“Hm,” I say to B-san when we’re walking through the ninja museum after the show. We look at a variety of different shaped ninja stars, try out a real ninja rope ladder, and admire a 60 kg sack of rice the ninjas used to lift up with two fingers to train themselves for missions. They kept their weight at 60 kg or less, so they could hold themselves up by nothing but their thumb and index finger. “Hm,” I say. “Shall I become a show ninja?” B-san’s reaction says: “How could you not.” And reflects what I’m feeling myself. This sounds surreal. And I don’t have the slightest idea whether I am cut out for the kind of training needed for this enterprise. But indeed. How could I not. Some words come a-floating on a melody from the early morning hours. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life.” And make me feel good. The strange tickle in your stomach. Butterflies from an uncertain future, full of promises and expectations. I’m falling, falling, falling. It is a painful, uncertain kind of beauty, this terrain I am entering, and my helplessness pains me, but I have no intentions of stopping myself from falling. Gravity. What can you do.
When we have taken in all the information we can about ninjas for the day, we walk back to our little Toyota Vitz and explore Iga. We find a small restaurant that serves Ninja Udon, a big bowl of too soft, fat, white udon noodles in soup, with a ninja-star shaped piece of nori dried seaweed on top and some hidden pleasures near the bottom: a big, sticky piece of o-mochi, sticky rice mass, an egg, vegetables.
We eat and talk. “You should do it.” “You should do it.” “I should do it.”