Do you have what it takes to become a certified shadow warrior?

Shiga prefecture’s city of Koka, whose kanji can also be read as “Koga“, has one of the most prestigious ninja connections in all of Japan. Often referred to as the birthplace of ninjutsu, the Koga clan who once resided here five centuries ago were known for their elite shadow warrior skills, and today they’re one of only two clans (along with Iga in Mie Prefecture) which are still widely remembered.

▼ Koka Station pays homage to their ninja heritage
with a shuriken throwing star motif.

Koka City takes pride in keeping their ninja roots alive, with the local tourism association conducting annual testing of clan knowledge with an examination that people can sit for in Shiga Prefecture each year.

Now, to commemorate the association’s tenth test, the exam will be held in Tokyo for the first time ever, at the famous Zojoji Temple, which is one of two family temples of the Tokugawa Shogun. Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), who founded the shogunate, is said to have escaped an incident in Kyoto in 1582, with the help of the Iga and Koga ninja clans.

▼ With its ninja connection, Zojoji is an apt location
for the first clan test outside of Shiga.

The exam itself is designed to measure knowledge of the Koga clan, including their activities from the 15th to 16th centuries, as well as fictional ninja works. The test is 30 minutes long and consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Sitting the exam in ninja cosplay and showing off your shuriken throwing star skills will add an extra ten points to a test-taker’s score, with a total of 60 points required to pass the test.

Following the test, talks are scheduled to be held by Naoya Inoue, a ninja researcher, and Toshinobu Watanabe, a Koga ninja descendent. A variety of other ninja-related events will be held at the venue on the day, including a performance by a shadow warrior group at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., which is open to all members of the public.

Pre-registration for the test is required, with the tourism association accepting the first 200 applicants who fax or email the application form found on the official site. Applicants are required to pay the 3,000 yen (US$26.50) fee via bank transfer before the examination day.

The test will be held on 22 October, and the reception opens from 9 a.m. If you’re unable to test your shadow warrior skills this time around, don’t worry – there are plenty more crazy certification tests you can take in Japan!

Source: @Press
Featured image: @Press
Insert images: Wikipedia/go.biwako, Flickr/redlegsfan21 (edited by SoreaNews24), @Press