Bujinkan Bukeyashiki Dojo

Ninja Weaponry

The Ninja utilized a large variety of tools and weaponry, some of which were commonly known, but others were more specialized and used in the infiltration of castles. A wide range of specialized equipment is described and illustrated in the 17th century book, Bansenshukai.

Some of the most popular weapons are the Shuko, Kyoketsu Shoge, Katana, Kunai, Hanbo, Bo Staff, Kusari-fundo, Naginata, Shuriken, Tachi and Yari.

Shuko

Shuko

Although many variations of this weapon existed, the Shuko typically consisted of two metal bands conjoined by a leather strip - one fitting around the palm and the other around the wrist. The upper band featured a variety of spike/claw-like protrusions that were useful primarily for climbing, but also for defensive techniques such as disarming, ect.

Kyoketsu Shoge

Kyoketsu Shoge

Translated to "to run about in the fields and mountains", the Kyoketsu Shoge is a double edged blade featuring a 12-18 foot long rope or chain ending in a large metal ring. The blade could be used for pulling slashes as well as thrusting stabs. The rope or chain, sometimes made from human hair or horsehair for strength and resiliency, could be used for climbing, ensnaring an enemy, binding an enemy, etc.

Katana

Swords

Ninjato come in various sizes and shapes. Very often they were shorter than the traditional Samuari swords. Modern Ninjato swords are straight and feature a square tsuba. The typical sword carried by a Ninja was similar to a regular Wakizashi fitted inside a Katana scabbard in order to deceive an opponent that the sword will take a longer time to draw and provided advantages in close quarter fighting.

Kunai

Kunai

Possibly derived from the masonry trowel, Kunai, in the hands of a Ninja, could be used as a multi-functional weapon. It was used by common folk as a multi-purpose gardening tool and is more akin to a crowbar. This is not uncommon as many Ninja developed weapons that were merely adapted farming tools.

Hanbo

Hanbo, Bo Staff, Jo Staff

The Hanbo (approximately 3 feet), Jo Staff (approxmiately 4 feeting and Bo Staff (approximately 6 feet) can be used as a means of striking, restraining and even throwing. The simplicity of this weapon is that it is simply a wooden stick and generally, wooden sticks are readily available.

Kusari-fundo

Kusari-fundo

This close range weapon consists of a length of steel chain with a weight connected to each end of the chain and is used for striking, snaring or entangling an assailant or their weapon. Various sizes and shapes of chain and weight were used, but there were no set rules on the construction for this weapon so they varried greatly.

Naginata

Naginata

This pole weapon, traditionally used by the Samuari, consists of a wooden staff with a curved blade on the end and usually included a sword like guard (tsuba) between the blade and the shaft. The Naginata was often used by foot soldiers to create space on the battlefield. They have several situational advantages over a sword such as reach, leverage and weight.

Shuriken

Shuriken

Translated to "sword hidden in the hand", the Shuriken is a concealed weapon that would generally be thrown, but also used for slashing and stabbing. Throughout history they have been made from a variety of everyday items such as needles, nails and knives, as well as coins, washers and other flat plates of metal. Shuriken were mainly a supplemental weapon in a Ninja's arsenal used to be a nuisance or cause a distraction.

Tachi

Tachi

Often more curved and slightly longer than the Katana, the Tachi would be hung from the obi (belt or sash) with the edge face down. It was usually worn by calvary on horseback where it could be drawn effeciently for cutting down footsoldiers.

Senei Paul Remenschneider

Yari

Translated to "straight headed spear", a Yari ranges in length from 3 - 12 feet and is made of hardwood, covered in lacquered bamboo strips. The longer versions were carried by Ninja footsoldiers while the Samuari usually carried a shorter version.


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