Monday, June 23, 2014

Face To Face With A Ninja

I never thought I have the opportunity to come face to face with a legendary type of individual well known as a ‘ninja’.


My distant relative is married to a Japanese businessman and the couple is now residing in Ipoh, Perak. I occasionally bring my mom to visit her especially during the festive occasions especially during the Chinese New Year.


This was just another visit I thought but when mom and I entered the house, there was another guest. He was an old Japanese monk around 70 years old perhaps but I didn’t enquire of his age due to respect and it wasn’t so nice to ask a stranger’s particular. After a few rounds of chatting, I later learnt that the monk is my relative’s father-in-law.


The Japanese are very friendly and generous folks and we were invited to stay overnight and join them the next day for an outdoor group hiking activities. We agreed and after a sumptuous evening meal, we knocked off early expecting for a tough work the next morning.


Ipoh is also known as the ‘city between hills’ (山城) as she is surrounded by limestone hills. We picked a place in Tambun, outskirt of Ipoh where the scenery is beautiful with a few lakes legacy of tin ore mining some years ago and a few limestone hills with caves.


After a whole morning’s hiking, we decided to pick a cave near a famous Buddhist temple for picnic and rest place.  Now that we got to know each other more, the old monk started to talk more and somehow the topic veered in to Ninjitsu and related matters.


Suddenly, my relative’s hubby suddenly said to his father:


“Why don’t you just show some of your tricks to us? There are no outsiders here.”


The old monk asked:


“What do you want me to do?”


I saw some Begonia Kingiana growing at about 12 feet height and wanted to get some for my collection. So, I asked:


“Can you get me a piece of the Begonia up there?”


The old monk smiled and said:


“It’s a piece of cake!”


He immediately took a few steps back and then ran forward towards the damp limestone wall. As I thought this old man is getting himself hurt, he raised his right foot and stooped his body forward. As quick as I could wink my eyes, he stepped onto the cave wall and ‘climb’ towards the Begonia plant and pluck a piece of it before somersaulted himself back to the ground!


When the old monk tugged the Begonia piece into my palm, I still stood with my jaw dropped couldn’t even say ‘thank you’. It just happened so fast, real ninjas still exist today; and I have to believe it!

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