Ninja no Shoku - food / eating for ninja (summary)
Lecturer: Makoto Hisamatsu
The Iga Cooperation Field and the Iga community-based Research Institute collaborate for the project "Establishment of a Recycling-based and Humane Society By Use of Knowledge and Experiences of Ninja - The Transfer of Academic Results about Ninja to the World - by the crossed field of research between arts and sciences" and starting from this year this social science & science collaboration initiate the academic studies about ninja.
This seminar was the first one in charge of our Iga community-based Research Institute. Ninja had many duties: for example investigating the situation in their enemy's camps/castles from the amount of soldiers and their motivation to the structure of castles and the topography of their peripheral area as well as their food reserve system. Because ninja had to sneak on the enemy's side to get the information, they were always surrounded by enemies and they had to make sure to survive and return from dangerous situations. Since they are under a lot of pressure while on duty, eating - "Ninja no shoku" - plays an important role for ninja in controlling their mental condition in their fighting mode or agitation, in treating skin disease and injuries, in preventing diarrhea and fatigue. For example, Hyoro-gan was one of their well-balanced food and functioned as nutrition, fatigue recovery, sedative/relaxation effects, first aid medicines, health maintenance and energy supply. It was made from Mochi-gome (glutinous rice), Urruchi-mai (ordinary rice), Hasuniku (Hasunomi / lotus seed), Yamagusuri (Nagaimo / Chinese yam), Keishin (Nikki / cinnamon), Yokuinin (Hatomugi / adlay), Kouraininjin (Asian ginseng) and Kourizatou (crystal sugar). Those kinds of knowledges among ninja can be quite useful when we think of living in modern stressful society or when having to survive any natural disaster.