Is Steve Jobs a Ninja?

NINJOBS.jpg A Japanese magazine, SPA!, claims that Steve Jobs was stopped by airport security last year, even though he was boarding his own plane. According to the report, they objected to a set of ninja stars. From Bloomberg:
Jobs said it wouldn't make sense for a person to try to hijack his own plane, according to the report. He then told officials he would never visit Japan again, the magazine reported. Apple declined to comment.
A Kansai airport spokesman confirmed that "a passenger using a private jet was stopped at the end of July for carrying shuriken." They were then discarded. Fortunately for Jobs, they did not find his smoke bombs, caltrops or flash powder, ensuring that the flight remained safe from attack by the evil ninja, Sho Kosugi. Update: The WSJ writes that "Apple says that Steve Jobs is not a ninja."


  1. They were probably some collector’s item. Jobs doesn’t have to be a ninja when he can afford to pay ninjas to do his dirty work.

  2. So rich that he wants special rules for himself. Why WOULDN’T someone hijack their own plane (his excuse for seeking exemption)? It’s not beyond the realms of fantasy that Jobs (presumably someone who can’t fly a plane himself) would force the pilot at ninja-star-point to steer the plane into a building. Rules are for everyone, no exceptions for the rich and powerful. He should remember that the rest of us have trouble taking simple things like bottled water onto a plane.

    1. “Rules are for everyone, no exceptions for the rich and powerful.”

      That’s actually the policy in Japan: no exceptions for private craft. Apparently it came as quite a shock to see how the rest of us travel.

      OTOH, how do you do ‘checked luggage’ on a private plane?

    2. It’s not beyond the realms of fantasy that Jobs (presumably someone who can’t fly a plane himself) would force the pilot at ninja-star-point to steer the plane into a building.

      Taking out a city with an army of warg-riding orcs isn’t beyond the realms of fantasy either but it ain’t gonna happen.

      I think even the most mentally challenged terrorist in the world would be smart enough to realize you can’t force someone to fly a plane into a building by threatening to kill them. Threaten to kill their family maybe, assuming the family is not on the same plane you’re asking the pilot to crash.

      Anybody out there know how you DO stow dangerous/regulated items on a private plane? Is there some rule about keeping stuff like that in a luggage compartment that isn’t accessible from the main cabin?

    3. Not sure about Jobs, but the *other* Apple Steve, Steve Wozniak, does have a pilot’s license — or at least did — he crashed his private plane in 1981.

  3. Poorly played, Steve. I waltzed through Japanese airport security with a full arsenal (admittedly checked in). I just used the oldest trick in the ninja book — I claimed they were all farming implements.

  4. a responsible country SHould restrict people taking deadly weapons home. there is no right to bear arms anywhere, does Jobsy have a DRM/closed-system-personal-exclusion-from-the-human-race-policy on that? or maybe someone at home didn’t cook his eggs right? and the NRA SHould stop secretly influencing gun policy in Canada-huh? how’s that relate? ethics.

  5. Ha! When I was a kid, my family took some trips to the UK, and one (mid-80’s) year the souvenir of choice was a collection of caltrops. My folks were able to convince security to give them a pass, since they were ANTIQUES. I do recall my mom giving my dad a hard time about his beard, because she felt that he would be singled out by airport security as some kind of shady character.

    Also, the swiss army knife floating in a backpack had to be mailed home, but the identical one on a keychain wasn’t a problem. Ah, the good old days.

  6. Internet, I’ve told you this dozens of times. When will someone wise up and steal my business plan?

    1. Convoluted security theater policies create customers.
    2. ??? FEDEX KIOSK right next to security checkpoint.
    3. Profit!
    4. Kick self for not thinking of it sooner.

    How many small things are there that are considered dangerous to take on planes but legal to mail or send by courier?

    Build you a courier kiosk right next to the security checkpoints at every airport and border crossing. Partner with the airport so they’ll work with you. If DHS doesn’t freak out about it too bad, you could integrate them in the whole process: “I’m sorry, sir, we’re too Kafka to allow you to board your own plane with shuriken, but if you step right over to the kiosk conveniently located yonder, a clerk will help you mail them back to yourself.”

    You’re welcome.

  7. Ah, but you forget that in the crowded holding pattern over Narita he could, with a daring bit of skydiving, board another plane* and take out the Air Marshals with his shuriken. It never pays to underestimate those Ninja: they’re tricky folk.

    *well, it worked for Kurt Russel in “Executive Decision”.

  8. The first time I flew on my buddy’s Cessna, I brought a knife with me. About every ten minutes I pulled it out of my pocket and said “I have a knife! And I’m in the cockpit!” To which he would reply “Dude, you’ve got your own steering wheel. You don’t need the knife.”

  9. I would pay good money to watch the security feed of him trying to convince the agent that the Japanese law should not apply to him.

