Colorized SHINOBI-NO-MONO menkos

posted in: 4 - Collectibles | 2


Thought a good follow-up to my anti-Ninja Assassin / pro-Shinobi-no-Mono rant last week would be a look at some rather strange S-n-M related merch – colorized menko cards.



Released contemporary with the 60’s series, these ‘cigarette cards’ used stills from the B&W films, with colors rather awkwardly overlaid. I think the idea was to make the otherwise grave imagery as colorful and kid-appealing as possible, because the color choices are pretty illogical otherwise.





I think for the month of December we’ll concentrate on MERCH, this being the most gloriously commercialized of all holiday seasons. So look to the Collectibles and Toys and Statues categories to bring out the ninja kid in all of us…

2 Responses

  1. ninden

    Hi there I’m Greg, from France I am born in 1978 and,of course, I grew up with the shinobi no monogatari (stories of ninjas).
    I practiced a bit of ninjutsu as soon as I heard of it in my country… but so late yet.

    Amazing tons of informations here I kept in my PC ‘s favourite… I never took time to look the whole site…
    But today I recognized Masaaki Hatsumi sensei who actually is the 34th soke (heir) of the japanese’s shinobi tradition. What a shock then. I heard he even ran in a movie when young but I never saw it or even picture of it… it is WarJiraiya3.

    For the story, after the two last shinobi family (Iga and Koga) have been defeated in a great battle, completly surrounded by Oda Nobunaga’s men (outrageous battle in fact !), because this war lord was fearing their increasing notoriety ; only a handfull of shinobi could escape.
    Later, Ieyasu Tokugawa, who used to be Oda Nobunaga’s right hand, was about to be defeated by this one after he betrayed him. But Ninjas from Iga came to help and Ieyasu tokugawa won the battle. he did not forget the providential help shinobi brang him and gave them country security management.
    Since then, little by little, shinobis went back to shadow and their art and knowledge have been perpatrated from generation to generation. But the time flows and people from modern era were not attracted by this kind of life since it was a peaceful time.
    From this time, only a fezw of them managed to keep training in some abilities. Shinobis’ family had their own art developpement (disguisment, information, aquatic technics, fire technics, stealth technic, fight with one or the other weapon, hiding…). Of course all of them had to masterize a few things like stealth, fighting…
    The junction between this time and our period has been Master Toshigutsu Takamatsu, born in 1887 and direct heir of Iga family and other warriors afer government revocated samourai and ninjas. Samourai became officials… and ninjas relegated to shadow.
    After he perfectionned is knowledge and practice, Takamatsu sensei, teached to Hatsumi sensei who is now about 81 y.o about.
    Of course, ninjutsu I am talking about isn’t the one we enjoy in movies.
    The spirit is here, they can blend in, they look totally harmless, but the ki, energy that emerges from them… is subarashi incredible, powerful and quiet in the mastery. Mastery of art and life.
    Thus, and to end my so long comment, I just add two things : Hatsumi sensei teached Budô tai jutsu mainly. It can be understood as the path of body technics. Body’s callousness, fighting technic, attention to the environnement and the presence, who are the essence of shinobi.
    And to end it, you can find some more informations on Bujinkan web site. It s much better related than my own description… Could I have told you before ? yes but three reason of this 🙂 : 1) I really liked to talked about it as it has been such a long time I did not. 2) If I just gave you the link most of readers would not have go to. So I hope my comment gave you desire to know more about it.
    3) A part of the ninja can be translated by endurance and perseverance ^^

  2. ninden

    Oh, sorry I just forgot to thank you for your website buddy !_!
    I really enjoy to see these old pictures and the way you say to pay attention between the old japanese movies’ suits and american garish outfit (not sure of the translation)
    thans man, good job you did