of black all over, actually a ninja rarely wore black.
This was because a black costume would have stood out in the dim light. Typically, there was very little light where ninjas invaded. The basic color of a ninja's uniform was dark blue or yellowish-red, also these colors were also the same color as farmersf uniforms. If a ninja were to carry out his work during the daytime it would have been ideal not to stand out as different. In short, he could pass himself off as a farmer as soon as he felt danger. The chain hemp garment was used only when there was a battle and hand to hand combat was imminent because it was very heavy in weight, they generally weighed around 5-15kg. A ninja would put on a hood only when necessary to conceal his face. The hood was no less than 2m in length. In an emergency, he would use even a rope or a bandage. He would attach hand protectors on the backs of his hands and set blow darts behind the hand protector. A ninja was able to carry his weapons while at the same time protecting his body. Leggings went over his legs concealing some weapons and a thick pair of tabis was worn to dull the sound of his footsteps.
On the bottoms of his straw sandals, metals like talons were set. These were like the chains of wheels. It meant that they were very useful when a ninja walked on a slippery place like a rusty bridge. In addition to that, it is said that a ninja outfit had 12 hidden pockets. The place of the pockets were not specific to all ninjas, their locations were different for each ninja. These pockets carried out two functions, firstly to protect vital spots by means of holding metal like shurikens there, and secondly the pockets were the caches of secret weapons. A ninja sometimes wore a reversible type of haori (HD). A haori was a traveling coat for ninjas rather than a outfit when on a mission. When he was running away from his enemies, only by turning his haori inside out, he could successfully impersonate someone else.

A ninja's costume in wartime

Ninja armor

Ninja armor

As a ninja was a soldier and a spy he had to take part in wars when they occurred. In the case of a war and a castle attack, a ninja put on full armor similar to a samurai (). In this case, the difference of a ninja's armor to that of a samurai was that a ninjafs armor was a folding and portable type. It goes without saying that as the main role of a ninja is espionage, inspection, and sabotage, the lighter his clothing, the better.

A ninja's clothing in usual life

Typical classical farmer

A typical classical

What did a ninja do in peaceful periods? He did agriculture. In the Warring States period in Japan, social status had not been differentiated yet and self-sufficiency was the base of life for people.
So of course, a ninja also worked as a farmer and he wore clothes which ordinary farmers put on.
The merit to wearing peasant clothings was that they were very mobile so a ninja could move freely and easily.

The real disguise was to turn completely into an object

It goes without saying that any disguise is quite meaningless if a ninjafs identity is detected by someone. During the Warring States period and the Edo-period in Japan, there existed barriers at every prefectural boundary and a ninja couldnft pass right through without a disguise. He had to behave completely like the person he was disguised as, for example, as a samurai, a merchant, a farmer, a priest, a street performer, a sick person, a blind man, a handicapped man and so on. To do so, it is not enough for a ninja only to wear the right clothes. He had to acquire all kind of attributes which belong to the model of his disguise. They were for instance, the knowledge, speech, gestures, sex, age and so on of that person.
There is a good example of great interest to us here. At a certain ninja organization, a teacher imposes a test on his student. The content of the test is that a teacher makes his student disguise themselves into someone like a medicine peddler and makes him board a ferryboat. After several hours, the teacher also boards the same ferryboat, and asks the ferryman of the boat. " Today, have you found anyone suspicious? " If the ferryman answered in the following way: gNo,sir, not at all. I have been engaged in this job for many years, if there was someone on board up to no good I would soon notice." it would mean that his student had passed the test. " If, on the other hand the answer received was " Yes, today I took a certain young medicine peddler off this boat, he was kind of suspicious and didnft look very experienced, anyway, he was so restless." then it would mean the student failed the test. Such a test proced that ninjas not only had to look the part, the needed to play the part too!