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Thieves Steal 1 Million Yen from Iga-ryu Ninja Museum

iga-ryu ninja museum sign

The Iga-ryu Ninja Museum was the victim of theft, after more than ¥1 million (estimated $9,350 USD) was stolen from a safe on-site. This included the admission collected over an entire weekend.

As reported by The New York Post, the thieves allegedly entered the museum after closing by breaking into an office. Once inside, it only took them a few minutes to carry out a safe that weighed over three hundred pounds and flee the scene.

The irony comes from the nature of the museum. Ninjas were specialists in espionage and information gathering in Japan. They were particularly indispensable during the Warring States (Sengoku) era. After the death of Oda Nobunaga, the new shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu employed Iga ninjas to protect him.

The Iga-ryu Ninja Museum features multiple shows and exhibitions about the famous ninjas of the region. Attractions include the Iga-ryu Ninja House where visitors can tour a rustic home that had been fitted with traps and secrets. There also would have been places to hide weaponry for ninjas to quickly arm themselves.

There’s the Ninja Experience Hall where museum visitors can watch videos explaining how a ninja would have infiltrated the nearby Ueno Castle. The Experience Hall has over 400 ninja tools on display, including authentic shuriken.

The Ninja Tradition Hall displays the more in-depth facets of the Iga ninja, such as codes, apparel, and contains information on their day to day life. The content of ancient writings that have been preserved are also present here.

Finally there are Ninja Shows where museum stuff exhibit the use of specific equipment live for museum visitors. Weapons such as shuriken and kusarigama are demonstrated.

At the time of publishing, the thieves are believed to still be at large.

This is Nicchiban Culture. In this column, we regularly cover Japanese culture, geek culture, and things related to anime. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.