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  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    My knowledge of ninja and samurai is:

    1. The terms actually encompass a very large swath of time so what they actually meant at different times were, well, different.
    2. Usually they were kind of dicks.
    3. Rarely, they could be women.
    4. Like any institutionalized warrior class most of them usually liked it when they didn't have to fight.
    5. When they got introduced to firearms they fucking loved firearms.

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  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I remember doing a ton of research into ninja as a kid for a report. This was before Internet so I had to find books, which was extremely difficult but I did manage to find a beat-up old thing at the library which was just chock full of information that was completely different from all the mystique. Things like detailing weaponry of the ninja like a bow made from ox-horn that could launch an arrow like a shotgun shell, their various ninjutsu being carefully refined martial arts combined with tools that had the appearance of the supernatural to unnerve opponents when made to fight, and of course their various jobs of espionage but very, very rarely assassination because their whole deal was getting info then leaving no trace they were even present.

    I have no idea how accurate that book actually was but I did get an A+ on the report.

    Conversely, my knowledge of samurai is they were essentially mercs with no actual concept of honor, bushido being a fiction, and willing to betray someone if another lord offered more benefits. Also that they tested the sharpness of their weapons on peasantry.

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  • rhylithrhylith Registered User regular
    I read in a history book that ninjas live in the sewer and fight robots

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  • ReynoldsReynolds Raving Rabbit Registered User regular
    Number one, Ninjas are mammals; Number two, Ninjas fight all the time; and Number three, the purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.

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  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    rhylith wrote: »
    I read in a history book that ninjas live in the sewer and fight robots

    No no thise are Kappa. Ninja were moles and fought Rhinos and Rabbits

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    rhylith wrote: »
    I read in a history book that ninjas live in the sewer and fight robots

    They are also order pizza with weird ingredients on them in the middle of the night, have it delivered to random sewer drains, and stiff the bill when they feel it takes to long to arrive.

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited July 31
    Ninja aren't entirely an invention, but they were basically just like normal spies and shit, there wasn't really any kind of special ninja code or martial art or anything like that. The reason it's tough to find info about them is because primary sources just don't really talk about them very much, certainly not in any kind of organized way - whereas bullshit peddlers talk about them ALL THE TIME. So there's a huge noise to signal ratio, and the good info that's out there is generally kinda boring.

    99% of the popular image of ninja is instead from popular fiction (Japan was very literate and there was a healthy publishing industry for hundreds of years!) and from theater, especially Kabuki.

    Like many other militaristic lords they had some complex feelings about using spies and assassins in their politics, but most often assassinations were pulled off just by some random pissed off samurai who wanted to stab a dude.

    Early samurai the emphasis is very much that they're a warrior, and so if you could get yourself some arms and armor and a bow, and not suck at it, you could probably declare yourself to be a samurai and nobody would question it too closely. Having the funds to do that meant that it was functionally an inherited status, but there was plenty of room on the margins for samurai to become merchants, or random peasants to pick up a sword and end up serving a lord. Like the story with Miyamoto Musashi's life, or Toyotomi Hideyoshi, it's pretty hard to discern the difference between their supposedly samurai heritage and the peasants they were growing up next to.

    Later samurai became a much more specifically defined, hereditary caste, you were still a samurai even if you weren't getting paid, and you couldn't just become a peasant or merchant. And a woman who had never held a sword would still be considered "of the samurai caste," even though she wasn't a warrior.

    And then by the late Tokugawa the samurai had functionally changed from a warrior class to a bureaucrat class, skill at arms was still socially valued and samurai were still employed as guards or soldiers, but functionally most samurai were actually bored, low-income paper pushers. This is why by the Meiji revolution it was the samurai class leading the revolution to disband the samurai class. Cuz while samurai were socially of the highest tier, in actual daily life they were frequently broke, underemployed, and unhappy.

    Kana on
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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Later samurai became a much more specifically defined, hereditary caste, you were still a samurai even if you weren't getting paid, and you couldn't just become a peasant or merchant.

    This act also established the social castes, and made it so that whatever you were born as, is what you were. Something Toyotomi himself codified into law despite being born the son of a farmer who went to war for the Oda clan, in perhaps one of the more glaring examples of pulling up the ladder once you got to the top.

