Man Who Left Yahoo! to Become a NinjaWhat He Wanted Even at the Cost of His Career
Fukushima is usually involved in management of the tourist information center, "Kokaryu Real Ninjakan," as a member of the city's association for tourism and community development and also shares ninja information on YouTube. Moreover, he searches for and investigates related ancient documents. In December of last year, he discovered a book on Ninjyutsu, or the art of ninja strategy and tactics, "Kanrinseiyo," in the city. It had been known to exist, but had never been confirmed.
Formerly, he worked for the IT giant Yahoo! where he was involved in various activities, including the new project launches related to auctions. Ten years later, however, he quit Yahoo! and joined Japan Ninja Council, which is composed of local governments and other organizations. "The work at Yahoo! was big in scale and exciting. I was torn over giving up my career. However, when I wrote down the things I wanted to do in my life, I found out that 80% of them were related to ninja," he laughed.
He worked his way through graduate school of Mie University where he studied ninjas and Ninjyutsu. Upon completing his studies, he approached a Koka City official with whom he had worked on council activities and expressed his desire to work for the city. This led to the city offering him a position in regional development.
The appeal of ninjas is that "they actually did exist and fought using Ninjyutsu, but one record reveals that they were quite human. It mentions that a ninja working in a castle was fired because his lord got angry with him. Studies have been uncovering intriguing facts about them, and their fictionalization is widely accepted overseas. Ninjas are a topic that Japan should be proud of," he said,
He lives in an old folk house that was once inhabited by descendants of ninjas. He is considering permanent residence in the city after his term ends in a year and half. He said, "I am thinking of starting a ninja-related company that offers hands-on ninja technique activities. I want to stay in Koka until we can make our ninja movement more popular than that of Iga."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)