World's last ninja says: When he dies, his secrets die with him

Ninjas permeate the media of modern culture—Ninja Turtles, Ninja Gaiden, ninjas who answer questions, ninjas who are doctors ... the list goes on. But have you ever met an actual ninja in real life? Probably not, and now it looks like you never will.

Jinichi Kawakami is the 21st head of the Ban Clan, ninjas with a lineage that date back five centuries. And according to Kawakami, there will never be a 22nd head of the Ban Clan.

The reason? Well, this may come as a shock, so sit down—it's kind of hard to get away with teaching people how to make poisons and assassinate people these days. Kawakami himself elaborates, saying, "We can't try out murder or poisons. Even if we can follow the instructions to make a poison, we can't try it out."

It also doesn't help that being a kid trained in the ninja arts doesn't exactly sound like a day at the gymboree. "I was required to endure heat and cold as well as pain and hunger," says Kawakami. "The training was all tough and painful. It wasn't fun, but I didn't think much why I was doing it. Training was made to be part of my life."

Five hundred years on and, when this one man passes, ninjas will be no more. Is that wrong, or is it just the natural progression of man's history and traditions being lost to time?

(via NY Daily News)

Related Stories

The strangest WTF Stargate Atlantis slash fic you'll ever see Carol Pinchefsky

We've read some pretty strange fan fiction about our favorite sci-fi characters in our time. We've even read some pretty over-the-top slash fiction. (Those are stories about our favorite characters with an emphasis on the homoerotic, for those of you who don't know.) But nothing we've ever seen was more bizarre than this.

Bizarre bluegrass performance of Super Mario Bros. theme song

Nothing that makes us feel like kids again and has us itching to touch our joysticks more than hearing that old Super Mario Brothers theme song. Suddenly we're back in the basement and jumping for gold coins once more. When that song is performed by the bluegrass band The Cleverlys, though, we feel a bit weird. But in a GOOD way.

Police sketch proves we don't really know what Dracula looks like Dany Roth

The Composites is a tumblr wherein Brian Joseph Davis utilizes police sketch software, combined with descriptions from literary works, to craft accurate graphic representations of popular fictional characters. Guess how Dracula turned out?