Kunai, Shuriken and Ninja Stars
Shuriken ( literally “hand hidden blade”) is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that was used for throwing, and sometimes stabbing. They are small, sharpened, hand-held blades 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 to the more commonly used katana (sword) or yari (spear) in a warrior’s arsenal, though they often played a pivotal tactical role in battle. The art of wielding the shuriken is known as shuriken-jutsu, and was mainly taught as a minor, or more correctly, a secret part of the martial arts curriculum of many famous schools, such as Yagyu Ryu, Katori Shinto Ryu, Itto Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, and Togakure Ryu.
Shuriken are commonly known in the west as “throwing stars” or “ninja stars”. This term hardly does justice to the weapon, however, as the pointed “star” shaped form is but one of many different designs the blades took over the centuries in which they were used.
The major varieties of Shuriken are the bo shuriken and the hira shuriken, or shaken.
Our ninja stars and shuriken are of the highest quality and can be used for combat training and target practice.
A kunai is an ancient Japanese kind of gardening tool or trowel. Two variations are the short kunai and the big kunai. It is a good example of a very basic tool which, in the hands of a martial arts expert, could be used as a multi-functional weapon. The kunai was conventionally wrought of iron, not steel, cheaply forged and unpolished. The size of most kunai ranged from 20 cm to 60 cm, with the average at 40 cm. The kunai was used by common folk as multi-purpose gardening tools and by workers of stone and masonry. The kunai is not a knife, but something more akin to a crowbar. The blade was soft iron and unsharpened because the edges were used to smash plaster and wood, to dig holes and to pry. Normally only the tip would have been sharpened. The uses to which a kunai was put would have destroyed any heat-treated and sharpened tool like a knife. Kunai normally had a leaf-shaped blade and a handle with a ring on the pommel for attaching a rope. This would allow the kunai’s handle to be wrapped to act as a grip, or when used as a weapon; to be strapped to a stick as an expedient spear, to be tied to the body for concealment, or to use as an anchor or piton. Contrary to popular belief, they were not designed to be used primarily as throwing weapons, though they can be thrown and cause damage. Instead, they are a thrusting and stabbing implement however, because of today’s pop culture, it is also seen today as a throwing weapon.
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