How Ninjas Went Mainstream

Before ninjas were turtles, 80s action movies, or even Kurosawa films, they were spies and assassins that hid in plain sight — not darting from shadow to shadow in black jumpsuits. From the modern Western conception of the ninja starting in the late 50s and early 60s, the stealthy assassin has gained a huge place in American pop culture, and Vox looks at how ninjas became one of Japan's biggest exports.

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