Part 23 of the Yasuda Ryu Ninjutsu Densho From Hatsumi Soke’s Ninpo Taizen

攻撃の事  On attacking

  • 忍地点より潜入の要領は、敵の警戒線をこえ、敵の配備の弱点を発見につとめそこへ隠密にかつ迅速に潜入するものとす。そのため巧みに欺騙偽装をほどこし、地形地物を利用すると共に、風向または光及び敵の照明などを考慮して、忍隊形及び組者の前進をある程度決めおき、其の時長の者は其の者及び組の動きを確実に握る事に注意するを本分とせよ。よいな。

The gist of infiltrating from a Shinobi way point is to cross over past the enemy’s area of vigilance, to discover the weak points in the enemy’s deployment formation, and to quickly and covertly infiltrate. To do so, you must skillfully apply deception and disguise, make use of the terrain, and consider the direction of the wind, the light, and the enemy’s lighting to determine the advance of the Shinobi formation, at that time, the leader of the group should take care to ensure that the movements of the group are controlled. Understood?

この際、組者。警戒心旺盛にしてかつ其の上大胆なる動きは、能く成功のきっかけあるものなり。敵の警戒線を突破するには、敵の警戒最も緩なる機会を選作する事第一と思いなし、利用の事。

On this occasion, team members. If you are vigilant and bold, you will be successful. To break through the enemy’s line, the first thing to do is to select an opportunity when the enemy’s alertness is at its lowest and take advantage of it.

敵の重要なる目標には警戒の無き所といえども、よく障碍物特に綱、なるこ、有り注意。また隠し眼付の者、張番の事ままあり。用心の事。

Even if the enemy’s important targets are not guarded, there are often obstacles, especially ropes and cords, to watch out for. There are also hidden guards and those on patrol watch duty. Be cautious.

敵の警戒強き所を通る時は出来るだけ、その所は避けるべき物なれど、敵も我が攻撃をあらかじめ探知しあるため、先出の者の少人数にて敵の警戒者を(警戒者のおり時間をよく聞き取り)隠密に殺すか。(最低の動き) または他に誘致し本隊を一意目標に対し潜入するをよしとす。(敵の警戒者の敵の本隊への連絡を用心。よいな。)

If you pass through an area where the enemy is on high alert, needless to say, you should avoid that place as much as possible. Since the enemy has already detected our attack, a small group of the advanced troops can either kill the enemy’s alert men in secret (by listening carefully for the guards) or attract others to infiltrate a particular target in the main forces (using a minimum amount of movement). (Beware of the enemy’s guards contacting their main forces. Understood?)

  • 組出の時、組の攻撃の時来たれば、決められし所へ決められたように動く事。

When on campaign, and the time comes to attack as a group, move to the designated place as decided.

  • 忍長は此細の手違あれど、妄りに其の話し合いを変るべからず。よいな。

Even if there are small mistakes, the Shinobi commander should not recklessly change what had been discussed. Understood?

  • 其の時の敵の見廻りまたは敵兵に対しては、各自細心の注意を払うとともに、きもぶとく機敏に、自分の思う通りに動き、初めに決められし通りに、確実に行うをよしとす。

At that time, each one of you should pay close attention to the enemy’s patrols or enemy soldiers, and move as you see fit, be agile and nimble, and carry your plans out exactly as was planned in the beginning.

我が忍組及び忍の者の攻撃の時目標がいかなる物といえども目標に関係のノロシ台、連路道、人の動き。攻撃の初めは火を利用しては悪し。敵に我が攻撃を知られる恐れ大なれば、我が方の者引き上げる時は、火をかけるが非常によし。敵の救授及び警戒の処置を組出の時は阻止するの手段をしておく事、とくに注意する事。よいか。

When we attack in teams of shinobi, no matter what the targets are, always consider the target’s smoke signal pyres, routes of communication, and the movements of the people. It is not advisable to use fire at the beginning of an attack. If there is a big concern that the enemy will be aware of our attack, it is best to set fires when we pull our men back. Take extra precautions to intercept any messages for help coming out from the enemy territory when they do. Be incredibly careful about this. Understood?

  • その際、我が攻撃の時より早くなる物なれば、とくにとくに雲気を付けておく事、大事の秘伝なり。

At that time, if it is before the time of our attack, pay extra special attention to the “unki” (a mysterious kind of spirit that rises into the air. In the old days, astronomers and military strategists used it as a basis for judging the weather and good or bad luck). This is an important secret tradition.

同じ場所または同じ物を再々攻撃する場合は、出来れば此のような事は避けるをよしとす。御大将の命令なれば、やむをえず攻撃の場合、されば実施の時機及び其の手段を同じようにせず、絶えず臨機応変に動くをよしとす。同じ手をつかうべからず。敵が我が方の対策をし、まちぶせをくう事確実なり。よいな。

If you are considering attacking the same place or the same target again, you should avoid doing so if possible. In the event of an unavoidable attack by order of the general, the time and means of execution should not be the same. Always be flexible. Do not use the same methods. It is certain that the enemy will take countermeasures against you, and you will be caught in a bind. Understood?

我、敵を攻撃の時、敵に発見され攻撃を続けば、組の者の危険と思う場合は早く全般の状況を判断して深入りを避け、攻撃を中止するを味方の利益になる事よくあり。それがため、あらかじめ、この場合の動に関して組の者一人に至るまで、その時の動をどうするかをきめておく事。よいな。

When attacking the enemy, if the enemy discovers you and you continue to attack, you may feel that your team members are in danger, in this case you should quickly assess the situation, avoid going in too deep. But it is often in the best interest of our allies to call off the attack. For this reason, you must decide in advance, down to the last person in your group, what you will do in this case. Understood?

(Translated by Sean Askew) 

NEXT CHAPTER: The Movements of a Shinobi Attack

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