Meet Chris O’Neill, the only American officially employed as a ninja

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JAPAN — An American man is now a ninja in Japan.

Chris O’Neill is the only American on the team of seven ninjas.

He beat out more than 230 applicants for the job. The judges were so impressed with his skills they added a spot on the team just for him.

O’Neill will earn $1600 a month and get to travel around the world to show off his ninja skills, and to promote tourism in Japan.

In an interview via Skype with WGN Morning News Monday, he says that some friends had given him a heads up about an audition for the position posted online. O’Neill says he sent in an application and received a call back within the next few days.

He says he fell in love with the idea of ninjas and action at just 3-years-old after watching the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

“I just fell in love with it. So I got really into martial arts and acrobatics, stuff like that — Japanese culture,” he said.

O’Neill says its a challenge at times connecting with the other Japanese ninjas mostly because of the language barrier – he says his Japanese is “atrocious.”

“Its been such a challenge, however they’re amazing people. My teammates are incredible and we communicate heart to heart most of the time.”

Watch his interview with WGN Morning News in the video player above

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