Only nimble ninjas with gift of the gab need apply

Central Japan's Aichi prefecture said it is hiring full-time ninjas to promote tourism in the area, which is known for the historic Nagoya Castle.
Central Japan's Aichi prefecture said it is hiring full-time ninjas to promote tourism in the area, which is known for the historic Nagoya Castle.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

TOKYO • Wanted: Six full-time ninjas who have a way with words and can do backward handsprings.

Pay: about US$1,600 (S$2,200) a month.

Central Japan's Aichi prefecture said it is hiring full-time ninjas - martial-arts masters and stealth assassins of feudal times - to promote tourism in the area known for the historic Nagoya Castle.

Newly hired ninjas will receive a one-year contract with monthly pay of 180,000 yen (S$2,170) plus bonus, said Mr Satoshi Adachi of the prefectural government's tourism promotion unit.

They will also perform acrobatics, demonstrate the use of their trademark shuriken (ninja star) weapons and pose for photographs with tourists, he told AFP last Friday.

A poster the prefecture created says the ideal candidates are ones who "enjoy being under the spotlight, even though he or she is a secretive ninja".

Japanese-speaking ability is preferable, but non-Japanese individuals passionate about history and tourism are welcome as the troupe will sometimes perform in English, Mr Adachi said.

"Our ninjas also have to be good at talking to promote tourism," he said. They also "have to be able to do backward handsprings and some dance moves", he added.

Successful candidates will go through a one-month training course next month.

The prefecture is accepting applications until March 22. Men and women aged 18 or above of any nationality can apply.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Only nimble ninjas with gift of the gab need apply'. Print Edition | Subscribe