14 Ninja weapons that were actually in use

14 Super Kakkoii Ninja Weapons That Were Actually in Use

 Goin’ Japanesque:

Each of the tools that ninjas were actually using back at the time had unique features and often served a multiple purposes. That was because ninjas had to not only combat enemies but also take on various other missions such as infiltrating enemy territories and collecting information. So they carried special tools suitable for the purposes of various missions. Here we have focused on such practical tools, particularly on the weapons of ninjas.

1. Shuriken [手裏剣]

ninja-tools1
Shuriken or throwing stars is almost synonymous with ninja. From windmill types to stick types, they were varied in shape. Ninjas sometimes poisoned the tips of the blades to make this weapon more deadly.

[Kashaken (火車剣): a variation of shuriken made explosive with gun powder]

2. Shinobigatana (Ninja Sword) [忍刀]

ninja-tools2

Ninjas were using their own kind of swords. Unlike longer and more curved samurai swords, ninja swords were straight and relatively short. They featured a large tsuba (hand guard) and ninjas sometimes stood their swords against the wall and used the tsuba part as a step when going over the wall. A string was attached to the scabbard so the sword could be collected from above the wall. These swords were also matte finished so they would not reflect light in the darkness.

3. Kunai (Dagger) [くない]

ninja-tools3
This double bladed tool was used not only as a weapon but also as a shovel, knife and a step ladder for wall climbing. It is versatile as the modern-day “survival knife”. When used as a throwing knife, it was collected with a string attached to it.

4. Makibishi (Caltrop) [撒菱]

ninja-tools4

Makibishi was scattered on the ground to wound and stop pursuers. Nails of a caltrop are arranged so one of its sharp nails always points upward however you throw it. It is believed that the plant seeds of water caltrops had been used originally for the same purpose.

5. Tekko-Kagi (Claw Dagger) [手甲鉤]

ninja-tools5

Tekko-kagi is worn on the hands to scratch enemy with its nails. It can also be used defensively against sword attacks and for various other purposes such as digging a hole in the ground and driving the nails into the wall when climbing.

6. Kusarigama (Sickle and Chain) [鎖鎌]

ninja-tools6
Kusarigama is a chained sickle with a balancing weight on the other end. Without the chain, it can be disguised as an ordinary farming tool. The weight part can be thrown at the enemy while the chain can be used to suppress the enemy before attacking with the sickle. But it requires a very high skill to use this weapon at will.

7. Fukiya (Blow Dart) [吹き矢]

ninja-tools7

Ninjas were using blow darts poisoned on the tips to assassin enemies remotely. The blowpipes were often disguised as a flute and carried along.

8. Metsubushi (Eye Blinder) [目潰し]

ninja-tools8

An easily broken bag or hollowed-out egg filled with pepper or chalk powder was thrown at enemies. It was used as an offensive weapon for its eye blinding effect, as well as to distract enemies when running away from them.

9. Shikomizue (Prepared Cane) [仕込み杖]

ninja-tools9

A sword blade plunges out suddenly from a cane which would never be suspected as a weapon. A ninja disguised as an old man could carry this weapon without alarming anyone.

10. Kakushi (Finger Brass Knuckles) [角指]

ninja-tools10

This is a kind of brass knuckles for ninjas. But unlike brass knuckles, ninjas wore kakushi with the sharp nails on the palm side and grab the arm or neck of an enemy tightly from behind to deliver a lethal attack. This weapon was perfect for assassination because it was compact to carry.

11. Toribiho (Flame Gun) [捕火方]

ninja-tools11
Toribiho on the right

This weapon was used to project flames by igniting gunpowder and iron sand filled in the barrel. The technology at the time did not allow flames to reach very far, but it must have been stunning enough for enemies.

12. Tetsumari (Iron Ball) [鉄毬]

ninja-tools12

Tetsumari is a round weapon with spikes sticking out in all directions. When thrown at enemies, it could deliver a more lethal attack than shuriken due to its penetrative power. But the relatively large size was not ideal for carrying.

