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HENSO

“When going out in disguise, a long ‘hoari’ (a Japanese half-coat) will be alright to wear. Writing one’s brow, clothing capping one’s teeth with iron, painting one’s face, disheveling one’s hair or biting hairs will be effective in disguising oneself. There are three ways of coloring one’s face. The first way is to add a little vermilion powder to black ink. The second is to add yellow, vermilion, and Chinese yellow to the toilet powder. And, the third is to add red and indigo to white. Try one of these and when it does not fit you according to the features of your face you had better not do it. A false mustache or deformation is easily discovered when it doesn’t suit you. In order to make yourself look ill, give yourself a moxa treatment during the night, refrain from eating, let your hair and beard grow long, without cutting the nails on the fingers and toes, without taking a bath, and remain thinly dressed, with a dressing wrapped around your head and so on. You need to exert your ingenuity in making it look believable. Methods of disguise are extremely important in ninjutsu. For example, Yasubei Horibe, one of the Forty-Seven Loyal Retainers who avenged their master’s death in 1702, broke his front teeth, burnt his face, and poisoned himself with mercury to disguise himself when he traveled to Edo, since he was famous and known to people.” – SEIRYUKEN NATORI

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