Ninja Weapons – Ancient Ninja Weapons
The Ninja were stealthy masters of combat and masters of their weapons, trained assassins and skilled with a multitude of tools. The Ninja would carry multiple weapons on their person, allowing them to overcome a variety of situations, from swords and melee weapons to traps and distraction weapons.
One of the reasons the Ninja were so successful was in part due to their weapons. With each weapon being specifically designed to suit a situation, the Ninja were expects at choosing the right weapon for the job.
Stealthy and dangerous, the Ninja were feared by many, their weapon skills, the range of weapons and their adept usage of them, caused fear in the heard of the enemy.
The Ninja Weapons
The traditional sword used by most ninja was the Ninjato or the Shinobigatan, and was designed with the activities a ninja would be carrying out in mind. The Ninjato was shorter than the Katana blade which would make it easier to position around the torso of the ninja making athletic activities much easier than a hip mounted sword like a Katana. The Ninjato was made from steel and could be manufactured in a variety of ways, each with their own benefits, the basic practise was to merge various strength of steel in a laminated fashion to increase the quality, strength and performance of the Shinobigatan blade.
The Katana was a weapon that the ninja was skilled as using, even though it’s length was a hindrance to manoeuvrability in most cases. A traditional Japanese sword, the Katana is commonly associated with the Samurai, but was also used by the Ninja. The Katana is a curved blade and like the Wakizashi and the Shinbigatan could be made in a variety of ways from steel.
The Wakizashi was a smaller sword than the Ninjato which made it an alternative option due to its easier manoeuvrability and its use in more confined spaces where the ninja would not have the option of full body motions or movements.
The shorter blade used by ninja warriors was the Tanto which would be a short range melee weapon, or it could be used as a tool for multiple purposes. While the Tanto was not crafted with the high quality materials of the Ninjato or built with as much passion, it was so handy in many situations that the Ninja would treasure it.
The Yari was a battle weapon but Ninja would use it in the right situation and they would train to wield the Yari effectively. Roughly five feet long the Yari would be tipped with a sharp blade and attacks would be aimed towards the stomach of the ninja’s opponent.
The Shobo is a short stick that the ninja could conceal easily around his person and would be used when in close quarter. Especially effective when utilized correctly the shobo could make short sharp strikes easily with the leather ring in the centre allowing the ninja to attach it to his fingers.
The term shuriken actually covers a multitude of throwing weapons employed by the Ninja. The name itself, literally translated, means ‘sword hidden in the hand.’ All shuriken weapons have things in common, all projectile weapons, and typically small in size, nearly all shuriken were crafted from metal.
Bo-Shuriken are traditionally a straight metal spike, which can contain a flight on the end. The Bo-Shuriken were designed to be thrown in multiple ways, and in multiple directions, giving the Ninja a weapon to use from any stance or situation.
The Hira-Shuriken are what most people consider to be Shuriken and are often called throwing stars, due to their shape and design. The Hira-Shuriken typically have a central hole which would allow them to be carried on a string easily. They would typically have sharpened edges and be flat in nature to allow them to fly gracefully towards their destination.
The skilled ninja would use a Shuriken as a distraction or secondary attack rather than a means to kill or disable their foe. Shurikens were typically directed towards the extremes of the body, hands, feet or head were typical target areas for the skilled ninja. A deadly weapon in the hands of the Ninja the Shuriken is synonymous with the masked assassin.
The Ninja were massively skilled when it comes to weaponry, and this mastery even extended to explosive weapons. The ninja could utilize a variety of explosive weapons, to confuse, disrupt and distract their opponents, whether this would lead to an attack or allow an escape from a compromising situation.
The explosives the Ninja used were many, from soft cased bombs, using paper or reed wrappers that when mixed would emit heavy smoke or dangerous gases. Ninja would also use hard cased bombs where necessary, usually for heavier duty work. These bombs would be encased in pottery and would fragment on impact releasing deadly shrapnel and damage.
The Kusarigama was a popular weapon of choice for the Ninja. Comprising of a ball and chain attached to a kama, the Kusarigama had multiple uses in combat.
The Ninja could use the Kusarigama to easily fend off sword attacks by wrapping their foe’s sword and arms with the ball and chain. The Kusarigama also allowed the Ninja to use the Kama end as a blunt force melee weapon, which could inflict serious damage if landed correctly. The ball and chain were long enough that were a Ninja able to entangle their foe, they would close distance and finish the job.
“Quieter than a fallen tree, the Ninja Shinobi would attack in the dark, the light was not their friend. Much more comfortable living in the shadows the Ninja would stalk and prey on their targets like a well fitted robe that you don’t know your wearing. Once your marked you might as well resign to the fact your time is up, the Ninja warrior is skilled with weapons and espionage and you are probably not. Don’t sleep too soundly.”