Remember a while back, when I said I was going to do a post on ninjas? Yeah, I really was going to until I realized that other people have written about this topic much more eloquently than I ever could, and with much more knowledge of Japanese history to their name. Instead, I’ll just link to some information I’ve found. You may call me lazy, but I call it making proper use of the Internet!
The first thing I suggest you read is a post on ninjas in reality and popular culture from the blog The Illuminated Lantern. Good research – from the looks of it – and a fun read. Off course, Daredevil mythos doesn’t just feed off ninja legends in general but also the quite popular concept of the blind martial artist (we have Matt himself, Stick, and now Master Izo). This theme is thoroughly explored in the many movies about Zatoichi, a fictional blind swordsman active in Edo era Japan. A whopping 26 movies were made about Zatoichi from 1962 until 1989. One of his movies even inspired the 1989 American film Blind Fury, starring Rutger Hauer. We actually had Blind Fury on VHS when I was growing up. Ah, the 80’s were fun.
To learn more about Zatoichi, click on the Wikipedia link above or go to blindsamurai.net where there’s more information about these classic Japanese movies. A new version was made in 2003, and has been uploaded to YouTube in its entirety. For those who don’t find that practice to be somewhat questionable, here’s the link. You’ll also find the trailer embedded below. Just for the fun of it, there’s a Blind Fury trailer too. Man, that movie was so bad it was good. Enjoy and remember to read that entire ninja article too!