Unspeakably Savage Weapons You Won't Believe Ninja And Samurai Actually Used
History is chock-full of wild samurai and ninja life-ending hardware; if you think they were limited to throwing stars and katanas, it's time to get schooled.
While plenty of ridiculous tools of destruction have been laughed out of the history books, the weapons ninja and samurai used are almost exclusively ferocious. Some of the most famous of all time belonged to samurai, but of course, their most dangerous items are only spoken of in hushed tones.
You may know the sai, but you probably don't know the kusarigama, and most people fail to realize how many different types of throwing stars exist.
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KusarigamaPhoto: Mkill / Wikimedia Commons
The kusarigama is a compound object made of a kama (sickle) attached to a kusari-fundo (a heavy chain with a weight on the end, usually made of iron). The art of wielding one of these is so advanced that the practice has its own name: kusarigamajutsu.
This device is essentially the most dangerous lasso on the planet; the wielder swings it over their head before ensnaring their opponent, making them easy prey for the sickle blade.
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ShukoPhoto: hyakuraiju / Etsy
The Shuko is a multifaceted tool consisting of a small metal plate that sits atop the user's knuckles with four spikes (or claws) on the underside that jut from the palm.
In addition to slashing faces, a pair can also be helpful for climbing, especially when used in conjunction with similar foot spikes.
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Kyoketsu-ShogePhoto: Hyakuraiju / Wikimedia Commons
The kyoketsu-shoge is a nasty little devil with two blades: a double-sided main dagger as well as a hooked edge jutting off the hilt. The knife is attached to a cord with a ring on the end, allowing the wielder to wrap an opponent and pull them into dagger range. The user then cuts their adversary's throat with the curved edge and follows through by thrusting the straight knife upward into a vital spot.
It evolved from a farming tool and provides utilities beyond slaying; it can also be used as a climbing aid (assuming the cord is strong enough to hold an adult).
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KakutePhoto: Hyakuraiju / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Kakute are rings (generally made of iron or steel) featuring four spikes that are often dipped in toxins. They're usually worn on the middle finger with the spikes pointed inward so they're hidden by the palm.
They were most often used by female ninja known as kunoichi.
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ShurikenPhoto: specialoperations / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Pretty much everyone's familiar with shuriken (or throwing stars), but that doesn't make them any less awesome. Despite what their Western name suggests, these projectiles come in a variety of shapes, including a straight blade.
In a literal sense, shuriken translates to "hidden hand blade," so there's no quintessential shape, though star-shaped variations are the most common.
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The surujin consists of a weight attached to a cord or chain with a blade or spike on the other end. The rope wraps around an opponent and pulls them in close so the user can dispatch them with the blade. It can also be used to disarm an opponent.