Ninja Weaponry and Tricks

Gunpowder was a significant part of the ninja weaponry and tricks. Often smoke bombs were used to create a diversion for escape or attack
Often explosions were delayed with the use of fuses. Projectiles and fiery sparks were directed at a target through the use of a ozutsu, or cannon. Sand and metal dust would fill small bombs known as “eye closers” or metsubushi. Often assailants were blinded by this sand which was held in hollow eggs or bamboo segments. Mechanical fuses or oil soaked strings were used in land mines. The ninja clans were carefully guard their secret gunpowder mixes.

Ninja also had many other forms of trickery that could be used for either combat or escape. Ninja would wear Tabi (thick socks to be worn with sandals and included a separate space for the large toe) to which they attached wooded pads known as ashiaro. To make it impossible for an opponent to track the ninja they would carve the ashiaro to mimic the tracks of a local animal or a child. For hand to hand combat the ninja had a small ring worn on the finger called a shobo. These rings had a small wooden notch that would be used to attack the pressure points of an assailant, sometimes even causing temporary paralysis. A weapon similar to the shobo was the suntetsu. This small oval piece of wood would be attached by a small strap to the ninja’s finger. This piece of wood could be held against the ninja’s finger and then used to hit the assailant’s pressure points.

Ninjutsu, which is a style similar to jujutsu and kenjutsu, is thought to have originated with the ninja. Some of the things that Ninjutsu and jujutsu have in common are using the enemies force and momentum against him, joint manipulation, and leverage against the wrist, shoulder, knee, and other body parts. Most of the emphasis of Ninjutsu is on evasive movements, so there is very little blocking involved. Common Ninjutsu techniques include striking the groin while ducking below a punch.