Hiroo Onoda, World’s ‘Last Ninja’, Dead at 91

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


The world may have lost its last ninja Friday.

Hiroo Onoda, the World War II Japanese intelligence officer who died Thursday at age 91, drew from ninja-like military training to survive nearly thirty years fighting a long terminated war, according to ninja historian John Man.

“Other people would dispute this, but I’d say he’s the last of the ninja,” Man told TIME last year. Man devoted a chapter of his book Ninja: 1,000 Years of the Shadow Warrior to Onoda.

The intelligence officer was a graduate of the elite Nakano Spy School, which Man described as something of a modern ninja training ground. The school taught officers stealth tactics and values like integrity and — above all — completing the mission, which aligned with the basic tenets of the centuries-old traditional ninja practice.

Man wrote:

“The man who claims to be the inheritor of the ninja tradition, Masaaki Hatsumi…

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