EU shipping is temporarily suspended


The (Unofficial) Secret Manual

Stephen Turnbull

Out of stock


Set in the year 1789 and based on the original ninja manuals of that era, this witty secret manual equips readers with all the tools needed to become a master of ninjutsu

See Inside
Ninja Read Extract


The ninja, Japan’s famous black-clad spies and assassins renowned for their superb martial arts skills, are the stuff of legend, their shadowy dealings inspiring countless tales in Japanese folklore. No other military figure in the world has captured the popular imagination as have the ninja, with a swathe of movies, comic books, theme parks and computer games being dedicated to them.

Ninja takes the reader into the world of Japan in 1789, conveying the excitement, danger and subterfuge of the period. Based on an original ninjutsu training manual, it teaches readers precisely what is required to become a ninja, and of course the craft itself, so that they can master the ninja arts.

Illustrated throughout with contemporary artifacts, documents and prints taken from the original manuals, as well as modern reconstructions, this light-hearted but informative guide will captivate readers young and old, and covers every aspect of what it was really like to be a ninja in Japan.

Read More


'Concise, accessible'
History Revealed

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 19.8 x 12.5 cm

Extent: 208 pp

Publication date: 4 April 2019

ISBN: 9780500021996

Contents List

Foreword by His Most Illustrious Highness Tokugawa Ienari, Shogun of Japan • 1. What is a Ninja? • 2. Ninja and You! • 3. The Secret History of the Ninja • 4. IGA: True Land of the Ninja • 5. Fake Ninja – A Word to the Wise! • 6. The Amazing Exploits of the Iga Ninja During the Age of War • 7. How to Develop the Mind of a Ninja • 8. Specialized Ninja Equipment and When to Use It • 9. Ninja Weapons and How to Use Them • 10. Espionage and Intelligence Gathering • 11. Ninja Techniques of Infiltration • 12. How to Cause Chaos Wherever You Go • 13. The Ninja in Life and Death • 14. An Example of a Secret Ninja Scroll

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull is a writer and historian, specializing in military history, particularly of Japan and East Asia. He is Honorary Lecturer in Japanese Religion at Leeds University and Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at Akita International University in Japan. He is the author of over seventy books, including Samurai: The Japanese Warrior’s (Unofficial) Manual (2012), published by Thames & Hudson. Turnbull gave the inaugural lecture for the establishment of the International Centre for Ninja Studies at Mie University, Japan, and acted as historical advisor for the 2013 film 47 Ronin.