My friend gave me this T-shirt for my birthday a couple of years ago. He (thinks he) is a ninja, so that’s cool. Architects *rolls eyes*
I started off just appreciating the joke. Sure – being a ninja must be way harder than being an architect. For a start there’s the long training, the dedication, the isolation from friends and family. Hang on, this might not be as simple as I first thought.
In fact there are a surprising number of shared traits. The image of a ninja clad head-to-toe in black garb; ditto for architects. Secretive sects teaching small cliques of students; ditto for architecture schools. Then there are the ninjutsu techniques of Tanuki-gakure (‘the practice of climbing a tree and camouflaging oneself within the foliage’) and Uzura-gakure (‘the practice of curling into a ball and remaining motionless in oder to appear like a stone’); throw in some difficult queries on site and you might see an architect have a go at these too.
But still, being a ninja must be harder right? I had a look at some of the more mystical legendary abilities associated with ninjutsu training: flight, invisibility, shapeshifting, and control over the five elements. Impressive. But then architects must master the flow and control of space, engage with the ethereal, make buildings breathe, make cities walk and even change society. Touché
I wonder if there is a market for these somewhere in Japan then?