Ninja Samurai Swords

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Of the two main types of Japanese swords that are popular with western collectors and recreations, ninja swords (sometimes referred to as ninja-to) are the kind surrounded in the most controversy. Many historians and weapons experts agree that the current version of the ninja sword, with its straight edge, dangerous looks, and hidden tools did not exist as such in period Japan. This assertion does not detract, however, from the mystique wrapped around the look and feel of a ninja sword.

Most modern ninja swords consist of much more than a simple sword-and-scabbard design. They often include a host of tools built into both the sword and the scabbard, such as small knives, throwing stars, and a spear tip that can be attached to the scabbard. Many of the swords come complete with a black finish on both blade and scabbard.

Other Ninja Weapons

While the usage of a straight sword by ninja from the Heian Period to the Edo Period is disputable, all historians agree that shuriken, or throwing stars, were used extensively by the ninja. Most also agree that many ninja did carry some kind of sword, if not a katana. One common viewpoint is that many ninja, when permitted by their assumed identity, may carry a wakizashi, or smaller Japanese sword, in a scabbard meant for a katana. This helped the incognito ninja by allowing them to draw and strike (battou-jutsu) faster than their opponent may anticipate.

Along with swords and shuriken, many ninja may have used a variety of weapons, most chosen for their versatility. For example, kunai is a tool that is basically a long iron nail, and can be hand-held, concealed, or thrown. It can also be used for more pragmatic purposes, including as a climbing aid, as a stake, as a digging tool, or whatever else the user could envision.

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