Ninja vs. Samurai. If they fight, who wins?

During a “1-1” fight, the samurai can win easily. There are 4 reasons:

1- Samurai could posses 2 swords (katana and wakizashi). Ninja usually did not carry any swords. Some ninjas had only 1 short sword. The katana is the best sword in the world.

2-Samurai could own a horse. A samurai with a horse is more advantageous than a ninja without a horse.

3-Samurai are more experienced in combat fighting. Ninja specialized in espionage and covert fighting.

4- The samurai are not allowed to have any job except fighting. Ninja were farmers. Samurai are better prepared to fight.

5- While the ninja had certain sharp edged weapons with chains (e.g. kusarigama, chigiriki) that can catch the sword of the samurai and then kill him with a strike, the ninja often did not carry these weapons as they had to be light to run fast.

In a rugged terrain, or in the mountain area, the ninja group may win. The ninja have better survival skills as a small group. If it is a large-group fight, the samurai can easily win.

The ninja and the samurai usually collaborated. They did not fight against each other. However, in certain occasions, they fought against each other. Most of the time the samurai won. During the war of Tensho-Iga (1581), the ninja clans were devastated by the samurai (The forces of Oda Nobunaga). Even though the ninja were defeated, their guerilla fighting skills impressed the samurai. The samurai started using the ninja  spies after 1581.

Differences between samurai and ninja

Comparison of Samurai and Ninja Samurai Ninja
Nobility Noble. Roots going back to the imperial family. Not noble, laymen.
Main Job Warrior during the Warring States period. The elite guardian during the peace time.
Farmer and occasionally spy for hire. Often served to daimyo on a part time basis. Sometime served as assassins, participated in hostage rescue operations or sabotaged main events by setting castles on fire.
Social Hierarchy Status High ranking. Ranked below daimyo. Allowed to own a katana, a horse. Has a last name (miyoji).
Low ranking, ranked below ronin. Must bow to a samurai.
Main Weapons Two sharp swords (katana and wakizashi). Teppo rifle.
Shuriken (ninja star), kunai knife, kusarigama (sickle and chain)
Salary Depends on the clan and ranking. Presumed to be 3 tons of rice per family in one year.
Depends on the mission, not stable.
Training Given real sword at the age of 7, stays with a sword master for a few years.
Mostly trained in the Iga and Koka regions in terms of running fast, breathing techniques, poison making, explosive making, guerilla fighting. Today Bujinkan Dojo continues the tradition of ninja training.
Famous Historic Figure Musashi Miyamoto Hattori Hanzo
Residence All over Japan
Mostly in Iga and Koga regions (North of Kyoto).
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