    You hear that iTunes, good money!

    wait, I think I found a torrent…

  10. I think the world (and Steve Jobs) are better off if he is not armed. The next time he hears “I don’t know” after asking an Apple employee “What do you do?” he may elect to execute them instead of kicking them to the curb… ;)

  11. No Die Antwoord comments yet?

    “I’m A NINJA!!! Jobs is a lyrical Leopard, on the A-Team like George Peppard
    Mo’ cash: No Flash!
    Huntin’ punks on a Safari, my memoir be, who gives a fuck about Chrome, tossing my stars at Bill Gates dome. . .”

    Japanese airport security. . .plenty of run-ins with those guys.

    The good: electronic(?) drink sniffing machines in Narita where you plop your can of Calpis or bottle of tea in the slot: click. green light. Take and drink in the terminal. How civilized.

    The confusing: had to take 3 bottles of sake out of my check in bags from an International flight, and repack in my carry-ons for Domestic travel. Also had my suitcase ransacked to find a damn souvenir lighter, because NO lighters are allowed in checked baggage. . .but bringing one INSIDE the plane where someone could actually START a fire is perfectly OK. Say @#$%^ what???

    My story: 17 years old. Traveling to Japan by myself for the first time. Was going through a punk-esqe phase: long hair. beard. half head shaved. Leather jacket with the kanji for Death painted on the back.

    (Rewind 5 months to a night on the J-church bus when a school friend handed me a small bag of marijuana; I didn’t smoke back then but I thought ‘maybe I can sell it’ put it in my wallet and promptly forgot about it.)

    Back in the customs line in Toyko, the very short and very polite official pulled out a big poster board sign: do you have any narcotics, weapons, explosives? ‘Why, no sir.” “Take off your shoes” “-gulp- OK. . .” “Take off your jacket” “No problem. . .” “give me your wallet. . . .” And at that very moment my stupidity flashed over me in a wave as I looked down at him open the wallet, check one side (and in the other side was the weed. . .and a razor blade!) He then closed it up, handed it back, let me put my shoes on (rather shakily) and let me go. Thank you Saints, Angels and Bodhisattvas!!! A Miracle! The very first thing I did was throw that shit in the trash with a sigh of relief.

    And they have let me back in the country ever since. Yatta!

  12. The only links I’ve found in Japanese are short summaries of the tabloid story, with no mention of shuriken, and the translated quote from Jobs wasn’t nearly so definitive as “never visit Japan again”.

  13. Apparently the insanity of the TSA is contagious and has now infected Japan.

    Wake up, sheeple! This is a ludicrous example of security theatre.

  14. I really see him in more of a shogun capacity than a ninja role; seizing power and crushing all who oppose him seems more his style.

  15. Jobs said it wouldn’t make sense for a person to try to hijack his own plane, according to the report.

    I disagree. Hijacking your own plane is far and away the safest and easiest kind of hijacking to accomplish. Besides which, Jobs has a good track record of successfully hijacking things he owns.

  16. Oh dear!

    The story has already been declared a fake. One silly little piece in a third-rate Japanese tabloid and everyone takes it as gospel. Good to see sheer idiocy alive and well in the blogosphere.


  17. The WSJ writes that “Apple says that Steve Jobs is not a ninja.”

    Well of course! That’s just what they want you to think. That way Microsoft will be unprepared when Jobs scales the side of their headquarters building, moves stealthily through the drop ceilings, and drops down into their boardroom to decapitate the CEO and Chairman in the middle of a board meeting.

    1. and [Steve jobs] drops down into [MicroSoft’s] boardroom to decapitate the CEO and Chairman in the middle of a board meeting.

      Why would Steve Jobs want to *help* MicroSoft?

  18. .
    reading the actual article (and assuming it was true)…

    if the airport has no separate terminal for private planes
    then *everyone* would have to be screened
    to enter the sterile terminal area

    plus with no checked bags on a private plane
    all his bags would have to go through the terminal too

    QED: security was for the terminal, not the plane

  19. I’m not going to be happy with this story until there’s an Asian CGI animation made of it where Jobs runs through security spewing shuriken like candy.

  20. He should have put it in checked luggage. Every time I fly back from Japan I bring back a veritable arsenal of kitchen knives, since Japanese kitchen knives are second-to-none and dirt cheap over there.

  21. I love how everyone is advising how Jobs should have behaved differently even after the story has been pretty well discredited.

    Still curious about what, if any, restrictions there are for luggage on private planes though.

  22. “He then told officials he would never visit Japan again, the magazine reported. ”

    Please, please, please, somebody in the USA, please, confiscate his shuriken HERE.

  23. So, he’s got kind of a Bruce Wayne thing going on. He just hasn’t thought of a good superhero image yet.

  24. Steve Jobs vs. Japanese authorities: now there’s an unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object if ever I saw one.

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