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Long veiled in intrigue, one of Japan’s most renowned cultural icons is undergoing a renaissance

Fight or flight


Whilst their guile and grace have inspired everything from ancient Japanese woodblock printers to a group of teenage turtles, the way of the ninja has sadly been slipping into obscurity. Thankfully, things are changing. With Japan’s sights firmly set on its spell in the sporting spotlight (cue Rugby World Cup and Olympic Games), the uniquely Japanese art of ninjutsu is stepping into the spotlight, too. Whether it’s learning the basics yourself or bedding down in the heartland of ninja culture, a clutch of new o­ erings to highlight the tradition, skill and ancient heritage of ninjutsu are set to open later this year — without a single turtle in sight. CONNOR MCGOVERN

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK) - April 2018
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About National Geographic Traveller (UK)

From ancient villages to stories from the locals, we uncover some of the Aegean Sea’s most gleaming pearls as we island-hop across the paradise idylls of Greece’s Cyclades. Elsewhere, we discover authentic Maori culture in New Zealand; wind our way along the Volga in Russia; and spend a long weekend in Tunis. Our urban highlights this issue include Istanbul, Lisbon, Mumbai and Bordeaux while our photo story introduces the freedivers of Jeju Island in South Korea.