Looking for a high-paying job? If you still haven’t found one in the corporate world, perhaps it is high time for you to change your career and become a ninja?
Before you laugh your heart out, perhaps it would help to know that ninjas can actually earn up to $85k (Php4.5 million) per year? That’s many times the usual annual salary of the average worker, anywhere in the world!
But did you know that despite this super high salary, Japan is actually running out of ninjas?
The little city of Iga in Mie Prefecture, Japan, bills itself as the birthplace of ninjas. For centuries, the city has hosted a Ninja Festival that lasts for about a month.
Every year, around 30,000 tourists visit the city to have fun in the festivities. Everyone walks around wearing ninja costumes and enjoy watching performances by ninjas.
But in recent years, Iga is experiencing a shortage of ninjas despite the whopping salary.
“Right now in Iga, we are working very hard to promote ninja tourism and get the most economic outcome. For example, we hold this ninja festival from late April to around the beginning of May. During this period, visitors and also local people come here. Everybody will be dressed like a ninja, walking around and enjoying themselves – but recently I feel that it’s not enough,” Iga City Mayor Sakae Okamoto revealed.
The ninja shortage was attributed to young people not being particularly interested in becoming a ninja, choosing instead to move to the bigger cities to find more common but popular jobs. While ninjas are paid a high salary, it seems that the job no longer holds appeal to the younger generations.
The curator of the local ninja museum, Sugako Nakagawa, told reporters, “Ninja is not an inheritable class. Without severe training, nobody could become a ninja. That’s why they have silently disappeared in history.”
“But this job does have a lot to offer. First of all, the pay is quite competitive. Today, ninjas can earn anything from $23,000 to about $85,000 — which is a really solid salary, and in fact, a lot more than real ninjas used to earn in medieval Japan,” said the host of National Public Radio’s “Planet Money” podcast, Sally Herships.
According to historians, real ninjas in the past only earned about $8,000 to $17,000 a year (amount adjusted for inflation).
As the city is running out of ninjas, the mayor is hoping to attract more people to live in the city to bolster its population. Perhaps they’ll start accepting foreigners to the ninja training program soon?