Ninjutsu At Thermopylae
Any fans of Spike’s “Deadliest Warrior” series out there? For those who haven’t seen it, this is, shall we say, a show for guys. It pits history’s best fighters from all eras against each other, with demonstrations and a final computer-based decision on who wins in the end. I saw the tail end of the “Viking vs. Samurai” episode, and, well, it was just about what you’d expect. Big shock, the samurai with his better armor and arms won. I have admittedly not watched much of this series, but I’d like to register an objection to a billboard advertisement I keep seeing for the “Spartan vs. Ninja” episode. While I hesitate to be too picky (ha!), does anyone actually think that you could possibly put Spartans in a level comparison with ninjas? Really?
Here’s my issue. Sparta was Greece’s dominant military power as of approximately 600 BC. Ninjas, on the other hand, were active in Japan somewhere around the 14th century AD. For anyone who hasn’t noticed, that’s almost 2000 years. While I’m not an expert on military technology, I still feel pretty sure that there were significant advances in weaponry and armor over the course of those two millennia. Sparta’s peak military days were following hard on the end of the Bronze Age. The ninjas had gunpowder and cannons. The Spartans may have been kick-ass warriors, but matching them against weaponry from the 14th century is ridiculous.
I’m thinking the next episode should be Taco with AK-49 and body armor vs. the Mongol hordes. Want to guess who’ll win?