If “ninja” sounds to you like the career aspiration you’d only hear from a 5-year-old being asked what he or she wants to be as a grown up, think again.
Chis O’Neill, 29, an American based in Japan, has just become that country’s first-ever salaried foreign born ninja.
O’Neill responded to an ad from the central Aichi prefecture’s tourism body for a team of six ninjas to participate in a tourism boosting initiative.
The job requirements included a range of ninja skills, from acrobatics to shuriken (ninja star) throwing to ease with public speaking, and offered a salary of 180,000 yen ($1,600) per month plus bonuses.
The job posting went viral in March (turns out lots of people dream of being ninjas!) and 235 applications flooded in, an unprecedented 85% of them from foreigners.
Satoshi Adachi, a representative from Aichi's tourism unit, told the Agence France-Presse Tokyo that they were so impressed by O’Neill that they actually created a special seventh position for him.
“[O’Neill] was really amazing. He has great acrobatic skill and the ability to speak in front of the public. He's also passionate about promoting tourism,” he said.
The other six ninja job openings were filled by five Japanese men and one Japanese woman.