Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Mission to Save Michio

Taro left for his tent immediately after receiving the details for his mission to save Michio. There was no question in his mind that this was something he had to do. Though the question still lingered in his mind--was he ready to die in order to save his best friend?

Of course! The answer was the same, no matter how many times he asked it. But no matter how many times the answer was still the same, the question still seemed somehow unanswered.

He packed only essential tools. Grappling hooks, small weapons, espionage tools, and rations.

He had to prepare for a long journey.

He quietly placed each item in his bag and strapped the rest to his body. He then threw on a pair of civilian clothes which would no doubt have to be abandoned at some point but would allow him to travel without any suspicion.

He made his way through the winding paths, stepping as subtly as he could. His observations of Aimoto were going to have to wait, which was certainly something that the other leaders in the clan would not be happy about, but Komatsu had agreed to cover for him while he was gone.

He made his way out of the hideout without interruption and headed to the train station. He would have to travel North to the outskirts of Tokyo and infiltrate a crime syndicate's hideout. Komatsu mentioned to him that the syndicate was involved in weapons trade, which undoubtedly was connected to Aimoto's family. He made a special note of this, vowing to understand the looming conflicts behind his own mission.

He boarded his train and held clothes to his bag, sitting purposefully close to the window. The train took off, and he watched the scenery quickly change from the city to rolling forests. He knew the frequently changing view of Japan would keep him preoccupied until he arrived in Tokyo.

Several hours passed, as he watched the trees turn into mountains, and then into farms, and more trees. The train passed by several small towns on its way as well, which gave him an interesting perspective on life outside of the clan. He allowed his thoughts to drift and make believe that he was just a normal student in Japan. 

He would have a normal mother and father that would provide for him, and instead of learning espionage, he would learn mathematics and history. He would study hard and his parents would be proud of him and encourage him to do even better. On the weekends he would visit Michio, and they would have lunch together and see movies in the theaters. The two of them would laugh and play games, and they would be completely oblivious to the secret lives of the ninjas. They would be thinking of going to law school or getting into a good company where they could become successful. And one day, they would marry and settle down and have families that would lead normal lives just like the rest of society.

The train bell rang. "Next stop: Tokyo!" the announcer called over the intercom.

He was here, ready to face his destiny as a ninja.

I didn't really know how to make this transition, but I think that it ended up being a positive experience. Taking a look inside of Taro's inner thoughts and some of his secret desires, we have learned that he often wonders what life holds outside of the clan. Now, arriving in Tokyo, he must accept his mission as a ninja and endure the hardships that are undoubtedly going to come. But will he get there in time? And will he be able to save Michio from his fate? Find out on the next on "Taro's Ninja Spy High School" and don't forget to comment!

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What is a Ninja?

There is a lot of misconception about what a ninja is.

A ninja is a weapon. A ninja is a warrior.

First appearing in writing as early as 4th century according to some history, though it is hard to place the beginning of the ninja, and most scholars agree that they emerged around the 7th-10th century. According to most Asian historians, the ninja first developed in opposition to the elite samurai during the Heian Dynasty (794-1185).

By the 15th century, the role of the ninja was primarily hired mercenary or espionage. By this time, there was already boundless myths about ninjas, calling them demons and giving them mystical powers which were widely believed to be true, but in all reality, ninjas were very trained in silence and stealth and could easily hide or slip away quickly and unnoticed in a way that would lead others to believe they were magical.

Our story presupposes a modern Japanese society where ninjas have managed to survive and continue traditional methods of teaching and hired by clients and used as weapons and tools of espionage and mercenary. Taro is one such ninja, growing up in a civilization of ninjas long-thought to be extinct. But when Taro begins his first ninja mission, his whole world gets turned upside down.