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Japan Embraces Heritage & Forms “Ninja Council” in the Name of Tourism

Japan’s newly formed Ninja Council is looking to kick tourism in the country up a notch.

Ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japanese officials have embraced their heritage to form a new type of tourism board — the Ninja Council. The group is composed of governors and mayors from around the country, and on March 8, they all dressed up in ninja costumes to celebrate the official launch of the council.

The Ninja Council will rely on the historic warriors to encourage tourism, revive communities and boost economic growth. Local authorities from Japan’s prefectures will partner with tourism agencies to spotlight the ninja. The council will combine information about ninja and tourist destinations on its website, respond to tourism inquiries both locally and abroad, and even host events to increase ninja popularity.

“Ninja insisted on having an existence like a shadow,” Yuji Yamada, a ninjutsu professor at Mei University, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “They accomplished their duties behind the scenes and through unofficial negotiations. They share those characteristics in common with Japanese today. I would like to introduce the good traits of Japanese to the global community through the ninja culture.”

Hiroshi Mizohata, the former head of the Japan Tourism Agency, told The Japan Times that ninja always come up when the country promotes tourism abroad, so the move to create the Ninja Council is a smart one.

There’s no word yet on whether council members will arrive at board meetings in a puff of mist.

[Photo: The Japan Times]

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