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The Weapons of the Ninja


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Ninja Sword

The ninja trained as Japanese mercenaries who where experts in the areas of; assassinations, espionage, and scouting missions.  The Interest in ninjas has increased in recent years with movies like G.I. Joe (Snake Eyes) and Ninja Assassin.  It is also widely thought that Batman was a ninja however this is up for debate since Batman is known for using so many gadgets to actually perform his skills like his belt to climb up the side of a building.  Such devices are not needed by the ninja.  Perhaps Batman studied the art of Ninjitsu and created these gadgets to compensate for his lack of true ninja ability.  There are numberous ninja weapons used to complete their mission.  Many replcations are available to anyone interested in these shadow warriors.  Below is a short list of the most popular weapons. 

Shuriken Ninja Swords Ninja Uniforms

Sharp Ninja Swords

  - The most common ninja swords is called the ninjato.  The ninjato is shorter than traditional swords used by samurai warriors.  The handle and scabbard of the ninjato is longer than necessary.  Opponents such as the Samurai surmise that it will take longer to draw this ninja sword than it actually does.  This gives the ninja a distinct advantage in that the opponent is still drawing their sword when the ninja is able to start their offense.  Modern day ninjato typically have straight blades and a square handle guard (Tsuba).


- Nunchaku are typically the weapons people think about when they conjure up pictures of a ninja in their minds.  Nunchakus are two sticks, usually of equal length, joined at the ends by either rope or a chain.  A long-standing belief is that nunchkua were first used to thresh rice or soybeans.  Nunchaku are used for striking and for gripping and locking the opponent.

- The Bo both long and short have been a staple in the ninja arsenal. The bow and arrow historically was a weapon used by the ninja as well as the samurai. This was a perfect tool for stealthy ninja missions where silence is essential.  Both type of bows are utilized by the ninja dependant upon the mission.  The short bow is used in missions in which targets are closer as opposed to the longer bow that display a sharper aim at a distance. In the past in order to make the arrows deadlier they are sometimes dipped in poison. The Kunoichi (female ninja) were especially skilled with the bow and arrow.

Throwing knives are less than one foot in length.  Years of training are required to master the art of throwing knives.  Throwing knives are quite different from a regular knife and are designed to be thrown through the air.  These weapons can be easily hidden from opponents.   

Sai Weapons

- Sais are pointed rods with two long, unsharpened prongs, or tsuba, extending to either side and attached to a handle.  The sai has always been used as a ninja weapon.  They are used for striking or short jabs to the chest area.  The prongs can be used to trap an opponent’s sword blade.   


- Bokken, or bokuto, are wooden swords used for training purposes.  Bokken were originally used to train warriors.  Hand-carved bokken are much more durable than mass-produced bokken, which are better for non-contact routines, or katas.. 

ninja wooden sword

Ninja Uniforms Ninjitsu
The chain and sickle otherwise know as the kusarigama was also used by the ninja.  Attacking with the weapon usually entailed swinging the weighted chain in a large circle over one's head, and then whipping it forward to entangle an opponent's spear, sword, or other weapon, or immobilizing his arms or legs. This allows the kusarigama user to easily rush forward and strike with the sickle.
- Ninja uniforms consist of pants, a jacket, and a hood and mask.  The uniform traditionally is entirely black giving the ninja the ability to blend in with shadows.  Although, uniforms were also found in varied colors depending on the basic colors of the environment.  The jackets typically have 'gauntlets' that cover the back of the hand and forearms along with several hidden pockets.  These hidden pockets were used for various weapons like; shuriken , poison, and spikes .  The pants typically have draw strings on the bottom to tighten up excess material around the calves.  This assists while running, throwing kicks, and keep from getting caught while climbing. 


Tessen also known as the steel fan was a folding fan with an iron frame so, when folded, it could be used to club an enemy.  Different variations were created, including one with a razor sharp edges on the framework so that, instead of only being able to club a person, the ninja could cut as well.


Ninja Hand Claws
- Ninja hand claws consist of a strap with four small, metal hooks that are wrapped around the hand, a connecting strap, along with a wrist strap.  Hand claws are used for climbing and also are a well used weapon.  To accommodate their feet ninjas strap on spikes , these are known as ninja foot claws or the Ashiko .  This allows the ninja to climp much more efficiently on missions.  These foot claws are also used as a deadly combat weapon that can be delivered with various kicks.


manriki chains

- Most manriki chains are about eleven inches long, but some are three to six feet in length.  Weights are attached to the ends of the chains.  The chains can be concealed in the hand.  The opponent can be punched with the weights or entangled in the chains.  With one chain end in each hand, the blade of a sword can be stopped from injuring the ninja.


- Ninja high top tabi boots are made of leather or canvas and are used for rough climbing. They have ridged, rubber soles for steady and secure footing. A slit between the big and second toes makes it easier to climb walls and ropes

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