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.

Asia’s most notorious gangs

gangster

RocketNews 24:

A criminal organization’s activities vary depending on where they are in the world but all such groups use bribery, violence and fear to achieve their goals. The growing threat of gangs in Asia is partly due to their booming economies that attract criminals with the prospects of taking a cut of the wealth. Globalization is further helping these gangs to spread their activities, making it easier to smuggle everything from weapons and drugs to people and exotic animals across borders. Money laundering, counterfeiting and document forgery are even easier when a group has a presence in multiple countries. Sound like Armageddon? Read on.

In this article, we look at mob activity in Japan, China and Indonesia and the threats they pose to the public as well as to tourists. We also delve into what experts think the future holds for transnational gang activity. Just a warning: things ain’t lookin’ pretty.

 

1. Japan–Yamaguchi-gumi

yamaguchi

Likelihood of encountering them as a tourist: Low

 

According to Forbes magazine, Yamaguchi-gumi has the highest revenue of any gang in the world at US$80 billion. The Yamaguchi-gumi is also the largest of all the yakuza syndicates in Japan. But overall gang membership is decreasing throughout Japan and as of 2013 less than 60,000 people claimed to belong to such groups, a record low. Tokyo Reporter estimates the membership in Yamaguchi-gumi is around 11,600. A weak Japanese economy hasn’t helped the organization, who participates in construction contracts, gambling, and extortion (among other things), and who is known for interrupting company stock-holder meetings. The tight-knit Japanese mafia is often described as “highly organized and hierarchical.”

Like other organized crime groups, the yakuza spend some time trying to present a good image and curry local favor by donating to charitable causes or helping with disaster relief activities. Such activities also help gangs keep their status as community organizations or whatever legal entity they might be registered as. This on-paper legitimacy allows them a front from which to operate more easily. The yakuza helped people after WWII by providing much needed goods via the black market, and they’ve stepped in to provide emergency relief for victims of the Kobe Earthquake (1995) and cleaning-ups after the Tohoku Disaster (2011).

More recently, the Yamaguchi-gumi put up a website, purporting to support the banishment of illegal drugs, an attempt to improve their image.

If you start a business in Japan, you’re very
likely to come into contact with them

If you don’t take part in drugs or prostitution, and you’re just schlepping your way around Japan on the tourist beat riding the bullet train, you’re very unlikely to see them. The first encounter most Westerners have with yakuza is when they move here and spot the nearly naked, tattooed men taking part in the town’s local annual festival, which often involves bare-chested men in traditional fundoshi loin cloths. If you start a business in Japan, you’re very likely to come into contact with them, even if it’s just as customers in your establishment. Their presence is a part of everyday life in Japan.

yakuza

2. China’s triads

tattoos

Likelihood of encountering them as a tourist: Low

Chinese gangs, known as triads, are best known for arms and drug smuggling, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, loansharking, cyber crime, software piracy and smuggling people, animals and plants. As famous as China is for cybercrime, however, none of the groups compare to Japan’s Yamaguchi-gumi when it comes to sheer revenue. China’s triads tend to consist of smaller groups working independently. With well over 1.5 million people estimated to be involved in organized crime in China, the largest triad, Sun Yee On, reportedly has a membership of 55 to 60,000 members.

Overseas triads … sometimes threaten
territories of domestic criminal groups

Triads, whose leaders are called “dragon heads,” are heading more and more towards transnational organized crime, where their contacts abroad allow them to more easily smuggle people and drugs across borders. Overseas triads can be found in Japan, Russia, and the U.S. where they sometimes threaten territories of domestic criminal groups. Sun Yee On is the largest triad, operating in China and Hong Kong, with their presence also reported to be in the U.K., U.S., France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Recently, authorities in China are cracking down on the triads, forcing them to go further underground with their activities. They’ve also scattered their forces as a result, operating in less organizational, more independent-minded splinter groups. Many are moving abroad to tie up with organized crime syndicates in other countries.

 

3. Laskar Bali

▼The emblem for Laskar Bali uses a Hindu religious symbol.

symbol
Likelihood of encountering them as a tourist: High

Wherever there is money, gangs will thrive and Indonesia’s island paradise of Bali is rife with prospects. With a constant influx of tourists livin’ it up on their holidays and a healthy population of expatriates who choose to live the high life year-round, the island is a natural draw for drugs, prostitution and other illicit activity. In Bali, foreigners constantly make the headlines for being on death row for drug smuggling and with so much money involved, you can guarantee that the local mob is getting their cut.

Newspapers refer to the groups as
‘community organizations’

There are at least five major gangs in Bali, who often refer to themselves as keluarga besar (big families). But the largest is Laskar Bali. Newspapers refer to the groups as “community organizations” because technically, that’s what they’re registered as and thus can qualify as legal entities.

Most tourists who do encounter them will not be aware of who these guys are. Laskar Bali has most of the security contracts for restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Bali’s touristy areas. Door men, bouncers and security guards in Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, for example are almost all Laskar members. You may even see them out and about wearing t-shirts with the gang’s name and motif on them.

One of the other major organizations, Baladika, with a membership of around 25,000, was awarded the high-security contracts for the 25th APEC Conference and Miss World Contest that took place in Bali in 2013, where the group worked alongside army and police.

