29-Year-Old American Becomes Japan's First Paid Foreign Full-Time Ninja - Atlas Obscura
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29-Year-Old American Becomes Japan’s First Paid Foreign Full-Time Ninja

Meet Chris O’Neill. He has skills.

Chris O’Neill just got a new job: full-time ninja. The pay, equivalent to $1,600 a month, isn’t great. But, again—and this point cannot be stressed enough—he’s a full-time ninja.

In doing so, O’Neill, who lives in Tokyo, becomes the first paid foreign ninja in Japanese history, officials said.

O’Neill landed his new gig a few weeks after Aichi prefecture in Japan said it was hiring six full-time ninjas to assist in its tourism efforts. Applications were due March 22, and this week officials announced O’Neill’s hiring, making the selection from 235 applicants. 

“He was really amazing,” Satoshi Adachi of Aichi prefecture told Agence France-Presse. “He has great acrobatic skill and the ability to speak in front of the public. He’s also passionate about promoting tourism.”

O’Neill, 29, was so talented, in fact, that officials said they created a seventh position just for him. He will join six other ninjas already hired, including one woman. 

The victorious American was far from the only foreigner who applied. Around 85 percent of the applicants were not Japanese, a ratio probably boosted in part after the online job listing went viral in March.