    Also, he had the presence of mind to pass a law declaring that non-samurai were not permitted weapons. Because he knew what a bunch of armed, angry farmers could do.

  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    You know while I've known forever that Japan was oddly uniquely literate (like at various points its estimated that between like a tenth to up to a third of the population was literate even five hundred years ago) well before most regions of the world I've never actually learned why that was.

  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Later samurai became a much more specifically defined, hereditary caste, you were still a samurai even if you weren't getting paid, and you couldn't just become a peasant or merchant.

    This act also established the social castes, and made it so that whatever you were born as, is what you were. Something Toyotomi himself codified into law despite being born the son of a farmer who went to war for the Oda clan, in perhaps one of the more glaring examples of pulling up the ladder once you got to the top.

    Also, he had the presence of mind to pass a law declaring that non-samurai were not permitted weapons. Because he knew what a bunch of armed, angry farmers could do.

    and then he invaded korea and wasted a shitload of money and his son was a fucking rube

    IronKnuckle's Ghost
  • ReynoldsReynolds Raving Rabbit Registered User regular
    There was this great TV special about how all the different martial arts compared, that I watched multiple times. Surprising nobody, the boxer punched the hardest, the tae kwon do guy kicked the fastest, etc. The guy who was supposedly a ninja was average at everything, and looked to be in average shape compared to all the other massively muscled fighters.

    They then got to his specialty. Balancing on all these precarious wobbling platforms while still throwing punches and kicks. Which he could run up and down easily, while the boxer immediately fell off, tae kwon do guy could just barely stay on, etc. And they even tested out the mystical touch of death...which...kinda worked? It was basically just one precise smash in just the right area of the chest to cause cardiac arrhythmia, or something similar. It might not kill you, but it could stop or at least interrupt your heartbeat long enough to definitely take you out of a fight.

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  • rhylithrhylith Registered User regular
    A ninja’s natural rival is a hockey guy.

    Rhylith - <Shambler Milk> Horde Chogall
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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    Later samurai became a much more specifically defined, hereditary caste, you were still a samurai even if you weren't getting paid, and you couldn't just become a peasant or merchant.

    This act also established the social castes, and made it so that whatever you were born as, is what you were. Something Toyotomi himself codified into law despite being born the son of a farmer who went to war for the Oda clan, in perhaps one of the more glaring examples of pulling up the ladder once you got to the top.

    Also, he had the presence of mind to pass a law declaring that non-samurai were not permitted weapons. Because he knew what a bunch of armed, angry farmers could do.

    and then he invaded korea and wasted a shitload of money and his son was a fucking rube

    Cool castle though. Until the Tokugawa burned it down with the last of the Toyotomi inside, I mean.

    Samurai: not good people!

  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    Woo, Solo Leveling back from hiatus

    97H9G7S.png PSN - Masked Unit | FFXIV - Laitarne Gilgamesh
    Mysst
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    Later samurai became a much more specifically defined, hereditary caste, you were still a samurai even if you weren't getting paid, and you couldn't just become a peasant or merchant.

    This act also established the social castes, and made it so that whatever you were born as, is what you were. Something Toyotomi himself codified into law despite being born the son of a farmer who went to war for the Oda clan, in perhaps one of the more glaring examples of pulling up the ladder once you got to the top.

    Also, he had the presence of mind to pass a law declaring that non-samurai were not permitted weapons. Because he knew what a bunch of armed, angry farmers could do.

    and then he invaded korea and wasted a shitload of money and his son was a fucking rube

    Cool castle though. Until the Tokugawa burned it down with the last of the Toyotomi inside, I mean.

    Samurai: not good people!

    So, I have to bring up one of my favorite bits of FFXIV metalore that many players don't know about. So, a bit of context here - in a lot of Japanese pop culture, Nobunaga Oda gets depicted as a devil - this is because of his decision to burn a temple to the ground - with everyone in it. In addition, this act is a popular way in Japanese pop culture to denote someone as evil, so you see this sort of thing pop up routinely if you're keyed in on it. And FFXIV is no exception - the lore of the game has the burning of the Temple of the Fist, which is a pretty clear homage.

    Now, the interesting part has to do with the game's lore master (a.k.a. the guy who at least signed off on this, if not coming up with this.) For FFXIV, the lore master is a fellow by the name of Banri Oda. And if that name looks familiar, well it is - he's a lineal descendant of none other than Nobunaga himself.

