Ninjas on the USS Denver

The USS Denver enjoyed a visit from some samurais- a planned visit, not a ninja attack. The Sailors loved it, the exhibition of swordmanship:

Samurai on USS Denver
Samurai on USS Denver

The 11 samurai from all over northern Kyushu showed off various weapons and fighting styles, including some developed in nearby Fukuoka in the 1500s that had been passed down only through a few descendants.

They showed off samurai swords large and small along with a sickle with a ball and chain attached that was effective in disarming an opponent before inflicting a deathblow.

The sailors snapped photos in awe as bamboo several inches thick was lopped off posts, seemingly with little force or effort.

“It was pretty cool I got to see some samurai and some old weapons,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Caseny Truesdale said. “I was surprised they could still cut that good being that they’re that old. It was pretty neat to see it; we got to experience some culture.”

After the event — with not a single piece of bamboo left standing — the samurai let the sailors hold these national treasures. They talked about preparation, focus, patience and being ready to fight when needed.

“I thought it was an interesting experience,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Kowalewskivillalobos said. “[They taught me] to never falter from the code. Sometimes it’s hard, but you just have to live it.”

Petty Officer Anthony Kowalewskivillalobos? How do they get his name on a uniform?