Regardless, we are now going to examine the book Mind of the Ninja... A reflection of the philosophical and religious teachings within the Bujinkan. As well as providing proof that Hatsumi taught incorrect, dare I say knowingly false information, to Western Bujinkan artists.
Since then it is now far easier to see the problems with the book & Hatsumi...
1. The author had bad information from Hatsumi or others within the Bujinkan to explain meditative training, religious indoctrination and unverified claims.
2. That false claims about historical documents, then (1986) were only available in Japanese. So its easy to tell someone who doesn't speak Japanese, especially 17th century Japanese, a historical document says something it doesn't. They can't tell the difference anyway... (makes you wonder why they took cursive out of school right?)
3. That Hatsumi was not completely honest with the Americans who came to him to learn authentic "Ninjutsu." Worse yet is that this isn't something that can be passed off on Takamatsu. Takamatsu taught Hatsumi "Ninpo" but, Hatsumi knew the truth about what was in the documents, and told people who wouldn't know the difference lies, untruths and falsehoods about said historical document.
There is some good information here but it is watered down with propaganda and, bad pop psychology from the 80s. Best of all it shows why Ninjas are Bullshit!
So Kirkland Peterson, seems to be trying to discredit the additional references for study. Even as the argument goes, Mr. Peterson seems to be making an argument for limited knowledge to a particular school (the Bujinkan) & ignoring the other sources of viable information and historical references.
More so, Kirkland seems to dismiss the idea that nature (the universe of you will) is the source of stealth since all stealth is based on an understanding of nature and natural orders within it... This would seem to be a counter-argument to the Bujinkan's own Gotonpo methods of Intonjutsu.
I always found it laughable that a trained fighter would have to unlearn what is natural to him or her to learn "natural body movements." Its like citing Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do philosophy about avoiding fixed positions and movements but, ignoring that the body and mind are so conditioned that responses are ingrained habits. Thus, one doesn't need to unprogram reflexes but, to recondition them to be fluid and reflexive.
More so, under heading 'The "Unimpressive" heading we see an argument that only Hayes and Hatsumi are the legitimate sources of information. That ignoring them, means one is ignoring true and complete information.
Hayes is responsible for nothing bit relaying what he was taught by Hatsumi. Hatsumi however, began claiming his secret ninja teachings along side Takamatsu. Who was often known to exaggerate, embellish and outright lie. More so, as you will see later on, Hatsumi has made outright false statements about Historical Documents. This destroys any claims of credibility with the English Translations of said Historical documents.
For example, the ninja used a method of starting a fire in a hole and covering the hot coals with dirt to have a warm place to sleep in colder climates. The North American Tribes such as the Sioux and others extending into Canada used this same method for scouts and braves who needed to move fast and carry little to no shelter. By comparing these methods we find that the ninja and the tribal scouts used the same methods. This means that it is an effective survival camping method to be used in the field.
Yet, under the Heading 'The "Outdated" Ninja' we see a reference to (once again martial arts) this time describing the defense of avoiding the attack with a sideways handspring... This section also talks about "techniques and stances that are mismatched with the realities of the twentieth century." I mentioned some of the issues with Ichimonji no Kamae, and the claim that no one can hit you with a reverse punch if you are standing in Ichimonji no Kamae at a 45 degree angle to the center of the opponents body. However, the issue of both a matter triangulation (angles) and rotation of the body to drive the reverse hand to the target. And explained on This Blog.
Ultimately, its an argument for large and exaggerated stances and strikes that are not explosive. Which is why Fujita Seiko favored Okinawan Karate and Kobudo over Japanese Koryu Arts, in part by his Soke status of Na Ban Sato Ryu Kenpo which was a modern (gendai) Japanese version of Okinawan Te or Okinawan Karate. So who is a superior Source of Knowledge of Ninjutsu, Fujita Seiko or Massaki Hatsumi..?
It all depends on the researcher and observer to decide for himself. This decision must be based on research and understanding of history and facts. Ultimately, evidence proves that Takamatsu and Hatsumi plagiarized hostorical documents and attempted to reference Fujita's own research to invent Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu.
Now in examining the page below, Peterson makes reference to the Ninja's Spiritual Purity and the Bansenshukai as a reference to a historical text. A text that we now know has no mention of anything Spiritual. This is only a Smaller example of a considerable whole...
Kirkland Peterson's whole text, actually convolutes the Matter. The matter being that of culture and context which Mr. Peterson's argument lack. However, I will clear this up. The Taoist ideas of the Tao (way) being a whole of two parts, opposing forces of Yin and Yang. You see when the Bansenshukai was written Japan was separate from China govermentally, and culturally but the Nationalist influence of the 1920s to 40s that shapes modern Japanese culture didn't exist and what Mr. Peterson wrote is wrong... Because, in the context of the time most knowledge in Japan was drawn from Chinese Sources and people often referenced China to seem more creditable.
In Japan, the Tao is used at the end of word and Spelled in English as -do, such as Aikido, Judo and Karatedo. The Do is made up of two opposing forces In and Yo. This concept isn't taken from Chinese influence, it is Chinese cultural influence used to discribe two opposing view points on Performing spy craft... Both just as valuable and necessary as the other.
Here Peterson writes incorrectly,
"The next volume, Yo-nin takes a step into the more philosophical, aspects of Ninjutsu. It deals with the yo (yogi in Chinese), or masculine, bright and firm side of the ninjas power. "
Pick up a copy of The Book of Ninja by Anthony Cummins and Yoshie Minami and the sections on In-nin deal with essentially breaking in and sneaking past guards. Those of Yo-nin talk about psychological manipulation, disguise and similar. In fact Kirkland makes other claims to mystical ninja teachings in historical documents that is also outright false.
Thus, we clearly see that Kirkland Peterson's Mind of the Ninja is not much different from many other New Age texts trying to reveal some secret teachings about the universe... This is the pseudo- mystical teachings of Asian culture which Count Dante detested.
Political Assassinations, taking Hostages and while Peterson mentioned car bombs, the historical shinobi didn't have cars, they were known to poison enemy supplies or burn down buildings without regard for the bystanders within, much to the same effect. In view of such actions the Shinobi\Ninja could be considered terrorists.
This is the problem with Peterson's context in full, the ninja were also Samurai. Samurai Special Forces to be exact. Such actions were taken as part of the mission in the context of a warring states period. The historical ninja, was viewed with disgust by the modern Japanese, as terrorists and in modern media portrayed as magicians (evil sorcerers was another historic portrayal of the ninja).
And Kirkland, did not miss a chance to make his Jab at Ashida Kim... Using staged pictures to let us all know we he was talking about. I call this Bujinkan Propaganda to attack their competition and spread the New Age Mystical Ninja Religion.
Finally, we have to ask are people like Don Roley who claim to be researchers and translating Fujita Seiko's books, as well as Phillip T. Hanover who wrote Fujita Seiko: The Last Koga Ninja (both connected to the Bujinkan) doing so to spread the cult like teachings within the Bujinkan?
This produces another issue within the Ninjutsu Community. So much disinformation has been spread and lies that no one is really worth believing... Another reason why Ninjas & Ninjutsu is Bullshit...
Go back and read:
Ninjas are Bullshit: The Root of the Problem &
Ninjas are Budo! Black Dragon Ninjitsu & Omoto Ryu Budo
Note: As I no longer own Mind of the Ninja, all images were provided by a friend.