Japanese Ninja has been well known with an exotic and mysterious atmosphere. In manga and animation, Ninja is described as slim men in the black suit and a hood, with great dexterity and reflex. They use short blades and shurikens (throwing edges) to assassinate the target.
Even Japanese are not familiar with the nature of Ninja. Hanzo Hattori, Kotaro Fuma, and Sasuke Sarutobi are famous as great Ninja. But little is known about their behaviors. We are considerably influenced by famous fictions such as Ninja Hattori-kun and Naruto, which must be far from the real figure of Ninja.
Ninja is not a professional warrior. The main mission of them is to acquire precise information of opponent clans. They disguised themselves as local people, and were engaged in spying. Circulating some rumors to agitate the citizens was also included in their activity.
Ninja is a fantastic being also for Japanese. Some people are curious to learn about Ninja. Their skills of sneaking and survival attract us, similar to alchemy.
In Mie University, a research project of Ninjutsu (way of Ninja) was begun in 2012. Iga, one of the hometown of Ninja, is placed in Mie prefecture. Ninjutsu has not been treated as an academic theme ever before. This project aims to clarify the true history of Ninja, as well as to promote the local culture. Unfortunately, this course of lectures are not introduced in the English website.
Mie University: Iga associated field Ninja culture conference (in Japanese)
Hundreds of people applied to the series of lecture. I think most of them are not serious to study Ninjutsu. They might be just curious. Nevertheless, this project is interesting.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Japanese university offers classes in ninja studies
By the way, Jinichi Kawakami is maybe the last living Ninja in Japan. He succeeded Koga-ryu Ninjutsu from his ancestor. He is one of the lecturers of the Ninjutsu course. I would like to listen to him once.
IT media: The core of Ninja is intelligence: the mission of the last Ninja in Japan (in Japanese)