OTSU, SHIGA PREF. – A security firm in a city known as the birthplace of a prominent ninja school is enjoying success by providing guards dressed as the medieval warriors and assassins.
SCC Co., in Koka, first tried to tap the city’s growing fame for ninja tourism in 2016, when it introduced security guards dressed as ninja to provide traffic control services for the opening of a coffee franchise.
Its special ninja squad has worked steadily since. The head of the firm, Maya Miyoshi, now hopes to win a contract for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.
“Ninja are world-class icons and we want people to feel familiar with security at sports facilities,” said Miyoshi, who was dressed in the guise of a kunoichi, or female ninja.
Wearing a dark red judo-style uniform and armed with toy shuriken (throwing stars) and a sword-shaped truncheon, the 36-year-old executive said, “I’ve always liked to do something different. I want to make a change in the security industry, which appears to be old-fashioned and sober.”
Miyoshi has surprised many in the industry since taking over SSC, a spinoff from a security unit of her husband’s company, in 2011. Her experience studying design in high school has inspired unorthodox ideas, such as dressing the security guards in yellow uniforms.
SCC’s business model has also proven popular with the public, including high school students and foreign visitors who have asked to take photos with the security guards.
Miyoshi’s dream is to take her security ninja to the 2020 Games. “We want to contribute to the Tokyo Olympics. If we draw attention, it will energize the industry as well.”
The All Japan Security Service Association said the industry bloomed as a result of its success during 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when its work guarding the athletes’ village was widely acknowledged by the public and in the business sphere.