IGA, Mie Prefecture--A researcher at Mie University has published an introductory ninja guide in English featuring anime illustrations and key information on the feudal-era covert agents.

"An Introduction to Ninja" was supervised by Yuji Yamada, a professor in the school's Faculty of Humanities, who conducts research on ninja and their techniques, with the help of the Ninja Museum of Igaryu.

The book was published in February by Shufunotomo Co.

Residents can also use the book to show tourists from overseas around the central Japanese city, which is famous for being the home of the Iga ninja clan.

The A5-size, 96-page full-color guidebook is available in a handy size for the convenience of tourists. The publication consists of four chapters: “Shinobi” (ninja); “Spirit;” “Skills;” and “Techniques.”

The book explains important missions carried out by ninja whose main job was to collect information during Japan's Sengoku age of Warring States period (late 15th to late 16th centuries). It also contains a map showing the distribution of Iga, Koga and other ninja clans across the country, while offering detailed commentary on the tools of their trade, including a variety of “shuriken” throwing stars.

Profiles of Hattori Hanzo Masanari and other famous ninja figures are provided with anime-like drawings. The disguise technique known as “nana-bake” (seven common disguises), whereby ninja dressed as merchants, “yamabushi” ascetic hermits and other figures to infiltrate enemy territory, is also explained with illustrations for easier understanding.

“Many fictional and hypothetical stories are found in ninja-related books, but I incorporated ninja activities in line as closely as possible with historical facts,” Yamada said.

The guidebook makes a handy souvenir and can also serve as a learning tool for students to brush up on their English in a fun way, the professor added.

“An Introduction to Ninja” is priced at around 1,300 yen ($11.75), excluding tax, at bookstores across the country and online shops.