Most helpful critical review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Remarkable but a bit too confusing...
on 22 December 2012
While the idea (announced with a bit too much of academic "arrogance") of presenting the "truth" about Ninjutsu based on historical sources is indeed remarkable and praiseworthy, the book of Cummins in some chapters presents some difficulties in understanding what the Author is really trying to say. For example, while arguing about the "misconception" of the Ninjas being a "counterculture" of the Samurai World (while ninjutsu was indeed a part of the samurai military organization) the Author stresses the point that Ninjas weren't criminals or low ranking scoundrels, but many were samurais trained in the art of ninjutsu. And that's a clear point.... but then Cummins says that not all Ninjas were of samurai origins, many of them probably being low class born Ashigaru soldiers. So not all ninjas were of samurai status. And then he remarks "understanding that Ninjas were samurai"...
Simply put, while i can understand the difficulty of researching about such a shady subject, Cummins should become more organic and less academic speculative in order to effectively communicate the results of his research to the pubblic still "lagging behind" in the Media-born Ninja's imaginary.
Still it's indeed one of the unique ouvres trying to throw some light on men who lived and fought in the shadows.... and for this it is easily understandable why it isn't a perfectly clear book.