Ten years ago, Wong Sah-Min of the Heavenly Blades Clan founded the NINJA ISLAND CORRECTIONAL ACADEMY. Our purpose was and remains to help guide young members of the clans learn the respect, tradition and discipline required of ninja. To that end a handsome institution was built on Ninja Island, including classrooms, dormitories, libraries and athletic facilities, and teachers were recruited from among the clans.
When young ninja are not living up to the expectations of their clan, and when the clan elders run out of ways to motivate them, they are sometimes sent to the Academy, where our experienced teachers and strict discipline will inculcate the disobedient children in proper ninja behaviour. These students room at the Academy and after months and years of dedicated study and practice, are permitted to return to their clans once they have proven they have learned their lesson.
Academic performance is central to school life at the NINJA ISLAND CORRECTIONAL ACADEMY. We expect all students to work hard and excel in their classes.
Each year the school awards the Perfect Attendance Award to any students who have not missed a single class, excepting illnesses or family emergencies such as assassination or necessary vengeance.
Of course we offer a full range of sciences such as Explosives For All Purposes, Poisons (Lethal and Paralysis) and Practical Invisibility. The Sciences Block is being redesigned in order to better resist the enthusiastic efforts of some of our newer students.
Master Izawa’s Ninja History and Traditions class remains the bulwark of our extensive humanities program, providing young ninjas with an important introduction to the question of what it means to be a ninja. It is our hope that students leave the Academy with a new appreciation for their clans and the accomplishments of their ancestors. Classes are offered in Spirit Appeasement, Ancestors And When To Avoid Them, and Assassination: Implications and Trends.
The Academy is blessed with a magnificent array of pedagogical facilities, including a fully-functional theatre, workshops and so on. The Academy Library includes documents preserved from the fall of the Jade Empire, detailing the nature and the role the ninja clans played in keeping the Empire safe and stable before the civil wars that drove us from our homes. The Pagoda of the Ancestors is one of the great buildings of the Academy. More than two hundred feet tall, this lovely structure preserves hundreds of the dead of the clans: former students, staff and faculty are often interred here, and the students take pride in maintaining the great altar that conveys our undying respect to our revered ancestors. Most famous of all perhaps is the Hall of Automated Practice, where training automatons help young ninjas develop the skills needed to support their clans.
The Academy school year begins in the spring, and includes short breaks for the students in the summer and winter, to allow those who have scored well on their exams to visit their families and attend ancestral rites. Student are grouped into teams according to their dormitory rooms, with each team depending on all its members to determine their fate each year. This promotes cooperation and goodwill throughout the school year. Such competition as arises is considered productive.
At the NINJA ISLAND CORRECTIONAL ACADEMY, we believe that a healthy mind and respectful spirit can only be cultivated in the pres- ence of a healthy and active body. Our athletics programs provide us with many of our most honoured traditions, such as the famed Quetzal Nest Race, in which competitors make their way up the side of Cold Temple Mountain and return, bearing scales from the great pterodactyls that make their nests up there.
And of course many clans put on demonstrations of their techniques and styles for interested students. This year we were fortunate enough to witness the Seventeen Punching Styles of the Three Mountains Clan, and the Death Wheel Clan demonstrated the many uses of their eponymous device.
Learning the value of cooperation and teamwork is an important part of our program to rehabilitate the disobedient youngsters who form our student body. In active, organized play we discover the joy of getting along with others, rather than selfish, disrespectful insolence. Students are able to join teams in many different leagues, such as Spiked Dodgeball, Tightrope Relay, and the always popular Academy Rules Field Hockey. In cases where the Academy administration believes a student is insufficiently active, officials may compel a student to join a team and participate.
Contrary to persistent rumour, very few NINJA ISLAND CORRECTIONAL ACADEMY sports involve edged weapons.
Of course there is also a place for students who excel on their own in bodily pursuits. The Inter-Clan Combat Championship is the top tournament for young ninjas wishing to test their combat skills against all comers. Contestants are encouraged to render their foes unconscious rather than killing them. More subtle is the annual Silent Race, in which any contestant seen by a judge prior to crossing the finish line is disqualified.
From endurance climbing to target shuriken-throwing, our students are able to demonstrate their excellence in a variety of disciplines. No one will quickly forget Jikido Eiga’s spectacular upset victory in the Blindfolded Trapeze Escape, when a last-minute catch saved him from a four-story fall. Excellence indeed!
The soul must be nourished if the spirit is to grow strong, and at the NINJA ISLAND CORRECTIONAL ACADEMY, there is much nourishment for the souls of our students.
Every month Master Lin hosts the Moon-Viewing Poetry Competition, and of course there is the yearly Student Talent Show, which always features displays of artistic ability that often surprise the audience. Tan i Shao’s rendition of “My Dishonour Compels Me To Kill Myself” certainly caught everyone off-guard, but an alert fellow student managed to interrupt the tragic finale.
And the Drama Club puts on several productions every year, although this year the damage caused during the production of Brutally Murdered Wife Who Comes Back From the Dead and Drives Insane Those She Doesn’t Kill Horribly meant that we had to forego the pleasure of a spring production. Club rules had to be modified to exclude Yumi Sasori from performing again, as the younger students find her portrayals of implacable death and destruction too terrifying to watch without panic.