Feb 22, 2019
NAGOYA/TSU, Japan - Staff at Chubu airport donned ninja attire and a railway station ceremonially named itself "Ninja City Station" to celebrate "Ninja Day" in central Japan on Friday.
Feb. 22 is the designated Ninja Day as it highlights the number "two" which is pronounced "ni" in Japanese. The station is located in Iga, Mie Prefecture, where the famous Iga ninja clan was active in feudal times.
East of Mie at Chubu airport, around 50 people including airline staff and cleaning crews conducted their duties while wearing red or black ninja outfits, the airport's operator Central Japan International Airport Co. said.
Another 3,500 airport workers, such as those in stores or providing security, wore badges that said they were doing their "ninmu" or duty. As a play on words, the Chinese character "nin" was written with the same character used for the word ninja, instead of the correct one meaning task or responsibility.
The celebration is part of a local promotional campaign to increase the number of foreign visitors by taking advantage of the feudal mercenaries' overseas popularity.
"We want Chubu airport to be known as Ninja airport," said Masato Kondo, director of the airport company.
Iga city also got in on the action. On Friday, one of its railroad stations put up a "Ninja City Sta." sign above one bearing its official name. It also decided to start calling a local line "the Ninja Line."
"I hope that the region becomes more vibrant as the power of the ninjas will attract more visitors," said Sadako Fukuta, an 86-year-old resident.
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