13. Nekote (Claw Dagger) [猫手]

ninja-tools13

This weapon was used by kunoichis, female ninjas. Kunoichis put them on their hands to scratch enemies with the sharp nails. The name “nekote,” literally meaning “cat hand,” comes from its shape like cat’s claws.

14. Shinobi Kumade [忍び熊手]

ninja-tools14
The long tool seen in the left lower part of the photo is Shinobi Kumade

Shinobi Kumade is a kind of iron rake with collapsible pipe sections making grips. The string threaded through the pipes can be pulled tight to make a long spear-like weapon while loosening it will make this weapon like a nunchaku.

Rare hand-colored photos of Japanese samurai in the late 1800s

Mashable (by Alex Q. Arbuckle):

The military-nobility caste known as samurai — roughly meaning “those who serve” — emerged in medieval Japan as provincial warriors, and rose to control the country in the 12th century.

As the enforcement arm of the ruling shogunate, the samurai were elevated to a position of privilege. They followed a code of honor called bushido, informed by Confucianism and Zen Buddhism. Bushido emphasized martial fearlessness, discipline and loyalty, as well as general kindness.

These photos, made in the years after Japan finally opened its ports to international trade, capture samurai in their final days. With the 1868 Meiji Restoration and the end of feudalism, carrying swords was prohibited to all but the new national armed forces.

The samurai class was dissolved, but bushido survived as the national moral code of the new Japan.

1900

c. 1865

c. 1865

Two samurai in firefighter dress.

c. 1864

1867

c. 1867

1867

1877

c. 1880

c. 1880

1882

1890

1885

1870

c. 1865

1867

1867

c. 1865

c. 1860

How to Forge the Hattori Hanzo Katana from ‘Kill Bill’

Given the gravitas that the katana wielded by Uma Thurman’s Black Mamba character in the cult Kill Bill franchise was afforded, it is no surprise that the weapon — forged in the films by the legendary Japanese blacksmith Hattori Hanzo — still captures the imagination of blade enthusiasts worldwide.

In the Man at Arms: Reforged YouTube series, Baltimore Knife and Sword enlisted the help of master armorer and engraver Ilya Alekseyev, accompanied by a five-man swordsmithing crew, to recreate the awe-inspiring blade by which no small number of baddies met a gruesome end in Quentin Tarantino’s epic.

Watch the video above and explore the rest of the series here.

A robot and Japanese sword master square off in the Yaskawa Bushido Project

In a matchup you do not come across everyday, a programmed Motoman-MH24 industrial robot and five time world record holder, samurai master Machii Isao face off to determine the better sword wielder. Commissioned by Yaskawa Electric Corporation, the robot’s manufacturer, the video depicts the advancement of technical engineering, coupled with the incredible skill of Isao.

Check out the amazing footage by hitting play on the video above.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s awesome samurai armor exhibition

LS 1

RocketNews 24:

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, also known by the acronym LACMA, the museum is right in the middle of its exhibition titled Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection.

Swiss transplant and Texas real estate mogul Gabriel has amassed a staggering array of samurai protective gear, a portion of which is currently on loan to the museum located adjacent to Hancock Park on Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles.

▼ Note the tengu (raven) motif of the face plate for the left set of armor.

LS 3

▼ Helmet ornamentation, from animal-like to religious to just plain massive.

LS 4

More than 140 pieces including lamellar breastplates, helms, face guards, and barding are on display. The exhibit is centered on armor worn by high-ranking samurai and daimyo, the regional warlords who ruled fiefs during Japan’s feudal era.

LS 2

The pieces vary in age from 14th to 19th century examples, and this broad range is reflected in changes made to armor design as the samurai adapted to the changing nature of battle. During the period in question, military engagements evolved from horseback archery to clashes of spear and sword-wielding infantry, and finally musket volleys when firearms became prevalent after contact with more technologically advanced European nations.

