Customer Rating: Summary: Beware of Ghosts Comment: A lot of this book was ghost written by Stephen K. Hayes or someone whose writing style mimics that of Mr. Hayes. One only need to compare the wording of Stephen K. Hayes' own books with this one to see the strong similarities. As a result, a lot of the information is the ghost writer's own interpretation of Hatsumi-sensei's art and must be considered as incorrect as I've yet to see or hear Soke use such interpretations.
There are a quite of lot of interesting photographs of training in the 'old days' as well as many shots of weapons and tools. Hatsumi-sensei's preface is well worth reading but as for the rest of the written text (such as it is) I would posit that the majority of it is an amalgamation of phrases by Hatsumi-sensei and theorisations by the ghost writer.
There are many examples of differences in writing styles - surely a clear indication of the ghost writer's work - and one doesn't need proficiency in the Japanese language nor even experience in how Hatsumi-sensei presents himself to be able to recognise such differences. Needless to say though, such proficiency and experience with Soke (especially experience) will go a long way towards sorting out fact from fiction.
If I'm to recommend this book, I would so from the point of research. By this I mean, purchase the book and compare it to Hatsumi-sensei's other works. What can be learnt through the differences ought to be well worth the price paid. Customer Rating: Summary: Fun read, but dated. Comment: Masaaki Hatsumi's overview of the Japanese Ninja is a fun read that gives a fairly brief survey of Ninjutsu. As someone skeptical of the whole "ninja thing" I found it both informative and frustrating, that the author worked hard to dispel myths about the ninja and their powers and then turn around and wax esoteric on the very same topic.
Many of the photos in the book are not particularly well taken and tend to be fuzzy and dated, and the captions do little to make them any more clear.
Still, its a fun book that can be read quickly. I found the section on ninja tools particularly interesting.
Customer Rating: Summary: Ninjutsu 101 Comment: I bought this book a long time ago when I first started learning Ninjutsu.
This is essential for anyone studying Ninjutsu, as it has (like the title says) history. Besides the history, it has other information on stances, weapons, and practices of Ninjutsu. There are also many pictures and drawings to help you along.
Like I said, if you are planning on taking Ninjutsu, if you are learning Ninjutsu now, or if you simply want to know the truth about where Ninjutsu came from (starting with the first Ninja), then this book is for you.
And you will never find a more credible source. Customer Rating: Summary: A must-have for your martial arts library Comment: If your as tired of the usual ninja stereotypes as I am then this book is a must. Customer Rating: Summary: a good read Comment: This is a definite must for beginning ninjutsu students. I found it extremely informative, even though some of the pictures are a little hard to identify. it has really interesting insight and description for all aspects of ninjutsu, as well as some interesting history. I found it especially helpful because there is not a ninjutsu school near me and therefore i have had to train by myself.