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Holidays You Never Knew Existed: Day of the Ninja

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In last week’s installment of “Holidays You Never Knew Existed,” Texas Hill Country took you out of this world to spotlight Red Planet Day, a day dedicated to learning more about our sister planet, Mars. This week, we draw attention to a holiday that is grounded on earth but carries an air of mystique similar to that of the Red Planet. Day of the Ninja, which occurs on December 5, is an unofficial holiday created to honor the notoriously brave and clandestine warriors that hale from the island of Japan.

If you are like us, you may have had no idea ninjas had a whole day dedicated to them. According to timeanddate.com, the holiday originated in 2003, apparently coinciding with the release of “The Last Samurai” a major motion picture starring Tom Cruise. So, how do you celebrate a day devoted to ancient warriors from another country? Several websites encourage participants to dress as ninjas for the day (we suggest you make sure “ninja attire” is covered in your work’s dress code), or help the needy as ninjas were known to do when their legend first originated. However, the simplest way to celebrate would by watching your favorite ninja movie. Keeping that in mind, here are three movies that will have you channeling your inner ninja in no time.

1. The Last Samurai – Warner Bros.

Day of the Ninja: The Last Samurai

Photo: Facebook/کورد فیلم kurd film

Captain Natha Algren (Played by Tom Cruise) is a veteran of the Civil War who is hired by the emperor of Japan to train a new era of imperial soldiers. However, at this time the country is in upheaval and the past and present clash when traditional Samurai fighters battle with Algren’s poorly trained and ill-prepared peasant army. Though Algren fights bravely, he is gravely wounded and his troops handily defeated. However, the leader of the Samurais, Katsumoto, allows the injured captain to be brought back to the samurai’s hideout to be cared for. As he heals, Algren begins to learn more about his captors and their history. Eventually, he befriends them and helps them fight one final battle against the imperial forces.

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Day of the Ninja Ninja Turtles

Photo: Facebook/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Whether you prefer the classic cartoons or the latest movie, you cannot exclude the famous pizza-loving, sewer-dwelling, wisecracking Ninja Turtles from any day devoted to ninjas. Curl up on the couch and watch Michaelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo kick some serious bad-guy butt. Cowabunga!

3. The Octagon – Media Home Entertainment

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Photo: Facebook/Movie Empire

While this list might be about warriors from an entirely different country, this film will have you thinking about the Lone Star State as it stars honorary Texan Chuck Norris, famous for his role in the television series Walker Texas Ranger. In this movie, Norris portrays Scott James, a martial artist who has to battle his past to save the world from being overtaken by evil ninjas. Of course, the movie would not be complete without all the awesome cheeziness that comes along with ninja movies of the 1980s.

However you choose to recognize Day of the Ninja, just remember to have fun!

References:

IMDB: The Last Samurai 

Martial Arts Action Movies

Rotten Tomatoes