    Moral of the story: It's possible to do something so heinous that even your descendants will use it as a shorthand for "monstrous war crime".

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Maddoc wrote: »
    Woo, Solo Leveling back from hiatus

    Literally JUST came to post that.

    God, I've missed this series.

  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Eh, the Incident at Honnou-ji has a lot of myth to it. The version of the story where Oda burns the temple down with himself inside instead of committing seppuku is popular due to its drama, but it's far more likely that he did kill himself and a retainer fired the temple to remove the possibility of Akechi dishonoring Oda's body. I believe the depiction of Oda as a demon comes more from his notorious temper and terrifying skill in battle. Not too hard to ascribe that kind of talent as a marker for supernatural possession.

  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    The Warring States period is full of so much fighting, alliances, betrayals, and blood during a time where Buddhism was the default religion that it's very hard to pin down who is "good" and who is "evil" in it. Especially the more prominent a figure they were, and there's none more prominent than Oda Nobunaga, a man who eschewed that religion and basically said anyone who stood in his way, mortal or god, would be cut down. Not hard to think of the zealots painting him as a demon for that sort of attitude.

    There's so many complicated things going on during that time.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    yeah, oda had a sizable temper and was not afraid of a whole lot of warcrimes

    his reputation was secured in his own lifetime

    IronKnuckle's Ghost
  • WhippyWhippy Moderator, Admin Emeritus Admin Emeritus
    had a bitchin rayquaza though

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  • SixshotStrikerSixshotStriker Registered User regular
    Reynolds wrote: »
    There was this great TV special about how all the different martial arts compared, that I watched multiple times. Surprising nobody, the boxer punched the hardest, the tae kwon do guy kicked the fastest, etc. The guy who was supposedly a ninja was average at everything, and looked to be in average shape compared to all the other massively muscled fighters.

    They then got to his specialty. Balancing on all these precarious wobbling platforms while still throwing punches and kicks. Which he could run up and down easily, while the boxer immediately fell off, tae kwon do guy could just barely stay on, etc. And they even tested out the mystical touch of death...which...kinda worked? It was basically just one precise smash in just the right area of the chest to cause cardiac arrhythmia, or something similar. It might not kill you, but it could stop or at least interrupt your heartbeat long enough to definitely take you out of a fight.

    Fight Science. I have no idea how accurate it was but it was entertaining as hell to me at the time.

    Reynolds
  • Butler For Life #1Butler For Life #1 Twinning is WinningRegistered User regular
    Eh, the Incident at Honnou-ji has a lot of myth to it. The version of the story where Oda burns the temple down with himself inside instead of committing seppuku is popular due to its drama, but it's far more likely that he did kill himself and a retainer fired the temple to remove the possibility of Akechi dishonoring Oda's body. I believe the depiction of Oda as a demon comes more from his notorious temper and terrifying skill in battle. Not too hard to ascribe that kind of talent as a marker for supernatural possession.

    I visited the site of the original Honnouji a couple years ago

    There is only a rock there

    Oh, and it’s right next to a fire station

    Which is either thoughtful or insensitive, I dunno which

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  • ReynoldsReynolds Raving Rabbit Registered User regular
    Honnouji is full of tiny Nobunaga clones, robots and UFOs, as far as I know.

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  • EnlongEnlong Registered User regular
    edited July 31
    One of my favorite factoids about ninja myths (which I hope isn’t also just a myth) is that “classic” all-black ninja outfit. It’s a fantastic shorthand, but it’s not something they’d ever wear. As you might expect, they’d wear whatever was necessary for the job they were on. If they were infiltrating a lord’s estate, they’d dress like a farmer or servant, for instance. There was no easy thing to spot that said “I’m a ninja”, no matter what Boruto’s dad would tell you.

    The black outfit comes from theater. Stage hands would wear that kind of all-black outfit so that they could visually blend in with the background as they moved props and changed backgrounds and such. As such, the audience was conditioned to tune them out. So when a play needed a sudden assassin attack, the person playing the assassin would also wear that kind of outfit. By doing that, it would look to the audience like the lord just got knifed by someone who was completely invisible, because the audience was tuning him out as a background element.

