Just yesterday, ninja fans and self-proclaimed real ninjas in Japan celebrated National Ninja Day, a somewhat "official" holiday dedicated to remembering the covert mercenaries of feudal Japan.

Iga and Kōka, located in neighboring Mie and Shiga Prefectures, are two cities known to be where real deal ninjas originally came from, and the mayors of both cities have gotten together to officially declare February 22 "National Ninja Day." On this day, some local government officials of both cities went to work donning ninja costumes, with local residents being encouraged to do the same and to take part in ninja-themed activities and events. The governments of both Iga and Kōka seem pretty serious about the whole thing, releasing a joint statement on the significance of delegating the 22nd of February as "National Ninja Day." By making more people in Japan and overseas aware of ninja history and culture, the organizers and supporters of this holiday hope to promote not only Japan, but their own cities, where ninjas were hired by powerful warlords to spy on and assassinate their enemies over 500 years ago.

It looks like ninjas are making a comeback.

City workers as ninjas in Kōka

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Banners all around

Celebrating with superheroes!