Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

N is for (Teenage Mutant) Ninja (Turtles)

Ninja are so good at what they do that Very little is written about them. Well, shyeah! I’m surprised we even knew that they existed, that’s just how good they are.

Before news of these mighty warriors reached western shores, their characteristics were already steeped in mysticism and wild claims — all the better to maintain their cover and strike when one is least expecting.

But when popular media got a hold on such a novel idea, all the sort of iconographic garbage you can expect from commercialism started to dilute their true nature. That is why N is for Ninja, and why you should read on to find out why everything you thought you knew about them is wrong.

First of all, The Plural of Ninja is “Ninja”

Being a Japanese word, you don’t need to use any extraneous letters to denote that there are one or many. Not that it matters, because all it takes is one to end your world forever. Which is probably why it’s going to be a complete shock to you that the Japanese themselves didn’t even refer to them this way.

Mysterious, right?  I bet you can't even decide how to pronounce it!

Mysterious, right? I bet you can't even decide how to pronounce it!

That’s because Japanese is a complicated written language, which is why its too hard for Gaijin like yourselves to learn! Ninja is the Chinese reading of the word (on’yomi), but the Japanese reading (kun’yomi) is “shinobu”. Don’t let it bother if that doesn’t sound familiar; neither one were so much in use as many other euphamisms that are likely unpronouncable to the heathen tongue.

You might think an anthropomorphic Ninja Turtle is ridiculous, but it's not like there are any rules against it. It's not like you'd ever see one anyway if they were any good.

You might think an anthropomorphic Ninja Turtle is ridiculous, but it's not like there are any rules against it. It's not like you'd ever see one anyway if they were any good.


Here’s one, and the subject of much debate, because no one can decide what the hell it means. It’s not that anyone disagrees it refers to a female practitioner of Ninjutsu, but rather that no one knows for sure why.

Kunoichi “Ku-no-ichi” could be the pronunciation of three strokes needed to draw the Kanji character “Woman” (in that order). If you haven’t heard of stroke order, it’s very important in learning how to write Kanji, but also comes in handy when dealing with actual women.



The second truthy origin is that of “nine of one”, which is a literal interpretation of “ku-no-ichi”, which is supposedly the number of orifaces in the female body. But maybe the Japanese couldn’t count back then, or perhaps they didn’t consider both nostrils separate orifaces, but women actually have ten.

Whatever the origin, much like the true nature of the Ninja, it is lost to the mists of time.


Saying “ninjitsu” is about as ridiculous as saying “nunchuck”, so knock it off already. A “jutsu” is a martial art, and so ninjutsu would be the art of a ninja. However, no such thing actually existed, or if it did it certainly wasn’t referred to as a strict art.



Ninja were too secretive and varied to have had one training regimen, which was more geared toward snapping your neck in broad daylight without anyone else being the wiser than fighting in open combat. Ninja were more geared towards espionage, disguise, and survival. If you notice them, then they have failed.

They weren’t like the uptight samurai, who were all worried about saving face, and honor, and falling on their sword and all that nonsense. Ninja were like the secret agents of feudal Japan, sent by their daimyou to give them a leg up on their enemies in engagements of the mind and wit rather than fighting. But if they had to fight, they’d make sure you wouldn’t see daylight again.

So James Bond? Totally a fucking ninja. With guns.

Men in Black

The absolute last straw is this nonsense about them wearing black or dark colors, and hiding their faces in a very identifiable mask. If you could tell Ninja at a glance, how effective could they possibly be? Cast aside this consumerist nonsense and embrace the truth! Legend says that Ninja have the power to become invisible, but their true effectiveness comes less from not being seen than not realizing you’ve seen one.

Oh, seriously?  COMPLETELY wrong!

Oh, seriously? COMPLETELY wrong!

Ninja are made invisible not by fancy threads or magic, but by hiding in plain sight. No one can truly guess what a real ninja looks like. If you think you’ve seen one, it’s already too late for you.

There’s probably one behind you right now.

Don’t look! That’s what they’re expecting!

Toy Ninja A true ninja toy should be an empty box. It doesn’t matter that you can’t see him now, just open it up and he will come out to play in his own due time. If you try to remove him from the packaging, you will find he has already slipped away to plot his next move.

Don’t worry, it won’t matter if you lock your door.


Here are many examples of fake ninja that we have come to expect in this world. Each is sanitized to meet our expectations.

Ask a Ninja

Gardening Ninja

The sad truth is that in these modern times there is only one true ninja left in this world.

Too bad he’s fictional:

Shortpacked Batman DDR