Sea of Myriad Rivers Merging is another book on my reading list. Sounds a bit like a poetry book - well there is some poetry. Ninja poetry!
The Bansenshukai (which translates as Sea of Myriad Rivers Merging) is one of three classic texts on ninja. It was penned in 1676 by a ninja known as Fujibayashi and has never been available in English. Until now.
In November 2013 Antony Cummins and Yoshie Minami published a full English translation of the 22 volumes of the Bansenshukai. Yes 22 volumes (544 pages).
And it is a fascinating and also frustrating read. For a start it is a translation of the authentic text and so measurements are in tradition units like momme and bu. And while the book discloses many secrets of the ninja, there are many secrets withheld. Throughout the book are references to "details to be orally transmitted". These are the secrets that were handed down by word of mouth only and so were not included in the original text.
Never the less, with this book you can now learn:
- yo-nin and in-nin infiltration techniques
- how to make a flying ladder
- tanuki-gakure (raccoon dog hiding)
- the truth about the water spider floating seat
- seven ways to use a sageo sword cord
- the fire recipe for Cherry blossoms at dawn.
Bite off more than you can chew