This is going to be a controversial blog post by Sean Askew for some Ninja history enthusiasts, but very informative and likely bringing new information to light that most people do not know about. I'm including a teaser of the beginning of the blog, click on the link and go read the full thing on his website:
Blog post by Sean Askew:
"Is the Bansenshukai even worth the paper it is written on??? Of course, I’m kidding but only partially…
Credibility is defined as the quality of being trusted. In literature, having a credible text means that the information therein is reputable and a trusted source for those looking for information on the subject. In this post, I will go over why the Bansenshukai and possibly other famous ninjutsu texts are not credible, or at least not completely reliable.
When a document is said to be a secret one, passed down only within the clans of the shinobi, or “ninja” for the lay people out there, you would expect it to be accurate. You would expect it to have credibility, right?! After all, from the early 1600’s until the late 1860’s the shinobi families that served the Tokugawa shogun provided a nationwide network of spies, assassins, sharpshooters, etc.
Taken from Wikipedia… “The Bansenshukai was compiled by Fujibayashi Yasutake in 1676, in the early years of the Tokugawa shogunate, to preserve the knowledge that had been developed during the near-constant military conflict from the Ōnin War until the end of the Siege of Osaka almost 150 years later. As well as information on military strategy and weapons, it has sections on the astrological and philosophical beliefs of the times, and along with the Shōninki of 1681 and the Ninpiden of 1560 make up the three major sources of direct information about this shadowy profession.”
So, if this document was meant to preserve secret knowledge for a very specific group of people, the text’s credibility should be considered as of the utmost importance. Should it not?
But, within the Bansenshukai, as with the other documents mentioned, there are several items that are discussed where I am highly skeptical of its validity or accuracy. Of course, most of the document is filled with logical things that make sense, but at times there are things that are just not right..."
Finish the article on his blog: BKRBudo.com
Shane Sensei is a licensed Shidoshi in the Bujinkan and member of the Shidoshi-Kai. He has trained in the Bujinkan since 1998 and regularly travels to Japan for training.