A Japanese city has suffered a host of applications from wanna-be ninjas after a news report on labor shortages was misinterpreted to suggest it wanted to hire traditional assassins.
According to Asia One, the city of Iga was featured on an NPR report about Japan’s depopulation and labor shortages. In the report, Iga said it was trying to capitalize on its history as the historical home of ninjas by building a new museum, but was struggling to hire staff and ninja performers.
In the story, NPR said ninja performers in Japan could earn between $23-$85,000 per year.
However, online viral sites used a more attention getting headline: “This town in Japan will pay you an $85,000 salary to train as a ninja.”
By Wednesday, the local tourism association in Iga said it had been contacted by at least 115 aspiring assassins from 14 countries who wanted to sign up for the program.
In a statement, the city tried to warn applicants, said: “Please be careful about fake news.”
“So far, neither the city nor ninja performing groups here have any plans to recruit ninja performers,” Iga officials said.
The official said the city’s mayor had expressed “surprise at how big the impact of the word ninja is.”