An international academic society designed to promote research on the ninja was established last week in the city known as the home of the traditional covert warrior agents: Iga in Mie Prefecture.

Some 200 researchers from countries including Japan, South Korea, China and Britain attended the inaugural ceremony of the International Ninja Research Association in Iga on Saturday.

The association will engage in comprehensive research on the history, diet and other aspects of ninja, as well as novels and manga about them. It will publish a journal featuring research articles in Japanese and English.

Atsumi Nakashima, a 73-year-old doctor and ninja researcher in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, took up the post of association chairman.

The association’s secretariat is based in Mie University’s international ninja research center in Iga.

The association will hold an annual meeting every September. This year’s meeting will take place in Ureshino, Saga Prefecture.

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