Hidden or Disguised Weapons

Many of the weapons of the ninja needed to be easily hidden or disguised as common tools of the time

ninja starsSome of the most popular examples of this include the bo and hand claws (shuko, neko-te tekagi). Another very famous ninja weapon, seen most often in the advertisement section of comic books, is the shuriken or throwing star. Ninja often made use of the kunai, a common gardening tool, as it could be carried by a ninja disguised as a gardener without attracting any attention. This tool looked like a utility knife as was most likely used more as a tool than a weapon. Another famous weapon is the makibishi (tetsu-bishi), a caltrop made with iron spikes. There are many ways that this weapon could be used. Some common uses include injuring a pursuer’s feet by throwing it on the ground, spoiling an enemy’s escape route by throwing it across the path, or it could even cause slow death to an enemy if it were covered with poison.

Ninja-ken are special short swords that are also said to have been used by ninja according to popular folklore. These swords are larger than wakizashi but smaller than katana. The ninja-to did not have the complex hand treatment of traditional weapons and so was probably used more as a tool. The saw sword or (shikoro ken) was another version of the ninja sword. This sword could be used to slash or cut an opponent or gain access into buildings.