Guide To Ninja Weapons

Guide To Ninja Weapons

Are you curious about the benefits of using ninja weapons for self-defense? Find out everything you need to know in this comprehensive guide. From choosing the right ninja weapon to using it properly, this article has it all.

Do you know what the ninjas were like? Let us find out a little more on how they originated and the kind of weapons that exist.

The word ‘ninja’ needs no introduction, most of us have seen super secret black-clad agents all over the internet and movies, right? Sorry, to disappoint you but the image you have in your head is nothing like how they actually were in real life.

A lot of people are fascinated to learn more about Japanese Ninja Weapons. Thanks to anime, films, and television,  ninja warriors have dominated modern pop culture.

Just say the word to anyone and they will immediately picture a warrior with a mask who slowly starts creeping in the night to spy, track or assassinate their target/ enemies.

But who were these mysterious warriors, and what kind of weapons did they actually use? Ninjas mastered the use of weapons as a form of self-defense, all of which were unique to them.

Guide To Ninja Weapons

Who Is A Ninja?(忍者)

Ninja or shinobi, which means ‘those who act in stealth’ was a kind of warrior involved in unconventional warfare like assassination, sabotage, and infiltration, that often used forgery tactics to take opponents out by surprise.

They were credited the same honor as a samurai and were trained in a diverse range of skills called ninjutsu (art of stealth).  It includes training in weapon techniques, meteorology, armed combat, breathing synthesis, geometry, and military strategy.

It was not only restricted to males but also female ninjas who were called kunoichi. They used smaller and close-combat weapons like daggers, bladed fans, and garrottes to assassinate their enemies.

Ninjutsu was passed down through generations either from a teacher to selected disciples or within families. Important skills they needed to develop was mastery of the samurai sword, bow and spear, explosives, blending poisons, swimming, and more.

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Brief History Of Ninja Weapon

During the 11th century, the Iga and Koka inhabitants developed a reputation for unconventional warfare. They had a hideout location for bandits, losing parties of battles and refugees.

There were many ninja families in the area within autonomously governed communities who began developing martial skills for self-defense.

The ninjas of the Iga and Koka were hired by the warlords in the 15th and 16th centuries to facilitate the conquest of castles and victories in battles.

After the 17th century when peace was established, they were employed by the Tokugawa Shogunate to guard the Edo Castle and spy on the many regional lords. There were many stereotypes that were depicted by the  West to entertain audiences worldwide.

List Of Ninja Weapons

  • Kusarigama

It consisted of a kama(sickle)  and a kusari (metal chain) fundo (heavy iron weight) held together by a chain used in short, medium and long-range attacks.

Its complex movements and unusual shape have a great deadly effect. During combat, its weighted end is thrown to disarm the enemy and draw them closer before finishing them off with the final blow using the sickle. 

  • Shuriken

Shuriken stars come in all sizes and shapes, from an eight-pointed star to a simple cross shape, all of them very deadly and sharp.

These tiny discs with spikes are commonly used for self-defense. Because of its size, it may be difficult to kill your enemy with a single throw unless it is painted with poison.

  • Kunai

These are small spearhead-like objects that are thrown on enemies like knives. They were an absolute favorite seen in many Hong Kong action movies in the 1970s.

A fascinating fact to know is that they were primarily used as climbing tools to jam between bricks and scrape holds into plaster walls. This is another ninja weapon that gained a lot of popularity through the anime Naruto.

  • Katana

Of all the weapons a  ninja or samurai carries, nothing is more important than the sword. A katana, which is designed to be strong and flexible, is built for stealth.

It consists of a multi-functional leather strap and a short, straight blade. To make climbing easier, the sword is placed on the shoulder with the blade edge up and the handle near the left ear. The sword is predominantly black in color and is discreet.

  • Kakute

This spiked ring made of iron or steel was used on the enemy when least expected. They were used during close combat by the ninjas and were either turned outward as a type of knuckle duster or used inward to pierce an enemy’s flesh.

