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HAKONE

“The true historical stories left of the exploits of the ninja are shrouded in mythology and must be viewed from an altered perspective that peels away the layers of the apparent supernatural. There was a psychological method of writing down such rare records of events, in order to hide the truth of the ninja’s method and technique. For instance, one old chronicle explains how the ninja Daigaku Omori of the Ogaki Clan in Noshu (present day Gifu Prefecture) once had to pass through the Hakone guard station, but he had no pass for some reason. The chronicle says that he managed to pass through there by using the ninjutsu technique of ‘throwing a mist before the guard’s eyes’. The reality is hidden behind the metaphorical. Daigaku Omori passed through the guard station without being noticed because he made a strenuous and difficult detour of two days, without sleeping, hiking stealthily over the back mountains and deep valleys of the Hakone area. Perseverance and will are the ‘mist’ that the ninja Omori ‘threw’ before the guard’s eyes.”

✧ KEN-SAI BUYOU-KEN, 1916

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