The meaning of NIN

By Kevin Vandeyck Ph.D

The words to describe the shadow warrior art cannot be translated directly into languages foreign to Japan.  NIN (also pronounced Shinobi) can mean endurance, perseverance and forbearance in both the physical and mental realms.  NIN has a secondary definition of stealth, secretness and concealment.  The Japanese ideograph for NIN is composed of the lesser ideographs for BLADE and HEART.  The construction of the written character implies that the heart (or will) is channelled and directed in ways that give it the effectiveness of the blade as a tool for accomplishment.  In this broader sense of the concept,  NIN really means “to be in control of ones body, mind and perception of right and to be in control of ones perception of appropriateness; to be able to rely on one’s 6th sense and to have a working knowledge of ones subconscious level of thinking.”  This broader perception of reality being based on ones own unique viewpoint is what set the NINJA apart from the conventional  military tacticians, during the warring states and feudal eras of Japan, to become the “Shadow Warriors” of today.