LS 5

The exhibition is scheduled run until February 1, so clear out your calendar quickly if you don’t want to miss the opportunity to see these awesome remnants of Japanese history.

LS 6

Museum information
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Address: 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Website
Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection website

Historical Japanese swords turn into battle-hardened Blade Boys in new mobile game

BB 2

RocketNews 24:

These days, one of the quickest and most popular methods for stocking a video game with a cast of attractive anime-style characters is to pick a class of item and anthropomorphize the heck out of it. There’s currently no hotter mobile game than Kantai Collection, in which players command a fleet of pretty girls who’re all modeled after World War II-era Japanese warships. If naval history isn’t your thing, you can also find titles featuring comely cars and moe mushrooms.

There’s a new entry in the subgenre though, and judging from its all-pretty boy roster of characters, it’s been designed with female otaku gamers in mind. As such, it’s no surprise that the men of Touken Ranbu are all based on something long and hard…plus sharp, as they’re all anthropomorphized swords.

Smartphone game publisher DNN released Touken Ranbu, or Violent Blade Dance, on January 14. With such a warlike title and development being handled by Nitro Plus, the same unit behind busty anime mascot Super Sonico, you might expect Touken Ranbu to be a testosterone-dripping smorgasbord of boobs and swordfights, but the truth is very different.

In recent years, there’s been a surge of interest in historical samurai among young Japanese women, who find themselves drawn to their old-school stoicism and gallantry. More than anyone else, it’s for that demographic that Touken Ranbu’s cast of dudes with smooth facial features and elaborate hairdos was crafted.

BB 3

The game’s plot actually starts in 2205, when historical revisionists stage a literal attack on the past in order to alter Japan’s history. The player steps into the role of the saniwa, an entity with the power to awaken the souls of inanimate objects and imbue them with fighting strength. As such, it’s your job to transform the swords of Japan’s feudal era into an army of Touken Danshi, or Blade Boys.

▼ Mikatzuki Munechika, the Heian Era sword (left) and Blade Boy (right)

BB 1

Early reviews describe the game as easy to pick up and play, with a streamlined system for equipping characters with special items and simple combat system. While the player assembles squads of up to six members and issues commands to advance or retreat in battle, the Blade Boys will do the rest of their fighting more or less automatically.

BB 4

Female otaku in Japan are generally drawn to male characters with tragic pasts, and Touken Ranbu’s theme gives the creators ample sadness to mine. Since the cast all started as inanimate killing instruments, they’ve seen numerous deaths, oftentimes including those of their owners. A few were even used for seppuku, the samurai act of ritual suicide, and carry the psychological burden of having been party to the act.

BB 5

As a result, gamers can expect plenty of scenes in which they try to help the Blade Boys work through their emotional baggage. But while many games would use this as a springboard to a romantic relationship, Touken Ranbu keeps such rumblings of the heart low-key, which should help it appeal to the widest possible female fanbase in Japan.

By never definitively stating who the characters have a crush on, Nitro Plus can simultaneously appeal to the three major groups of pretty boy game fans, the fujoshi(who want to see the guys hook up with other guys), the danjo kapu mono (coming from danjo kappuringu mono, or “heterosexual coupling fans”), and the “dreamers”(who’d like to imagine themselves as the object of the affections of the hot guys on screen).

▼ Mixed in among the 19 sword-based characters announced so far is Otegine, who’s actually a Muromachi Period spear.

BB 6

The lack of explicit romantic content means that as long as they can get past the female-oriented character designs, heterosexual male gamers should be able to get some enjoyment out of Touken Ranbu’s story too. Serving as world view director and main writer is Yuri Shibamura, who wrote the script for video game-tuned-anime Gunparade March.

Also contributing to the project is Norimitsu Kaiho, whose previous credits include a handful of Guilty Gear games and episodes of mecha anime TV series Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet.

Regardless of which facet of the game strikes your fancy, Token Ranbu can be downloaded here directly from DMM.