Day of the Ninja

Dec 5

In 2003, the creators of Ninja Burger declared that December 5 would be celebrated as Day of the Ninja. On this day, people are encouraged to dress as ninja, engage in ninja-related activities, and spread information on ninja online.

December 5 was originally chosen because December 5, 2003 marked the release of Tom Cruise’s film The Last Samurai (which featured a scene where samurai battled ninja). Since then the focus has shifted towards the more familiar Pirates versus Ninjas conflict, and the day has served as a virtual counterpoint to International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

The first year’s events were small, but in 2004 the holiday gained international support from a group of French performers, who staged elaborate ninja poses in front of famous landmarks (such as the Eiffel Tower). This led to increased press coverage from, among other things, the French Disney magazine Picsou. The holiday drew support from the popular Ask a Ninja website in 2006; a podcast on November 30 of that year discussed an alternative explanation for the holiday’s origin, set 1400 years ago.

The release of the Ask a Ninja DVD was timed to coincide with that year’s Day of the Ninja (Dec. 5, 2006), and helped garner additional press coverage. The DVD release party itself was heavily covered by the “blogosphere”, with numerous references to the Day of the Ninja. Perhaps not coincidentally, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was also released on DVD on December 5, 2006; the Ask a Ninja website had already added to the Pirates vs Ninjas meme when “the Ninja” gave a blistering review of the film in an earlier podcast.

2007 saw official acknowledgment from the press including NPR’s Morning Edition, as well as a coordinated ninja-themed video game announcement from EA and the official release of the Pirates Vs. Ninjas Dodgeball website. G4 Network’s Attack of the Show also celebrated 2007’s Day of the Ninja by replacing usual host Kevin with the “Ask a Ninja” Ninja, and the network also ran a Ninja Warrior marathon, with many more episodes than usual throughout the day. The Day of the Ninja is one of only two days of the year that players can get the “Arr…” badge in Saints Row II; it is one of the badges required for Kingpin.

Ninja Burger’s Day of the Ninja website features a Day of the Ninja PSA that was created by Fulltimeninjas.com.

Another site, ninjaday.org, has independently declared December 5 as International Creep Like a Ninja Day.

Other possible names include Die Like a Pirate Day, Stalk Like a Ninja Day, Sneak Like a Ninja Day, Move Like a Ninja Day, or simply Ninja Day. According to the official website, this site and others of its kind are unrelated to Ninja Burger or the original Day of the Ninja website, although their efforts are supported.

[Wikipedia Entry]
[Day of the Ninja Website]
[NinjaDay.Org Website]





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