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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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.

Six professional ninja jobs being offered by Japanese tourism board, women and foreigners welcome

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RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

Japan is looking for a few good shinobi.

If you’re feeling sad because you weren’t chosen as one of the two samurai being recruited  in Aichi Prefecture this month, cheer up! It turns out there’s now another opportunity to become a professional sword-wielding warrior, as Aichi’s tourism board is now looking to employ six new ninja.

Similar to Aichi’s samurai-themed Nagoya Hospitality Generals Brigade, the Hattori Hanzo Ninja Squad, which also operates under the name Hattori Hanzo and the Ninjas, is a Nagoya-based group that makes live appearances to promote tourism to the Aichi area and Japan in general to both domestic and overseas travelers. As a ninja, your work tasks will include putting on awesome martial arts stage shows and instructing kids in proper shuriken throwing technique.

At 180,000 yen a month, the Hattori Hanzo Ninja Squad starting salary is identical to that of the Nagoya Hospitality Generals Brigade. The Ninja Squad also looks to be an equal opportunity employer. Not only does the group include kunoichi (female ninja)…

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…the applications seem to be open to non-Japanese would-be ninja as well, as evidenced by the fact that the Ninja Squad has made its recruitment information available in English as well.

A high degree of athleticism and acrobatic talent are of course prerequisites for the job, as are these seemingly contradictory, yet in this case totally justified, personality traits:

● A desire to be in the spotlight, even though you’re a stealthy ninja
● A fondness for talking with others, even though you’re wearing a mask and hood
● A kind heart, even though you’re carrying a sword

If you meet all those criteria, and you think you’d look good in black, applications can be found here, and will be accepted until March 22.

 

Forget shuriken: 10 stealthy and dangerous ninja tools you didn’t know existed

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RocketNews 24:

Growing up in the 90s, I was raised with the notion that ninja were teenage turtles, silent assassins or similar to the characters in Naruto. As much as we’d like to believe these were the reality, according to an interesting article from Listverse, the ninja that actually roamed the streets and castles as spies and assassins were humans who didn’t always dress in black (apparently they wore dark blue), and they didn’t regularly use the famous weapons we know so well.

So, if they weren’t using shuriken and long swords all of the time, what did they use? Researchers have been investigating the ancient style for decades and have uncovered some pretty amazing and ingenious items that you would never even dream of. There are probably thousands of ninja tools and techniques out there, but we’ll just focus on the few that Listverse brought into the open.

1. Nekome (Cat eyes)

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Have you ever seen cats’ eyes glowing in the dark night or their pupils shrinking to slivers in the daytime? The ninja definitely did. In fact, they examined cat eyes so closely that they were trained to be able to tell the time of day, within one hour, based on the size of a cat’s pupil, since they change in reaction to the daylight. Now, this leads me to wonder how well this would work in a rainstorm, but I guess the ninja probably had some correction for that. While this isn’t really a tool they would carry around with them (we hope), assuming the stray cat situation in old-time Japan was anything like it is today, the ninja were never in need of a pair of feline lenses.

2. Nekote (Cat hands)

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Staying with the cat theme, we move on to nekote. Used exclusively by female ninja, known as kunoichi, this was a metal or bamboo claw-like weapon, which could be attached to the fingers via thimble-like pieces or with a band around the hand. This could very well be the origin of the term “cat fight.”

3. Kanzashi (Hairpin)

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Kunoichi were known for their preference of lightweight and extra-hidden weapons, like the nekote and hairpins. We’re not talking about the hairpins you can use to pick locks (although, I’m sure these could do that too), but instead, kanzashi — long, ornamental hairpins, which could be sharpened and easily disguised and carried in your hair. The pins could be used to attack vital points or dipped in poison to deliver a fatal prick.

4. Saoto hikigane (Ear trumpet)

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This one looks pretty uncool, I have to say, but again, I grew up in the age of wiretapping and hidden recorders. While ninja did do some fighting, a lot of their responsibility was to stealthily get top-secret information from their enemies. But without modern day technology, how did they do it? With an ear trumpet, of course! The shape of the device amplifies sound, so it can be used on its own or up against a wall to hear the conversation on the other side. Although, a lot of Japanese doors were made of paper, so I can’t imagine it would really have been that hard to eavesdrop.

5. Yatate (Brush and ink case)

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Once vital information was obtained with the saoto hikigane, the ninja had to record it somehow in order to inform their bosses. It sounds kind of lame, but ninja apparently often carried a pencil-box like container for their calligraphy brush and ink— but of course, they may have carried small knives and bottles of poison in there too, for good measure.

6. Donohi (Anywhere heater)

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Stakeouts in cold weather are no fun, especially without kairo, the disposable heat packs we use today. Instead, of kairo, ninja used a donohi. This device was pretty simple, but very effective. They would put a flammable material (gunpowder, alcohol, etc) in a piece of bamboo, copper or iron cylinder and light it. The design allowed it to heat up, but the fire could last for hours or even days. I know kairo now last for 24 hours, but they sure don’t last for days!

7. Mizu-gumo (Water spider)

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Could ninja walk on water? Researchers can’t really prove it, but they think this tool, mizu-gumo (literally, water spider), which consisted of four curved wooden or inflated animal hide pieces strung together with a fifth piece in the middle, may have been used for water-walking. Perhaps they couldn’t use them to walk over deep moats surrounding castles, but they were probably useful in swampy areas.

8. Crickets

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Ninja may have used cat eyes and cat hands, but even they weren’t able to harness the stealthiness of felines. As smooth as ninja were, cracking twigs, crunchy snow or even the mere silence of the insects when a human comes near, could give the ninja away. To prepare for this, they sometimes carried a cage of crickets and secret poisons that either made the insects chirp, in order to cover-up the sound of movement, or be silent when need be. Pretty creative! (I know some modern-day people who would like that secret potion to shut crickets up on summer nights.)

9. Eggshells

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What would you do if you were a ninja about to be captured by the enemy? How about throwing eggshell bombs at them? (Aka, Edo era pepper spray.) The trick is to poke a hole in an egg, drain the contents, and then refill it with iron filings, salt, pepper or anything else that would cause irritation to the eyes or nose. Since eggshells are easy to break, throwing them at your opponent would quickly release the blinding substance. I’m interested to know how they transported their egg bombs without breaking them along the way…

10. Goshiki-mai (Five-colored rice)

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Japanese people love them some rice, ninja included. To the ninja though, rice was more than just breakfast, lunch and dinner; it was used for a code system. Rice could be painted different colors and arranged in certain combinations or amounts to convey secret messages. When left on the side of the road, a fellow clansman would see the sign and understand the message, but the average Joe would just see some rice. Pretty creative unless someone ate the rice!

Harnessing the power of nature, getting creative with everyday items and using what would probably have been some state-of-the art technology for the time, ninja were actually way cooler than I was raised to believe, and that’s saying a lot. Technology may have made most of these tools obsolete, but some could easily still be used today.