Japan lacking in ninjas, despite the generous salary

Japan is struggling to find ninjas, despite offering potential candidates a salary of NZ$124,000.

The town of Iga is known largely as a founding place for ninjutsu, performed by those who are commonly referred to as ninjas, and thousands of tourists visit the town every year for the annual ninja festival.

But thanks to its rural location, many potential young ninjas are moving away. Last year the town lost 1000 people, and only 43 people relocated to the town to train to be ninjas. The population of the town is 95,137, which equates to 170 per square kilometre.

Town Mayor Sakae Okamoto hopes the ninja heritage of the town will bring more people both locally and internationally during the annual celebration.

"Right now in Iga we are working very hard to promote ninja tourism and get the most economic outcome," he tells NextShark.

Japan as a whole has an incredibly low unemployment rate, making it difficult to find ninjas who fit the right physique, despite the competitive salary.

Still, not just anyone can be a ninja. The available roles are for ninja performers - different to the assassins from feudal Japan.

Japan had a tourism increase last year of 20 percent, but many tourists miss rural areas like Iga.