Documentary (Series) | 2011 | National Geographic | Great Britain

Main data

Shooting data


Project data

Length of movie48'

    Brief synopsis

    NINJA is unearthing the true history, unique military skills and ancient traditions behind the infamous Ninja, a small band of rebellious Japanese mountain villagers, who struck fear into ordinary people's lives and were a constant thorn in the side of their arch enemies, the battle hardened Samurai warrior clans.

    The documentary tells the intriguing story of Ninja Tanba who was trained by his grandfather to become one of the most feared warriors in ancient Japan. NINJA follows Tanba's life from boyhood to old age with the help of historic re-enactments, elaborate costumes and original Ninja weapons, supported by CG animation from an award-winning design team. After the Ninja villages were eventually razed to the ground by a massive Samurai army, the Ninja legend lives on in fictional action heroes of B-movies, comics and computer games. But even in Japan today, any association with the Ninja ancestry is regarded as shameful - as opposed to the blemish free image of the loyal Samurai.

    Featured experts include UK and Japanese historians as well as the exclusive appearance of Master Kawakami, one of the last (if not only) surviving masters, who demonstrates the unrivalled tricks the Ninja used to fool their enemies.


    director of photographyHiromichi Nakatani
    directorJohn Wate
    editorPaul Jagger
    composerJan Tilman Schadeund Musikproduzent

    Production companies

    Urban Canyons Ltd. [uk]