    Enlong on
    YggiDee wrote: »
    Having teenaged RPG leads is really cool until you stop being a teenager yourself. Do you remember being seventeen? You're a dumbass at seventeen! I wanna be saved by the guy who's twenty-seven. He's at least payed taxes. He knows how to do shit. He can drive.
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  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    I like the Drifters version where Oda does have the temple on fire but he tries to skedaddle out of there using the fire as cover. But dies instead.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent The World on This SideRegistered User regular
    I'm surprised the two LotGH prequel films aren't part of the series, they're excellent for building up the characters.

    They're still great, but I wish they'd been required viewing prior to the OVAs.

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited August 1
    One of the things I find really interesting about the end of the sengoku jidai is that so like, after years and years of constant warlord-ism, many people had begun to form informal governments. Sort of like how organized crime groups can rise up and become almost governments into themselves. These ikki or leagues were formed by a variety of groups - there were merchant ikki that acted like guilds, peasant ikki, or most famously religious ikki, which had warrior monks who militantly pushed their own brands of Buddhism and became powerful and vicious political players in their own rights.

    The power of these ikki were often in direct competition with the warlords, and first Nobunaga, and then eventually Ieyasu fought whole battles to stamp out the military and political power of the ikki.

    One of the last leagues to be targeted were the Christian ikki. From a western perspective the purge of the Christians has always been treated as very much its own unique thing, and the threat of Christianity was why Japan shut itself out from contact with most foreigners. But from the Shogun's perspective this was really just another competing ikki, to be dealt with the same way the others had been, including the Buddhist militants before them.

    The real concern with foreign trade wasn't just the Christianity, it was that foreigners were landing in Japan and buying all the silver they could get their hands on, and then jumping over to China to sell it for a big profit in goods. China's massive, highly developed economy ran on silver, and the economy was extremely thirsty for more bullion.

    That was what ended up happening with silver mined in the new world too. At least 1/3 of silver from the Americas was shipped straight to China, and even more probably indirectly wound up sucked into the Chinese economy.

    Unfortunately for Japan they also ran on silver, and the production from their domestic mines were drying up just around when the sengoku jidai ended. The shogun, facing a genuine currency shortage, attempted to ban anyone from exporting silver. That's why it wasn't just westerners who were banned from arriving in Japan, but Japanese were also banned from leaving Japan. Even local fishing was seen as potentially suspicious, and it's why an island nation ended up somehow having shit sailing skills.

    In the end the shogun acted too late though, and the Tokugawa Shogunate ended up having to adopt a rice-backed currency.

    The unintended consequence of a rice backed currency was that tax rates were set near the beginning of the shogunate, but with peacetime allowing investment in better irrigation, as well faster growing Chinese rice strains, Japanese farmers were soon growing money, and only being taxed as if they were growing much less. And the Colombian exchange brought new, nutrient rich crops like sweet potatoes, which thrived on hillsides, which were inhospitable for rice. So farmers could grow more on the same land, and could sell off a larger portion of their money crops.

    All this extra prosperity allowed for large urbanization and specialization. Red light districts were places where the various classes could co-mingle (within certain limits) as they ate, drank, and partied, and sengoku jidai military roads became highways for tourists. People with extra money could invest in education for their children, which both promoted them socially to the samurai ideal, as well as more generally allowing them to participate in regional trade and business. Things were pretty good for most folks! ... Except for the samurai. They were growing and having kids just like every other social class, but they were still paid out of those out-of-date tax rates set a century ago, so as time went on more and more samurai had to share smaller slices of the same pie. Really one of the big reasons why late Tokugawa Shogunate samurai culture emphasized stoicism and honorable suicide so much was simply that if you lose favor with your lord there's just fuck-all other options for you, so you might as well off yourself to remove a mouth to feed.

    /historythread

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    the shimibara rebellion was kinda a very big deal leading to sakoku

  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Eh, the Incident at Honnou-ji has a lot of myth to it. The version of the story where Oda burns the temple down with himself inside instead of committing seppuku is popular due to its drama, but it's far more likely that he did kill himself and a retainer fired the temple to remove the possibility of Akechi dishonoring Oda's body. I believe the depiction of Oda as a demon comes more from his notorious temper and terrifying skill in battle. Not too hard to ascribe that kind of talent as a marker for supernatural possession.

