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September 16, 2008, 1:14 am

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Ninja Ranks


Expanded ninja ranks as used by myself.

The terms below are a selection of common euphemistic terms for various types of ninja. I’ve codified them into a structured rank system rather than use the simple Genin-Chunin-Soke-Jonin standard rank system that was historically used to give a more elaborate feel in my games.


Mitsumono - A system of warriors who specialize in gathering information through observation.

Yaburi-suppa - A type of brigand from western Japan.

Kikimonoyaku - A person who gathers enemy secrets by listening to rumors and gossip.

Kakae-suppa - A type of thief from western Japan.

Kobushikata - agents who gathered information by performing manual labor such as road repair and construction.

Nokizaru - A person who specializes in entering houses through the roof, lit. "rooftop monkey"

Rappa - A system of warriors who specialize in gathering information, specializing in collecting verbal information.

Nusumi - Warriors skilled in special warfare gathered together in bands called nusumigumi ("thieves band") for a specific goal.

Kusa/Kusamono - "Grass" or "grass person", a term for an agent who "hides in the grass." that is, agents who hide in the fields and forests, or in peasant houses.

Musokunin - A type of warrior who specializes in one of five aspects of war.

Kansai - A person who searches for detailed information.

Genin - "Low man," a rank and file member of a ninja clan.

Sekkou - A term for a scout or spy.

Satoiri - A ninja in the homeland (sato) acting undercover in the various han of rival lords. They monitor dissident han and gather evidence that could be used to blackmail or dissolve a han when it stepped out of line.

Akeyashikiban - Warriors assigned to guard a castle until the shogun or daimyo returned.

Sokkan - An espionage agent who performs assassination.

Oniwaban - "Guard of the inner garden," a term for ninja who adopted roles as the gardeners and landscapers of the shogun, but were really bodyguards.

Shinobi - A person who provides special services, such as information gathering and passing secret messages.

Okashira - A senior oniwaban.

Kanja/Kancho - A term derived from Chinese to refer to master spies.

Onmitsu - Government officials who covertly gather information.

Chunin - "Mediator," A ranking ninja such as a senior agent or instructor, who deals with the day-to-day operations of a ninja clan.

Soke - "Family head," the officer who acts as the visible master of a ninja clan, in reality being the mouthpiece of the clan jonin.

Jonin - "Standing office," the true head of a ninja clan, though not seen by the rank-and-file members of the clan.


Kunoichi - The term for a female ninja operative.

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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted valadaar
September 14, 2008, 20:02
These are really neat Kuseru! I also thank you for adding this excellent detail to the site!
Voted MoonHunter
September 16, 2008, 1:14
I happen to like and follow the Genin-Chunin-Soke-Jonin system. That is a matter of taste.

That aside, these seem more like professions/ specialties than ranks except for a few exceptions. Perhaps a change in either title (and removal from the codex), or a restructuring to actually show something like a rank?
Voted Scrasamax
September 16, 2008, 13:29
I could see this submission benefitting from including the GCSJ system, since some of us dont know what that is. Otherwise, another list of rankings.
July 20, 2009, 22:09
I agree. This looks very interesting, and something I would definitely use, but I have no previous knowledge.

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       By: Strolen

In nature, for instance, a rhino has flies and ticks etc, that live on the hide and live off the blood. Rhino will visit and lie in ponds where turtles will clean the underwater portion of the ticks and a species of bird will clean the the top of ticks and other parasites. What if where the characters camp there were a species of animals that lived off wounds of the creatures. PCs camp. Anybody with wounds on there body are soon covered with small rodent - insect - shadows - whatever. Would immediately see it as a threat I would imagine. But perhaps one of the wounded didn't wake up when it happened, and when they did finally wake they were completely healed. Perhaps somebody was warned of something attacking them but they were able to notice that the wound was actually getting smaller instead of larger. Or maybe they successfully beat the creatures off them and don't notice an improvement, marking this place never to rest at ever again....later learn that villagers send their wounded there but they keep it a guarded secret because they don't want all the attention or traffic and what comes with such a special gift. Could turn into something more too if characters decide to start blabbing about it.

Encounter  ( Cave/ Underground ) | February 16, 2003 | View | UpVote 0xp

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