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Monday, 12th October 2015
In Japan Travel News,

Ninja Council formed to promote tourism in Japan

A group of governors and mayors from ten of Japan's prefectures have joined together to form the Japan Ninja Council.

This collection of representatives all donned traditional ninja costumes on October 9th to attend a press conference to promote tourism.

Among those gathered were officials from Mie, Kanagawa, Nagano, Shiga and Saga prefectures, all of which have historical associations with ninja culture.

It is hoped that by dressing in the costumes and taking on the ninja name, the council will be able to engage those interested in traditional Japanese culture.

Eikei Suzuki, governor of Mie Prefecture, said: "We aim to launch a nationwide movement to promote the ninja culture on a worldwide basis as brands rooted in regional communities."

The prominent Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo lent his support to the launch of the ninja-inspired initiative by appearing at the press conference also bedecked in a traditional outfit.

One of the first events to be staged by the council will be a march featuring participants in ninja costumes through Tokyo in December.

It also aims to collaborate with other organisations, most notably on a project by the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and The Asahi Shimbun.

They will be staging an exhibition entitled The NINJA at Miraikan in Tokyo between July and October next year.

Ninjas were highly trained covert agents in the feudal age in Japan, whose specialist skills helped them to carry out espionage missions.

Since ninjas remain present in popular culture, such as films and comics, it is hoped the theme of the council will help to spark the imagination and attract even more visitors to Japan.

Related news stories:
Japanese officials set to promote 'ninja tourism' (6th March 2015)