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The spikes were sometimes dipped in poison and proved to be an effective weapon.

ninja stick weapon
  • Shuko

These small metal plates act like claws, they are worn on the hands with four protruding spikes extending from the palm.

best ninja sword

An excellent weapon used for self-defense and can be used to break the jaw or even a hard blow on the enemy’s face It was also used for scaling walls,  climbing trees,  or crawling on ice much faster and easier.

  • Tetsubishi

A ninja uses these weapons by tossing them so that the sharp spikes will always point up and penetrate the enemy’s footwear as many Japanese people wore warji straw sandals. They are known as caltrops in the West to slow down pursuers. 

most common ninja weapons
  • Manriki-gusari

A very versatile weapon used by the ninjas to whip, strangle and shoot. It consists of a chain with various shapes and sizes and a weight attached to each end of the chain. Police officers used this ninja weapon to disarm and capture criminals.

most popular ninja weapons

Some of the advantages include: it can be easily concealed, rolled up and easily transported,  wrapped around body parts for extra protection, restraining an enemy, and used for climbing.

Ninja Farmer Tool Weapons

  • A Kama or sickle was a common tool used for cutting grass and rice harvesting. It was also used for climbing high places.
  • Tebo or staff was used for taking the grain off the rice stalks.
  • Hibachi or fire tongs were used to hold hot coals, swinging and throwing.
  • Gotoku or Trivet was used to lift heated iron kettles.
  • Manto or Pruning shears was used to trim plants.
  • Ryuta or Kaginawa or Grappling Hook was used to lift dropped items out of wells and hook an enemy.
  • Ashikagi or foot hooks used to walk on slippery surfaces, kick and stomp on enemies.
  • Kadoyubi or tekagi or hand hooks or finger spikes were used for grass cutting, rice harvesting, worn on fingers to attack the enemy.
  • Fukiya (Blow Darts) & Fukumi Bari (Sewing Needles): 

They were the optimal weapon for a ninja who wanted to hide himself from enemies. They were commonly used for hunting and were used to shoot from the cracks of doors and such places.

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On the other hand, sewing needles were heated in fire, then floated on water to be magnetized and used as a weapon like darts.

  • Other tools

To name a few other important tools- the Jitte was used to fight sword, the bokeh was a wooden saber for training, a kemuridama was a bomb of black smoke used for explosives or blinding, a yumi ya was a bow and arrow, a tessen was a metal fan used by women, a musubinawa was a rope with a  single hook used for climbing, a shinobigatana was a curved saber, etc.

Ninja Weapons: FAQs

What are some Japanese ninja clothing?

Ninjas often wore specific clothing to help keep them hidden from view and conceal their identity, to allow ease of movement.

Although we think they mostly dressed in black, they also wore red, brown and dark blue, along with two pieces of cloth to cover their head and face, leaving only their eyes visible.

They also wore a short and loose-fitting jacket fastened at the waist with a belt. They also wore trousers and boots along with gloves to keep their hands warm and concealed during missions.

Where can we go to appreciate the ninja today in Japan?

If you wish to appreciate the ninja today, visit the traditional heartlands of the ninja-like the Iga Ninja Museum and Koka Ninja Village to get a glimpse of many tools, weapons and gadgets.

The Togakure Ninpo Museum displays tools and weapons used by the ninja of the Togakure school and also a small theme park nearby featuring obstacle courses, ninja mansions and jungle gyms.

There is also a famous Ninja temple called Ninjadera open to tourists and ninja-themed restaurants in Tokyo too.


Although there are no longer ninjas in today’s peaceful Japan, the rich history and culture of the ninjas are still being passed on to generations.

Today, they are depicted in cartoons, anime, and films as crime-fighting heroes. Two popular western examples being-‘Beverly Hills Ninja’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’

The overall variety of Ninja weapons and tools continues to spark interest in ancient Japanese battle culture. It’s ironic that a peace-loving and safe country like Japan has such a violent and weaponed heritage. 

If we have missed out on any ninja weapon, feel free to comment about it and add your favorite list too. Also, be sure to share this article on social networks too. Thank you for reading this article, until next time.

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