International Ninja Day

International Ninja Day - Thursday, December 5, 2024

Special Interest Activities Fun

Back in 2003, Ninja Burger created International Ninja Day on December 5 as a way to celebrate the Ninja “speed” with which their burgers are delivered. Aside from that, ninjas are awesome. We all love them and secretly wish we were one. On this day, wear a ninja mask to work to plague your co-workers with ninja-ness and throwing stars! Got the day off? Dress like a ninja at the mall or run wild in the streets.

Espionage, Assassination, Guerrilla warfare, and sabotage, these are the skills of the ninja. Clad in their signature black, they appear from the depths of the night like a hawk on stolen wings, striking their quarry and disappearing again without leaving a trace. They are rumored to be the masters of Kuji-Kiri, an eastern magical practice that made them capable of combining their natural ability to move like ghosts with supernatural powers. International Ninja Day is dedicated to remembering and honoring these ancient warriors of China and Japan.

History of International Ninja Day

To truly understand the history of International Ninja Day, one must first understand the history of the Ninja. The original Ninja were warriors of the Iga Province of Japan during the Sengoku period. These warriors were raised from the basic people of the countryside, without access to proper armor, weapons, or training to use them.

This is why so many of the weapons of the Ninja are drawn from agricultural roots, such as the Kunai and sickles, they were also weapons that disguised themselves. No sir, no infiltration focused assassin here, just a humble farmer working his fields.

The “traditional” black clothing of the ninja actually came about as a result of how Ninja were represented in theater. Being the everyday people of their province, they were invisible to the ruling class. You could not identify them by clothing or weapons, banner or nationality, they were the people of their country and therefor invisible.

In Theater this was represented by the stage hands playing the part of the Ninjas, they wore black clothes that covered them from head to toe, and made them invisible against the black background of the stage. Also, those who frequented the theater were used to the presence of these stage-hands, and their sudden inclusion in the play came as a shock.

How to celebrate International Ninja Day

There are a thousand movies about Ninjas out there, and some of them are among the best pieces of cinema available in just about every genre. Start your celebration of International Ninja Day by compiling a much watch list and getting together with friends to watch them around a home cooked traditional Japanese or Chinese meal… Or at least order take-out.

To add to the madness of the Ninja history, dress up in the theater traditional uniform and take to the streets, but turn it on its head. As a Modern Ninja, appear unexpectedly to do great acts of charity for the common man. Never forget that Ninja were oppressed hungry commoners before they were the most feared warriors in the world. Give back to their roots to truly honor them.

History of International Ninja Day

It’s said that December 5 was chosen for the first International Ninja Day because the Tom Cruise movie “The Last Samurai,” which featured a ninja-vs-samurai battle, was released on that day. In the years since the celebration has grown and gained press in stages, its creators playing on the fascination Americans have always had for the black-clad assassins, from the original issues of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” back through swordplay-focused games like the old table-top “Dungeons and Dragons,” not to mention a slew of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris films from the 60s and 70s.

But the satirical website and its creators’ motivations are secondary to the intention: December 5 is the one day a year where you won’t catch strange looks for saying “Haiii-yah!” as you swoop in and grab a donut out of the box in the meeting room. Get in fake-karate fights, throw paper clips as if they’re shuriken, heck, grab a cup of sake after work. On Day of the Ninja, you hold the key to the mystical power!

International Ninja Day timeline


“I’ve always wondered…”

G4 Network’s “Attack of the Show” replaces their regular host, Kevin with the “Ask a Ninja” ninja for one episode.


Choose your avatar

The 2nd edition of the “Ninja Burger” RPG is released, using Atomic Sock Monkey Press’ “prose descriptive qualities” (PDQ) ruleset.


Inaugural awesomeness

The first International Ninja Day is celebrated, eventually to rival “Talk Like a Pirate Day” for the spotlight in terms of times to act goofy in public.


Hold the pickles, please

The “Ninja Burger” site is created, purporting that a sect of noble ninjas has taken to delivering fast food anywhere, anytime.

International Ninja Day FAQs

This sounds hilarious. Are there videos attached to the joke?

Yes. A quick online search will lead you to Ninja Burger’s vlog series, “Ask a Ninja,” among other sites and videos. You can also start with the official page,

What other materials are available?

There are comic strips, several short films, the above-mentioned role-playing game, a card game, a multimedia CD, and a book titled, “Ninja Burger Honorable Employee’s Handbook.” All are fun, but here’s an insider tip: start with the 2001 first-edition role-playing game and see what it reminds you of…

Are there many real ninjas around these days?

We don’t know for certain, but there are reports that suggest there are still one or two surviving ninjas left in Japan.


  1. The first of his kind

    The very first historically confirmed ninja was Otomono Sahiti, who worked as a spy under Japanese Prince Shotoku.

  2. From the stories of old

    In Japanese mythology, the first ninja was descended from the spirits and appeared as a half-man, half-crow.

  3. “Those who cannot…”

    In the year 1162, Japan’s first ninja school was founded when a fallen samurai decided not to kill himself as custom would dictate, but rather to spend his retirement teaching.

  4. Last of a dying breed

    According to Smithsonian’s research, an engineer named Jinichi Kawakami is likely the last living ninja and one who complains about teaching that students cannot try out murders or poisons.

  5. Passed down through generations

    Not unlike other tradesmen of their era, ninjas would pass their skills (in this case martial and espionage knowledge and methods) down to their sons and daughters, who would in turn teach their children, on down through time.


  1. Take a martial arts class

    Thinking of maximizing those natural ninja talents of yours? A couple of karate, judo, or ninjutsu classes can't hurt. Or can they?

  2. Dress like a ninja

    We think black sweats, headband, and hi-tops with a sleeveless black T would do the trick, sort of a “Mortal Kombat” look. But of course, your ninja costume will be unique. Don’t get caught!

  3. Play the “Ninja Burger” RPG

    In the 2nd edition, you can choose specific roles within the Ninja Burger franchise you’ll be working at, like “driver,” “baker,” and so on. Give it a go for the retro value.


  1. The word can be used as a compliment

    In a sales office, you might hear someone speak of the top seller, “She’s our ninja.” Or if a friend of yours dropped something but caught it before it hit the ground, you might chuckle, “Ninja!” Comments like these are especially appropriate on December 5.

  2. Ninjas are mysterious

    Aside from the fun of the Ninja Burger satire, real ninjas inspire us the way the antihero or the underdog always does in film and in books. The image of the lone figure with a life-and-death job to do, it just speaks to us. Today, contemplate why that’s true.

  3. It’s nice to let your guard down

    It can be quite tiring and cause a lot of anxiety to keep up your “game face,” day in and day out. That’s why we talk about a holiday every single day here at National Today. “Let your hair down,” is a phrase we believe in, and there’s no better day to do so than International Ninja Day.

Also on Thu Dec 5, 2024...

Candle Day
Dec 05
Repeal Day
Dec 05