But everyone knows who these organizations are. “I don’t like them,” says Ketut, a 34-year-old who owns a printing shop. “It shows the close ties with the new governor and gives him power.”

▼A sign along the road in Bali, featuring Laskar Bali big-wigs, wishes travelers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

poster

But not all people believe these neighborhood gangs are bad. Wayan, who works at a restaurant in Sanur, a tourist area not dominated by Laskar, but one called Sanur Bersatu, says “They help protect the neighborhood. If someone bad come to our restaurant and cause problem, we just call them up and they come immediately. The police no good, not come. But the group send someone immediately.”

In her book Snowing in Bali, Kathryn Bonella, who spent years interviewing drug lords and traffickers in the local Bali prison, says there is no mistake about these organizations being criminal. “Laskar Bali is the holiday island’s most notorious and violent gang,” she writes. They deal in drugs, weapons, prostitution, payoffs and revenge killings. They’ll kill for hire–just a couple thousand dollars. When gangsters do get in trouble for using weapons or for drug trafficking, the group claims no responsibility, saying they should not be blamed for the actions of just a few members. Furthermore, they insist that the group does not approve of such behavior. Yet most people (including the police), are so afraid of possible retribution that even the newspapers will not print the gang’s name.

 

The future of Asian gangs

Where is all this headed? I asked Robert Whiting, author of Tokyo Underworld. what he thinks about the future of Asia’s organized crime. While the overall declining membership of Japan’s yakuza is perhaps a result of the government’s recent anti-gang rules cracking down on boryokudan, or “violent groups,” Whiting tells us why this isn’t necessarily reason for optimism.

To circumvent the new law, gangs use individuals outside their organizations, so-called han-gure or quasi yakuza, young toughs who don’t belong to organized crime groups.” Since much gang activity has gone underground, Whiting says, “It’s more difficult to pin crimes on yakuza because they are using these irregular forces, like the han-gure, or in many [instances] foreigners (Koreans, Chinese, Cambodians, etc.) who are not full or associate members of the gang.” He concludes saying, “Yakuza activity and arrests may be down on paper but crime is about the same, or actually increasing.”

China’s triads are already moving abroad and succeeding. The internet revolution has brought more opportunities for hacking and general cyber crime. And in Bali, with an economy in overdrive, organized crime is growing right along with it. Laskar Bali was started in 2002 after the first Bali bombings by an violent Islamic group that killed 202 people, mainly tourists. Laskar Bali was formed to help protect the island. With a corrupt Indonesian police force prone to accepting bribes (used to supplement the police officers’ salary of about US$220 per month), citizens are forced to depend on vigilante-type groups to protect their businesses, land and growing wealth.

Crime will always be with us,” Whiting reminds us. “I certainly don’t see it declining….They [yakuza] provide services that many, many people want, illegal though those services may be. There will always be a demand for them.”

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

deviant

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)

Ojos_de_gato

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)

Cat_paw_(cloudzilla)

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)

kanzashi

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)

Horn_shaped_ear_trumpet_Wellcome_L0065052

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)

6-yatate

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)

bamboo-68138_1280

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)

mizogumo

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

Nemobius sylvestris female

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

Egg-rmh

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)

Riz carnaroli

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.

 

Link

Guard your smartphone with a tiny ninja accomplice

RocketNews 24:

 

20140213ninjafeature39-0233img01

Lurking in the shadows is a mysterious figure. He conceals himself behind a giant kite, a flipped tatami mat, or a sliding door. Only his eyes are visible from beneath his dark robes.Yes, it’s a tiny ninja, and with a distinctly modern purpose: to protect your smartphone from would-be assailants!

There are three different warriors to choose from, each using a different ninja art to fend off attacks:

1) Giant kite

Legend has it that ninja used colossal kites, larger than a man, to leap into the sky and evade their enemies. Here, your smartphone acts as a counter-weight, stopping clan leader Fuma Kotarou from being swept away on the wind. The kite’s motif is the kanji character (nin) from the word ninja, too, which is a pretty sweet touch.

▼ Just don’t drop my phone when you’re gliding about on that kite, ok?

2014ninjasquare3 39-0233_3
2) Flipping the tatami

This famous ninja move, called tatamigaeshi in Japanese, involves flipping a floor mat up at lightning speed to deflect incoming missiles. Crouching behind the tatami mat (and your smartphone) is Sarutobi Sasuke, ready to slash anyone who lays a greasy finger on your touchscreen.

▼ Sasuke is a fictional character, anyway, making this a perfect likeness of him!

2014ninjasquare139-0233_1

3) Blowgun

Peering out from behind a sliding door is our most lethal assailant: touting a Japanese blowgun, it’s Hattori Hanzou. Just don’t turn your back on him, or you might end up with a dart in an uncomfortable place.

▼ Hanzou crouches behind what appears to be a giant bar of dark chocolate.

2014ninjasquare2 39-0233_2

Your new ninja friends are available for 2,000 yen (US$20), and can assist you with any kind of smartphone or small tablet:

20140214ninja39-0233img06
However, seeing as the art of ninja warfare hasn’t developed much since the 17th century, it’s unlikely these little guys will be able to do much to protect you from phishing scams or phone hacking. You’ll have to rely on your own ninja skills for that.

Source: NetLab

Check out this link:

Guard your smartphone with a tiny ninja accomplice