Photo/IllutrationDumplings colored black with squid ink in the image of ninja are offered at “Ninja Takoyaki Kurotako” in Osaka Castle Park in Osaka’s Chuo Ward on Oct. 1. (Narumi Ota)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

OSAKA--You know about fast food, but what about "quick-as-a-flash food"?

That’s a category these ninja-inspired "takoyaki" could fall into.

The tasty treats--ball-shaped seasoned pancakes with octopus--are selling like hot cakes at Osaka Castle Park.

The “Ninja Takoyaki, Kurotako” food van, which opened here Oct. 1, sells the usually beige-colored takoyaki in black thanks to the added ingredient of squid ink, which is sometimes used in sauce for spaghetti.

The color of the hot dumplings represents the ninja who worked for the Toyotomi family, owner of Osaka Castle, in the samurai era.

Ninja costume-clad staff accept orders by saying “Gyoi,” a traditional Japanese word meaning “Yes, sir,” that was used by warriors to respond to their commanders.

And the novelty food isn’t the only thing to keep customers amused--crowds watch ninja swordfight performances on the van’s roof three times a day.

The recent boom in tourism to Japan helped Osaka Castle’s keep to attract more than 2 million visitors in fiscal 2015 for the first time in 32 years. Time will tell if the ninja takoyaki can capture the hearts of those visiting foreigners.