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Little 'ninjas' train at castle site in Kyoto Pref.

Children dressed in ninja costumes throw paper ninja stars at Maizuru Park, the site of Tanabe Castle, in the city of Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, on Oct. 10, 2019. (Mainichi/Kazuo Namekata)

MAIZURU, Kyoto -- Kindergarten children dressed in ninja costumes enjoyed "ninja training" at the site of a castle here in western Japan on Oct. 10.

A total of 41 children in the oldest class at Tachibana Kindergarten in Maizuru participated in the autumn excursion to Maizuru Park, the site of Tanabe Castle, which stands as a symbol of the city. The private kindergarten has held the event for more than 20 years to build the children's confidence and motivation.

In their "training," children used "shuriken" throwing stars made of newspaper, tested their agility, performed group gymnastics to form a bridge, and held up a balloon together.

Chiaki Nunome, the director of the kindergarten, handed scrolls of the "mysteries of the ninja" as certificates to children after they finished the training.

"It was difficult but I enjoyed it," said 6-year-old participant Sota Baba. "I tried hard to throw the stars."

(Japanese original by Kazuo Namekata, Maizuru Bureau)

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