weapons, such as swords and daggers, the ninja also employed an arsenal of other devices designed to stun, delay, distract, and—of course—to kill their enemies. They were masters in the use of gunpowder, which they utilized to create smoke screens, burning projectiles, and even landmines. Many of their weapons had multiple uses and were easily concealed. For example, the throwing star also known as the “shuriken” (small, handheld blades) were usually thrown at the enemy to cause minor injuries and create a distraction, but they could also be used in the hand, to gouge and slash.
Ninja clothing was designed for camouflage, with dark colors worn at night, and white worn to blend in with snow. They devised many ingenious ways in which to go about their business undetected. Shaped wooden blocks attached to their shoes imitated the tracks of wild animals, while metal claws strapped to their hands and feet enabled them to climb more easily.
When dressed in the “shinobi shozoko”- the ninja uniform that we most commonly associate with the ninja—almost all the ninja’s flesh, except for an area around the eyes and the hands, is completely covered. However, it is likely that some ninja would have worn peasant clothing.
Consisting of a long piece of chain with at each end, a “manrikigusari” (sometimes known as a “kasarifundo”) was used to disable or to kill outright. The chain was held in the hand and ninja would throw one weigh into the enemy’s face, groin, or solar plexus
The chain and blade, or “kusarigama” was used to entangle the enemy or his weapon, making it possible to draw him in and stab him. The weighted end of the chain was swung over the user’s head, and then whipped forward. Sometimes the weight itself acted as a lethal weapon.
In common with traditional footwear of the time, the ninja’s “tabi” boots had a split toe to improve grip
Usually sharpened at one end-sometimes both—”bo shuriken” could be thrown in a number of ways: underarm, overarm, sideways, or backward; and with or without spin.
There are a variety of different small, spiked shuriken, which have sharpened points projecting out on all sides from a central ring.
The name of this type of shuriken means “needle-shaped.”lt is thought that they derive from the thick needles that were used to stitch leather armor.
These spiked or bladed rings were favored by female ninja. Sometimes the tips were dipped in poison so the ninja could strangle an enemy while delivering a dose of poison. Alternatively, they could be used to gouge and slash.
Small, spiked devices, known as “tetsubishi” were used to aid escape. They would b scattered onto the ground to slow down an enemy in pursuit.
These hook-ropes, known as “kaginawa,” were used primarily as restraining devices. They consist of a hook attached to the end of a long rope with iron rings. Sometimes spiked rings, or “kakute” were used, to make struggling more painful. Kaginawa could also be used for scaling walls, or swinging from roof to roof, or tree to tree.
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