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The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

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Library Ninja

Ninja Among the Books - Ben Dalton

There was a time when ninja were the badasses of popular culture, then the market reached saturation, things took a turn, and the only people who were interested in ninja anymore were people actually practicing ninjutsu...and nerds.

Maybe ninja are cool again--there was that whole ninja pirate thing, and the Ninja Turtles seem to be hanging on--but I believe they still have some nerd cred.

Need evidence? An original Edo period ninja textbook was discovered this March in, of all places, the Hirosaki City Public Library. Seems like a pretty innocuous place to hold your ninja meetings. No one would suspect your manga club is actually a group of assassins, and ninjas are known for being quiet, which would fit perfectly in the public library.

(By the way, if your ninja group is looking for a meeting place, let me know. I may have space in my library.)

The textbook is only twelve pages, but contains instructions for making weapons, blinding powder, and a sleeping potion, along with strategic advice such as how to use tatami to secure your room when staying at an inn. The book even has stains that were apparently left while ninja were concocting some of the recipes in the text.

Shigeto Kiyokawa, a pharmacy professor and advisor for the Aomori University ninja club (why didn't I know there was a ninja club when I was choosing my college?), believes that, based on similarities to other textbooks, it was meant to "hand down ninja techniques to the next generation in around 1756 by the ninja group Hayamichinomono," which served the Hirosaki feudal clan. He points out that it's the first ninja text found in Aomori Prefecture, but he hopes that people who know of similar texts will come forward.

Information on the text is sparse, but you can read a bit more at The Asahi Shimbun.
Of course, you'll want to see what the Aomori University Ninja are doing.

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