Japanese security firm finds success with ninja-clad guards

A security firm in a western Japanese city known as the birthplace of a prominent ninja school is enjoying success by providing guards dressed as the medieval martial arts warriors. SCC Co in Koka has tapped into the city’s growing fame for ninja tourism since its ninja-clad security guards debuted in a traffic control mission at the opening of a coffee franchise in the city in 2016.

The company’s special ninja squad has continued to be hired for new jobs and its head, Maya Miyoshi, is now hoping to gain a contract to work for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. “Ninja are world-class icons and we want people to feel familiar with security at sports facilities,” said Miyoshi, who was dressed in the guise of a kunoichi, or female ninja.

Miyoshi has surprised many in the industry since taking over SSC, a spinoff from a security unit of her husband’s company, in 2011. Her experience of studying design in high school inspired unorthodox ideas such as dressing the security guards in yellow uniforms.
SCC’s ninja-clad security guards have been popular with the public, including high school students and foreigners, who have asked for photos. Miyoshi’s dream is to take her security ninjas to the 2020 Games in Japan’s capital. The All Japan Security Service Association said the industry bloomed in the country after its success at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when its work in guarding the athletes’ village was widely acknowledged by the public and in the business sphere.