Did China Have Ninjas?

I'm sure everyone knows japan was where ninjas originated but what about china. I've seen masked warriors who are so much like the japanese ninja, they wear dark or black clothes during the night, they sneak around, and they use small projectiles which are chinese.

I've seen chinese masked warriors in lots of chinese films like Iron Monkey, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and spritual kung fu. I know they're just films but if chinese never had guys like ninjas then why are they using them alot if they're japanese.

If those chinese ninjas or masked warriors are real then when did they exist, what did they do, and did they inspire the japanese ninja or were they inspired by the japanese ninja?

13 Answers

  • Ninjas are Japanese, In China there're kung fu masters.

  • I agree with Catyehc(though Jian is a name of a Chinese sword), sotto guardia, and Fishless. They may not have been called shinobi or ninja, but the Chinese masked assassins basically were. There is legend of a Chinese Buddhist monk(Shaolin?) spreading techniques to proto-ninjas in Japan, and also of whole clans of people leaving China in the Song Dynasty to move to the mountains of Japan which may have started ninjutsu. Even more recently, there have been Japanese ninjas that moved to China in the Qing Dynasty to hone their skills.

    The "best answer" by Natalie is almost as bad as Elena S's

  • Yes, they were called Jiān (間) and they may have inspired the Japanese ninja. Many ninja manuals written during the middle ages (such as the Bansenshukai (written in 1676) and the Ninpiden (written in 1560)) claim that their skills were descended from ancient China. However, the authors of said manuals were all working purely from oral traditions, as there was no mention of ninja in Japanese historical records prior to thirteenth century, so the theory that ninjutsu originated from China and later spread to Japan may or may not be true.

  • Japanese Ninjas were based off Chinese imperial assassins.

    The word Ninja only meant for those Japanese Ninjas.

    Some examples

    Skip to 6:26 (nope, the assassins will not show up for another 15 seconds, but start watch at 6:26)


    My dad told me that when he was a kid, my grandma used to scare him not to go out at night, because "There are Night men in dark suits" who would travel by running and jumping from roof to roof. Of course, they shouldn't have existed during 1950s.

  • The closest you re going to get to a chinese ninja is what you see in Wuxia films, Batman comics, and Mortal Kombat.

  • Chinese Ninja

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    Cultural Revolution's Red Guards killed millions of Chinese people. But that is only because Chinese Communist Party is in government.

  • The monks of the Shaolin temples are generally the ones that inspire the amazing feats in Chinese stories and movies. They can do some pretty incredible things like in the movies (can't really fly though) and even though they are religious, they have also fought in battles throughout history.

  • yes they do , because they posses all martial arts movements & maritial; arts movements they all originated from china

  • yes, they are called 刺客 in chinese, and they are almost the same as ninjas, but they are not famous outside china.

  • I don't think China have or had ninjas. I think the Iron Monkey film borrowed the Japanese concept of ninjas. They were sort of robin hoods in the film, and had to add the costume and mask to protect their identity. About the Crouching tiger film, they fly around great martial arts effect but they are not masked.

    Personally though, if they wear dark or black clothes at night, sneak around at night and use projectiles, i would call the cops and/or beat the crap out of them, they are called thieves.

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