Ninja Gaiden II

Ninja: The Invisible Assassins

In the 1970s and 80s, hot on Bruce Lee’s tails came the ninja invasion. My friends and I spent many a summer night dressed in our ninja suits wandering around town solving crimes engaging in mischief. We started with wooden swords and foam rubber nunchucks but eventually graduated to real weapons, which today would probably get you shot or killed.

Ninja: The Invisible Assassins by Andrew Adams was like my Ninja Bible. It covered everything, from how ninjas would perform undercover secret missions to all the hidden rooms and trap doors they would build into their awesome ninja houses. In this book I learned that ninjas would wait until moonless nights to launch their missions, so that they could hide in the darkness. It also taught me about these:

These are Kuji-In, which were secret ninjitsu hand signals. What were they for? What did they mean? We didn’t know. We just saw the guys in Revenge of the Ninja doing them, so we figured they must be important and we practiced them on the bus ride home after school every day. You can see them in action here, about 45 seconds into this epic clip.

Ninja: The Invisible Assassins was before its time, originally published in 1970 and released in paperback in 1973. Not only does Amazon still have the book for sale, but you can peek inside and check it out for yourself.

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

Latest posts by Rob O'Hara (see all)

Subscribe to the Retroist Newsletter

* indicates required

4 thoughts on “Ninja: The Invisible Assassins

  1. mwentworth says:

    OH MY GOD I LOVED THAT BOOK! This was from a brief, but intense period of my childhood; filled with Bruce Lee movies, building our secret ninja training facility in the woods, ordering Nunchaku and throwing stars from Black Belt magazine, and then they came out with the movie: The Octagon w/ Chuck Norris. After that, everyone was all about the Ninja and they started creeping into pop culture more and more.

  2. Century Martial Arts is located just a few miles from where I grew up. This lady that lived down the street worked there and would occasionally bring my home foam throwing stars and stuff like that. I took karate lessons for many years and I think all my outfits, belts, and fighting pads were purchased through her as well.

    Chuck Norris is also from Oklahoma, and I remember he came to one of our karate tournaments as we got to meet him.

Leave a Reply