Dress Like a Ninja


 If you really want to dress like a historical ninja, first you have to know what actual historical ninja dressed like.

Usually, they dressed in the normal clothes of the period, whatever would help them blend in the best. An outfit that screams "I'm an enemy" doesn't fit the needs of a ninja who is simply acting as a spy or attempting to infiltrate enemy territory.

 But for  A ninja uniform is called a shinobi shozoku. Their uniform is actually very similar to a samurai's, it just subtracts most of the armor and adds a few other things. Ninja did not dress in all black, that is an invention of Kabuki theater. Nighttime lighting is dark blue, making a navy blue a better color for night camouflage than black. Black just looks like a silhouette or a hole. During the winter ninja could wear white, in the forest brown or a dark green, the list goes on.

Here are the parts of the uniform in the order you should put them on.

Zukin- Headwrap

It looks like this:


 NOT! This is called a balaclava, and ninja never wore something like this. What if someone found this obvious mask when your things were searched?


The ninja mask is actually just two long scarf like pieces of fabric, one being twice as wide as the other, but equal lengths.

 First, wrap the smaller one around your mouth like a bandanna. This smaller piece has dimensions of about 6 in. by 3 ft.

Continue the wrap around the back of your neck and around your neck (BUT NOT TIGHT) before tying it into a knot behind your head.

Next, fold the larger piece (1 ft by 6 ft) as demonstrated in this diagram.

When done, you should have two layers of cloth over your mouth and only layer over the rest of your head. The cloth you use for this should obviously be light and breathable.


 An alternative method uses two sanjaku tenugui (three-foot cloths). Simply tie one over the mouth and the other one over the head, knotting both behind the head so that one knot overlaps the other.


You can now put on anything you'd like to wear under your outfit, such as chain-mail or just a t-shirt. 

 Uwagi- Jacket


This is the same jacket used in most Japanese martial arts. Just fold right lapel under and tie the small strings on the corners at the right hip and left lapel together, then do vice versa. According to Japanese superstition, putting the garment on the other way means you will die, probably because the remaining lapel would draw a line from your neck to your liver. It might as well have a dotted line.


Hakama- Pants

Hakama are special loose pants that allow for easy and free movement of your legs. There are both pleated and non-pleated versions. More pleats means you have more cash.


 Tie them like so:




Jika-Tabi- Ninja Shoes


Ninja did not walways wear these. Sometimes they were barefoot, sometimes they wore straw sandals (zori). But Jika-Tabi were and are still the best footwear for a ninja. If you use the special two-toed socks that come with them they are very comfortable. They have excellent traction and can be used to easily scale a knotted rope. (Place the knot between your toes.)


Kyahan- greaves/leg wraps


Just fold these around your calves (outside the hakama and tabi) to secure the bottom of the hakama. This way, your pants will not snag on low brush or flap noisily when kicking or just moving in general.


Tekkou- gauntlets/ hand wraps.


These can be aggravating to put on unless you have practiced. Just roll up your sleeves a little and pull the tekkou over the ends of your sleeves. They serve a similar purpose as the Kyahan. There are many different styles, feel free to choose your favorite. (I use the kind that over the back of the hand.)



Feel free to personalize your outfit to what works for you, just keep it stealthy. 

Congratulations, you're now dressed to kill! 




 Aditonal Items:


Sugegasa- Conical Bamboo Hat


Like to keep the sun out of your eyes, the rain off of your shoulders, and your hands free? Like to shade your eyes and hide your face? Then this hat is for you.


 Obi- Sash



In the field, this should not symbolize rank, but should match the rest of your outfit. Instead of a karate-style, thick stiff belt, it should be more like a dull (not shiny) sash that helps keep your Uwagi closed. Tie like so:




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