By studying the collected scrolls of the Natori-Ryu, it is certain that one will glean an impression as to just how difficult life was for a samurai dwelling in pre-Edo Japan.
The samurai school of war, acclaimed as the establishment of a known shinobi master (Natori Masazumi), gives the anthropologist and layman alike a detailed inside view of the grisly nature of samurai combat, the taking of heads, etiquette of procedure in committing seppuku (ritual disembowlment) , and even the ways of samurai emergency preparedness.
Samurai were Preppers
This is evident in a number of articles on emergencies found within the scrolls, along with ‘heize ro wo takuwaeru’, a samurai tradition that admonishes the importance of storing food during times of peace.
That a samurai breathed in an atmosphere of preparedness necessity is not that amazing, given the macabre happenings of the times. If you did not prepare for the difficulties of constant catastrophe and bloodshed, they were liable to crush your spirit and take your life.
And so, it is recorded within the Natori-Ryu how one was to prepare for such things as fires, earthquakes, storms, war, individual blood feuds, criminal capture, and even the tricks of a shinobi agent.
Samurai were Ninja
This fact of the samurai, little known but gaining traction, holds implications for those who claim a path of ninjutsu, as a shinobi-no-mono was often a samurai first.
In the Natori-Ryu, the ways of the shinobi were not divulged to the student until he had first showed promise as an agent through a dedicated study of bujutsu and a solid exhibition of the samurai lifestyle. The corollary of this fact is that ninjutsu is nourished and fostered through the internalization of the cultural essentials of the samurai.
In order for ninjutsu students to appreciate the body of shinobi knowledge, they must first familiarize themselves with the context and cultural backdrop of a shinobi-no-mono.
Expansion of Practice and Skill
Even if you are not that serious with your study of ninjutsu, it is nevertheless essential that you acquaint your mind to the nature of ninjutsu through the ways of the samurai in order to preserve a clear perception of the black art.
For those who take your study seriously, know that the Natori-Ryu offers a wealth of information with which skill in the martial arts may be expanded along with a cultivation of a deep ethical composure and spirit of the samurai. You have every reason to study it.
A samurai would not neglect his military studies, likewise, as noted within ninjutsu texts, a shinobi would not neglect to know the ways of martialism.
In drastic terms:
You have everything to gain by study, while you have everything to lose by neglecting it.
To learn more, visit the Natori-Ryu website.