This has been on mind for centuries a ninja vs a samurai every time I ask this question to somebody they always say ninja for some odd reason I have to admit though ninjas are cooler looking then samurai but lets face it ninjas really only know ninjitsu and only are good for stealth no armour nothing but the mighty samurai are one with wind idk! Anyways as u can tell Im placing bets on the samurai.
If you mean in a fight, you're comparing a master assassin with an armored knight. They didn't traditionally fight in the same fashion, and no matter what anime and cheesy literature would have you believe, ninjitsu was not a martial art (although it did include training useful in a fight) but rather was an art of hiding and stealth, of trickery and treachery. Long story short, in a fight, the samurai would have cut down the ninja, but he would have been no match for one sneaking up on him to poison him or cut his throat.
To put it in modern terms, a boxer or a computer hacker?
i'll say a boxer lol...Ninjas were descended from samurais actually...they are a group that were rejected (i think) then got together and practice stealth and all the crazy things...so they have similarities...but in terms of sword combat, they are no match to proper samurais definitely...like the bit in the last samurai, where the bunch of them got smashed...
personally i think ninjas are unscrupulous. samurais are honorable. in the movie "the last samurai", you've witnessed the fact that ninjas operate in secrecy, under the cover of darkness. they will take you out with all the advantage they have. to them, there's no such rule as a "fair fight". if they can sneak up behind you, they will. if they catch you without a weapon, all the more happier. if you play the playstation game, "tenchu", you'll understand a bit more abt how ninjas operate.
in the movie, those ninjas got smashed coz the samurais spotted them (was it tom cruise who saw them on the roof?), so in that instance, those ninjas lost the element of surprise.
i think if a samurai would find an opponent who forgot his weapon, he'll probably tell him to go home and get it while he waits for him (or something to that effect). they'll not wanna win an opponent and have him later say "yea... that dude won me just coz i wasn't prepared."
There were many famous ninja that would HANDILY defeat many samurai in combat. (Hanzo Hattori anyone? Kotaro Fuuma?) You guys shouldn't compare movie/video game/anime ninjas and samurai, you should compare real ninjas and samurai, I think. To act like Tenchu and The Last Samurai are anything that accurately represents the differences between ninjas and samurai does BOTH sides complete dishonour... I will say this for sure, the media "ninja" image that everyone sees, of some dude always dressing up in black and sneaking into enemy fortresses, is NOT the real one. ("Ninja" being a rather modern term, back in those days they didn't go by that name) Sure they did engage in those kind of activities, but ninja tasks often relied on disguise, being deep undercover, and using real deception with people, not dressing up in black PJs and hugging the corners. Ninja and samurai valued the same thing, which was duty. They just had different rules.
yea.. i agree.. ninjas definitely had a different set of rules compared to samurais. i also agree with you that movies and games should not be used to set the tone or standard for the real thing. but they did reflect the difference in their game rules.
the meaning is that of "warrior". this guy fights.
者 means something like "agent". 忍 means tolerate or suppress. if i had to venture a guess, i'd say ninjas are people who will tolerate anything (or almost anything) just to complete their mission. we read of stories of ninjas who, despite the adverse conditions, perhaps had to stay submerged in water for hours just to assassinate their target or stay motionless to remain undetected to eavesdrop, had to complete their mission. and they do it, suppressing their discomfort. i'd say their jobs are not the average run-of-the-mill kind of job (because you can always get the average joe to do the average job).
and you're right. back in those days, i think the term used was 忍び (しのび)
i think i liken samurais with soldiers and generals (people who fight the battlefield) and ninjas with CIA field operatives (people who do funny things). they both are necessary and usually have very different objectives, but all for the common interest of the country.
You know, I was at work thinking about this topic, saying to myself, "How would I explain the differences between ninja and samurai with an analogy?" The best one I could come up with was CIA agents vs soldiers, so in that we agree for sure.
Sure, technically media could be used an example, but the differences between the two in media are GREATLY exaggerated for distinction and artistic flair. People think the whole 80's ninja thing is really cool, the idea that there are these guys who used to dress up in cool ninja gear and infiltrate enemy compounds and assassinate guys in really cool ways and that sort of thing. The thing is, a more accurate representation of shinobi might in fact be a lot LESS exciting, so they buff it. The best definition of "忍" I've seen is "perseverence," as in, to steal a line from Lone Wolf and Cub, "the shinobi endures with dagger in heart, the shinobi endures of the torture of deceit," et cetera. Many of them spent their lives in disguise, living as other people, or doing tasks that most warriors would find repulsive.