    I visited the site of the original Honnouji a couple years ago

    There is only a rock there

    Oh, and it’s right next to a fire station

    Which is either thoughtful or insensitive, I dunno which

    Probably a civil planner making a dark joke.

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
  • EnlongEnlong Registered User regular
    edited August 1
    Oh, and I finished BNA. Really nice little story, and the conclusion was appropriately high-energy. There’s a few bits that could’ve been handled better towards the end, but ultimately I enjoyed my time with it.

    Also (ending spoils)
    I dunno what was up with someone saying that it had a weird “separating the races is good actually” message to it. The one dude pushing that message was the main villain of the piece, and even his reason for thinking that was proven wrong in the end.

    Side note, I do hope there’s some further season. I wish Michiru has been able to contact her family before the end of the season.

    Anyway, now I’m in the market for another show to watch when I’m going for some exercise. I started Little Witch Academia, but I’m open to other suggestions.

    Enlong on
    YggiDee wrote: »
    Having teenaged RPG leads is really cool until you stop being a teenager yourself. Do you remember being seventeen? You're a dumbass at seventeen! I wanna be saved by the guy who's twenty-seven. He's at least payed taxes. He knows how to do shit. He can drive.
  • Bluedude152Bluedude152 Registered User regular
    Shonen Jump picked up a new manga, Kaiju No. 8

    Its pretty good! Its about a dude who works as a Kaiju body removal cleaner in a world where Kaiju attacking is common place

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  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Gundi wrote: »
    My knowledge of ninja and samurai is:

    1. The terms actually encompass a very large swath of time so what they actually meant at different times were, well, different.
    2. Usually they were kind of dicks.
    3. Rarely, they could be women.
    4. Like any institutionalized warrior class most of them usually liked it when they didn't have to fight.
    5. When they got introduced to firearms they fucking loved firearms.

    There was also a split between the artsy fartsy, "no guys, killing yourself FOR HONOR is super great!" and the guys who were all, "I mean, I guess if we have to, but here are some clever reasons why I shouldn't do that."

  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular


    Did someone say ninjas.

    This is a cool interview.

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    italianranmamanwiththemachinegun
  • P10P10 An Idiot With Low IQ Registered User regular
    finishing oregairu season 2. i might hold off on watching the third season until its finished so i can binge it. wow, what a horribly mismarketed series that i never would have tried if not for a friend recommending it

    Shameful pursuits and utterly stupid opinions
  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    The netflix subs for Food wars are uh

    Overly accurate huh?

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited August 1
    Episode 1~6
    ULTRAMAN Z Episode 1 (New) "Chant my name!" -Official- 26:37【English subtitles available】
    ULTRAMAN Z Episode 2 "A Warrior’s Principle" -Official- 27:35 【English subtitles available】*Currently set to private*

    [/quote]
    ULTRAMAN Z Episode 3 "Live Coverage! The Monster Transport Operation!" -Official- 27:35【English subtitles available】*Currently set to private*
    ULTRAMAN Z Episode 4 "Robot-2 Activation Plan" -Official- 27:34 【English subtitles available】
    ULTRAMAN Z Episode 5 "First Juggling" -Official-【English subtitles available】27:34
    ULTRAMAN Z Episode 6 "The Man Returns!" -Official- 【English subtitles available】27:34

    ULTRAMAN Z Episode 7 "His Majesty's Medal!" -Official- 【English subtitles available】27:35


    Peas on
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  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    Jragghen wrote: »
    Maddoc wrote: »
    Woo, Solo Leveling back from hiatus

    Literally JUST came to post that.

    God, I've missed this series.

    I feel like I missed the boat on this series.

    V wrote:
    Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 2
    So I sent a certain someone a message this morning to apologize for something I've felt guilty about for years now.
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    I'm not exaggerating when I say I've felt guilty about that for years. I'm so happy she replied!

    However, now I really want to see that "Lotte tries to sell people on Night Fall" idea as a real thing.

    Hexmage-PA on
    Friend Code: 1590-5696-7916
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  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Damn, that Bubble Bass Arc video got taken down before I could get around to watching it.

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    cB557 wrote: »
    Damn, that Bubble Bass Arc video got taken down before I could get around to watching it.

    youtube fucking bullshit again. thy removed it because it supposedly violated some child safety thing, that although the video was marked as "not for kids"

    monopolies are bad, mmkay

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