Zukins, zukins, zukins…

Check out this awesomeness!

This 3×8-inch sheet of kids’ temporary tattoo image transfers has somehow survived the decades, and is aging in delightfully weird ways. No manufacturer or year, and I won’t even guess, but it’s FAR from new…

Sword-slingin’ (and sometimes pistol-packin’) hooded heroes have persisted in Japanese popular media for centuries, from adventure novels to kamishibai shows to the earliest manga and movies. I can guess at the identities of some of these hoods, and I’m thinking they’re television properties rather than film, but the field of possible characters is so dense and the quality of these images is so poor, solid identification is a lost cause.

I just like getting in real close on the art. There’s a whole Lichtenstein/Warhol vibe once you do.

We’ve previously featured iconic hooded heroes like Kurozukin (the Black Hood), and while not really ninja in any way, they’re a cousin of sorts, and the visual appeal is certainly tangental to the shinobi wheelhouse.

If nothing else, the historical head wraps — whether a simple tenugui cloth tied like a bandana or a okoso-zukin headwrap/veil combination — adapted into these nigh-superhero costumes pre-date any modern ninja media, and certainly influenced early stage and screen costuming, regardless of what was presented as ninja history in museums and books of the mid-20th Century.

And the fact that a sheet like this, and similarly emblazoned kids’ game boards, are littered with various masked and hooded justice fighters shows their proliferation and popularity.

The above looks like some sort of old school television network logo. The best television network ever!

KR — 4/5/2019