To anyone who says that ninjas were NOT greatly skilled fighters; did you know that in warring times before a castle siege, ninja teams used to infiltrate enemy forces disguised as castle defenders, to set fires and launch guerrilla attacks? These tasks involved quite a lot of fighting, and could easily be compared to current-day Special Forces kind of unconventional warfare. In this sense, they would probably be better compared to, say, Green Berets or something. They had training in areas that FAR surpassed samurai military education.
The History channel had something on modern ninjitsu vs. a special ops team, both with a tactic to do a mock assassination of a prisoner. The show was aired quite a while ago, so I can't remember the name or anything. The approaches were quite different.
The special ops team pretty much overwhelmed everybody by force, completing their objective in about a minute. Casualties included all the kidnappers as well as the prisoner. The special ops team had a unit of about 6 people.
The ninjitsu approach had one guy, dressed as a grip (camera technician). He took several hours to gain the confidence of the kidnappers using the ruse of a "malfunctioning camera" on the second floor. The kidnappers didn't know who he was until he accomplished his objective. Casualties only included the prisoner.
So the ninja is basically more like a spy and the samurai is more like a soldier. Both are effective, but they also have different strategies and methods of operation. The show was very interesting from that standpoint.
I remember reading about Tokugawa Iayasu, and he apparently employed a wide network of ninja. Their roles were to provide intelligence and reporting. Very interesting aspect of history.
Ive only heard of that discovery channel show, but aparently it was with Stephen Hayes as the "Ninja". As a practitioner of the Bujinkan ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bujinkan), I`ve had a few discussions on whether Ninjutsu is/was a Martial art. In Togakure-Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu for example, the "meat and bones" of its Densho consisted of the "Santo Tonko Kata" which were nine methods or Kata (like martial arts) for fighting to escape a confrontation, either unarmed vs unarmed, unarmed versus a sword or spear, and the last was the use of Metsubishi and Shuriken to distract and escape. There was also the Hikenjutsu (Secret sword techniques) which were an even larger collection of techniques and methods of using the sword and different parts of the sword. There are many methods of Being "invisable" or escape using the elements, But there is defenately a vast collection of fighting methods. In the very same scrolls there was a phrase that said "Ninpo is Budo" (I dont have the full script, or Japanese characters enabled on this computer so that will have to do). We also practice several "Samurai" traditions such as the famous Kukishin-Ryu. Essencially like other martial arts, it comes down to the individual as to whether or not a ninja could beat a samurai. Theres no such thing as a good martial art, its the practitioners that decide that.
p.s. A very nice representation of ninja in modern media can be found in a manga series called "Path of the Assassin", it features Hattori Hanzo and Ieasu Tokugawa.
Or to simply achieve their mission, whether the enemy is a Samurai, peasant, etc. When looking at the historic facts, its best to try to not decide who was a Ninja or samurai, and look more at what they did and achieved. The term "ninja" was only coined fairly recently, unfortunately, I don't have time to rant at the moment, but here's a link to one of my teachers articles on the topic: http://shinseidojo.wordpress.com/2009/0 ... -zoughari/
There really is no reason to believe that the samurai were better at combat, or that the ninja was automatically faster or more agile. I don't want to sound rude, but these generalizations are best left for the video game world. It was the Samurai that developed the skill known as "Musoku no Ho" (無足之法) which is a body dynamic that allows for incredibly fast and powerful movement without putting any additional strain on the body.
An there were some larger "Siege weapons" that the ninja used that simply could not be used quickly and reduce ones ability to move freely. And the Keen Ninja intuition was simply extensive training in life or death situations that allowed for the martial artist to feel that kind of "disharmony in the force" and remove himself from the situation.
Most of the fighting techniques of the ninja were actually samurai traditions that were related by coincidence or even sought out by the ninja. only in a few cases is their any actual Ninjutsu referring to fighting so much as espionage (that's not to say there's none, but its certainly scant, especially in comparison to ANY samurai tradition).
Ninja and Samurai alike had to deal with their opponents wearing armor, this is where the unique use of the Tachi (太刀) came from where as much of the fighting would be the two samurai trying to reach their opponents openings and when that is achieved, they THRUST in (as opposed to large cutting movements that would only slam into the armor).
So I hate to tear your post to pieces, but broad generalizations spread by the misinformed really is no different than racial stereotypes. The best way to find this stuff out for sure is to practice the martial arts of the samurai, and this isn't things like Karate or Aikido, but traditions like Katori Shinto-Ryu or Hontai Yoshin-Ryu.
Please understand that I'm not an expert, but I do know the above to be true.