Early Beginnings of Ninja Ninjutsu
Mention of the word ninjutsu or shinobi go as far back as the Genpei War (1180 to 1185), where it was noted that the 14th century samurai named Kusunoki Masashige was recorded to have used ninjutsu. The term shinobi referred to assassins and spies hired by the lords (also known as daimyos) to carry out operations that most samurai were forbidden to do. They were expected to carry out their missions with deception and stealth, killing targets with a level of espionage.
It was also believed that during the time when many immigrants from China made their way into Japan, Chinese martial art of Kenpo had blended with the various techniques prevalent at the time. As some of these immigrants – warrior monks and military personnel – settled into the mountains of the country, they came across hermits that resided deep inside. During their stay, they discovered these hermits had developed the early beginnings of the ninja persona and techniques. Disconnected from the rest of society, the relationships built between the hermits and the settlers would eventually result in the employment and development of the mysterious ninja assassin.